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Update residence status from Former Temporary Resident to On Shore resident

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Newbie

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Hi

 

I contacted the ATO to update my residential status from "former temporary resident" to "onshore" after my super account was suddenly closed in Aug 2020 and money was taken by the ATO. I was being identified by the ATO as a former temporary resident even though I have been Australia continuously since 2019 May. I was in Australia with a student visa from 2013-2014 and came back to AUS with my spouse visa in 2019.

 

What I heard from an ATO customer service representative is that if I made a TFN while I had a temporary residence visa and left Australia for more than 6 months, a flag of "former temporary resident" will remain for my entire life even if I get a permanent residential status or gain Australian citizenship.

They also said that to avoid my super account being closed again, I just need to ‘maintain’ it either by making regular contributions or keeping the balance over $6000, otherwise it would become ATO held super again in the future. This really doesn’t make sense as I have been working from Feb 2020 and my most recent contribution before the account was closed was on 10 Aug 2020, just 10 days before my super was taken and held by the ATO on 20 Aug 2020. This is my first job in Australia and I had about $2200 in my super account when the account was closed 6 months after it was opened. This means my account will probably be closed another once or twice at lease before I reach to $6000.

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Does anyone know if this customer service person gave the correct information? It sounds extremely weird that a “former temporary resident” status will be remain for my entire life. I also checked the ATO website which clarifies the definition of a former temporary resident as below. I previously held a temporary visa that has ceased to be in effect but I have a current valid visa and am in Australia so I believe I am not a “former temporary resident”

 

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https://www.ato.gov.au/Super/Sup/Former-temporary-residents/

A person is a former temporary resident if:

  • they held a temporary visa that has ceased to be in effect (except a visa prescribed in the regulations – Regulation 4B of the Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Regulations 1999 prescribe subclass 405 (Investor Retirement) and Subclass 410 (Retirement) visas)
  • they left Australia after starting to hold the visa (regardless of whether their visa ceased to have effect before, when or after they left Australia)
  • at least six months has passed since the later of either
    • the visa ceased to be in effect.
    • the person left Australia.

 

  • they are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen
  • they do not hold a current temporary visa or permanent visa
  • they do not have an undetermined application for a permanent visa.

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Community Support

Replies 6

Hi @yunyun

 

The information you have found on our website is correct. While it sounds like you were a former temporary resident from 2015 to 2018, it doesn't sound like you are now.

 

This means that your super shouldn't be transferred to us again unless it is identified as an inactive low-balance super account or you become a former temporary resident again sometime in the future.

8 REPLIES 8
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Devotee

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Australia has a self assessment tax system and you are required to indicate on your income tax return each year if you are a resident for tax purposes or not. This is what matters when assessing your income. 
I have no idea if the ATO maintains an internal system indicator if you've been a non resident or not. Why does it matter to you?

 

 

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Most helpful response

Community Support

Replies 6

Hi @yunyun

 

The information you have found on our website is correct. While it sounds like you were a former temporary resident from 2015 to 2018, it doesn't sound like you are now.

 

This means that your super shouldn't be transferred to us again unless it is identified as an inactive low-balance super account or you become a former temporary resident again sometime in the future.

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Newbie

Replies 5

Hi @ChrisATO 

 

Thanks so much for your reply.

It is reasonable that I was a former temporary resident (FTR) from 2015-2018 but do you have any idea why I was identified as an FTR in August 2020 and my super fund was taken by ATO and the account was closed?

 

I arrived in May 2019 with a spouse visa and it is still valid. I started to work in Feb 2020 and my super account that was closed, was created due to my commencement of this work in 2020. Contributions have been paid regularly till Aug 2020, thus I believe my account was not inactive account.

I had been unemployed from May 2019 – Feb 2020 and did not have any supper account.

 

My understanding of updating FTR is Australian immigration send the data twice a year to ATO and ATO find FTR based on that data. Thus, if I understand correctly, my status should have been updated from FTR to “onshore” while I was unemployed and before my super account was made.

 

I really appreciate your help. 

 

Kindly, Yunyun

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Community Support

Replies 4

Hi @yunyun,

 

Welcome to Australia for the long term, we're glad to have you here.

 

Generally your visa status is listed with your super fund, have you confirmed your residency status with them? They are now obligated to send super to us within 6mnths if they are aware the FTR has left Australia, so it may have something to do with their records for you. I would advise you to call them to follow this up.

 

Hopefully it does not happen again.

 

Regards,

Jodie2.

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Newbie

Replies 3

Hi @ChrisATO and @Jodie2 

 

Thanks so much for reply.

I contacted my super company after my super fund was taken by ATO and they said ATO identified me as FTR, thus they transfer my super fund to ATO as required by law.  I also talked with several ATO operators and confirmed the FTR list is created by ATO (data source is sent from immigration office twice a year) and ATO sends FTR list to super.

 

But you are saying my super company gains immigration data from immigration office and identifies FTR themselves? And that they need to send super fund of all account holders they identified as FTRs to ATO. Thus, you are suggesting I was identified as FTR due to my super’s mistake?

 

I confirmed with all operators from ATO that my status is “FTR” in ATO’s system. Are you saying that ATO identifying me as “FTR” even though I am onshore has no impact on my super fund as long as my super identifies me as onshore? i.e. if my super and ATO have different residence status about me, then the super’s data supersedes the ATO’s data?

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Community Support

Replies 2

Hi @yunyun,

 

Yes they may have confirmed records with us or from us. The bottom line is they are obligated to send it through. If this was sourced from Dept of Home Affairs and then the ATO they have to act. Have you confirmed what your records are with them and with ATO? We usually have departed on your records with us once you have left the country. This may need to be revisited. 

 

At the end of the day your details need to be showing as a current resident of Australia. The super contributions also need to be relevant to the visa you are on. If contributions are related to the time an individual is a FTR, then these amounts in all likelihood should be transferred to the ATO. It does not mean they are lost or you cannot access them. It just means the funds are sitting on your super account with us instead of your super fund. 

 

All the best.

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Newbie

Replies 1

Hi @Jodie2 @ChrisATO 

 

Thanks for your reply.

I checked my ATO online portal and it does not allow me to send back ATO hold super to super account unless my FTR status is updated to onshore with ATO.

I will contact again to customer service to update my status because I left Australia in 2014 but I visited and has stayed in Australia from 2019 so I can’t revisit Australia while I am in Australia. Thus, I believe my status should be “onshore” .

 

Just want to confirm that once my status has updated to onshore with ATO, I can access to ATO hold super without any tax reduction, correct?

 

Kindy, Yun

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Community Support

Replies 0

Hi @yunyun,

 

I would advise you to contact us directly to confirm you are showing as a resident on our records. To transfer your super from ATO held super to your fund should be fine. However if a portion of the super retained by us is from when you were a FTR there may be tax applicable.

 

You may also be able to access this directly under a DASP (Departing Australia Super payment) if the visa you were on whilst earning this super has been cancelled or is inactive. You can discuss this with us when you call through. The tax rates may vary depending on the visa you were on.

 

All the best.