- February 27, 2021
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- Posted by: user
Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP)
If you have worked in Australia while on a temporary visa or on a working holiday, you have probably ended up with some superannuation money which is being held by your super fund. This might be a super fund you chose – or one your employer or employers chose for you.
Superannuation is money that is paid into a super fund who hold onto it and invest it for you so that you have something to live on when you retire.
But if you are only living and working in Australia for a little while – what happens to that money when you go back to your home country? Well, you can claim it back to be paid as a lump sum. This is the Departing Australia superannuation payment (which everyone calls DASP).
Generally, the super fund concerned pays the amount to you. The ATO only pays out funds they are holding on your behalf. But the online application is done on the ATO website. Although if you do a paper application you actually send that to the super fund concerned.
It really is a good idea to get your registered tax agent to handle this for you. The process can be confusing and daunting and tax agents know how to navigate the system. There are tax implications as well. You won’t actually get all of the money back. It’s quite complicated but taxation rates vary between 35% and maybe up to 65%.
You can read more about this on “How DASP is taxed”.
CHECK WHAT YOU GET. This is another reason to get a tax agent to do this for you but if you are doing it yourself, check the taxation on it. If you think the super fund has got it wrong – you have to object in the same financial year it was paid (after that you can still object but only in writing and to the ATO).
You can try and apply for DASP yourself online and the online application can be found here: “DASP online application system”
You can also get someone like a friend or relative in Australia to act on your behalf. But that means you have to use a paper form and it is a much more drawn out process – very prone to mistakes and problems.
If you do decide you want to use the paper form then you use this one to apply for funds held by a superannuation fund: “Application for a departing Australia superannuation payment form” (NAT 7204).
You have to use this one for super funds held by the ATO: “Application for payment of ATO-held superannuation money” (NAT 74880).
Remember, NAT 7204 goes to your super fund. NAT 74880 goes to the Australian Taxation Office.
The central page on this whole topic on the Australian Taxation Office website is “Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP)”.
You are able to make a claim if you have left Australia permanently or your visa has expired.
Working holiday makers are treated differently and the tax implications are different too. Consult: “DASP for working holiday makers”.
New Zealanders are also a little bit different. There is an agreement in place between NZ and Australia that lets Australian super funds be transferred into a New Zealand super fund. You can read about it on “Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability scheme for individuals”.
- Check your eligibility to apply for DASP on: Eligibility for DASP
- Make sure your employer or employers have actually paid all of the super into your super fund.
- If you left Australia more than six months ago – then your superannuation money will have been transferred to the ATO by your super fund.
- If you have a MyGov account (my.gov.au) and you have the ATO portal connected to it, then log in and look at your super holdings and what super funds you have. You can see amounts transferred to the ATO’s safekeeping and also trace lost super too.
- (Everyone should have MyGov with the ATO connected to it, as a matter of course. It is hugely helpful to be able to consult your tax records from anywhere).
- You can also check for lost super on the ATO website: “Keeping track of your super”.
- Do you have an Australian bank account? This is the best way to get your money.
- Get a good tax agent to do it for you. Or apply online. Paper should be your last resort.
- The ATO have a special page to help you with the form (which is a big clue about how many people have problems with it). “Help with the DASP online application system”.
How do I get my money?
The ATO will pay out via Electronic Funds Transfer to an Australian bank. So it’s a good idea to keep your bank account open for a while after you leave Australia. They can also issue a cheque payable in Australian dollars.
Some (but not all) super funds can do an international money transfer (IMT). The problem with that is that this is only when the fund does the payment (and they don’t’ all do IMT) and there are fees and currency conversions involved. EFT is probably your best option.
Just remember that unless you have been sensible and chosen your own super and had every employer pay super into the same super fund, you might have a superannuation money with a number of different super funds. If you want to find all of these little super accounts you can find out how to search for them on the ATO website “Searching for lost super”.
The easiest way to do this is to log into your MyGov account and from there into the ATO portal and check your account.