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Another billion removed from super

Australian super funds continue to make payments to members under the government's Early Release of Super scheme, with the total amount paid now at $15.9 billion.

In the week to June 14, funds reported a further $1.3 billion was paid to members, taking an average of 3.3 business days to process.

Additionally, 95% have been made within that five business day goal as set by APRA.

The total number of Australians who have withdrawn from their super early has risen to 2.1 million with the average payment still hovering around the $7500 mark.

The 10 funds with the highest number of applications received from the ATO have made 1.42 million payments worth a total of $10.46 billion.

AustralianSuper, the country's largest super fund, is still leading the way having paid out over $2 billion to members.

The average payment from these funds was $7372, with over 96% of payments made within five days.

The weekly figures come after the ATO confirmed it has caught individuals misusing the scheme by applying when they are not eligible or using the funds as a means of tax avoidance.

The ATO warned that it will take action against individuals who are not eligible.

"If you are unable to demonstrate your eligibility when we ask for evidence, we may revoke the determination that we issued in respect to your application," the ATO said.

This means the amount paid to you under COVID-19 early release of super will become assessable income and need to be included in your tax return and you will pay tax on the released amount."

The taxation office said any individuals found to be providing false or misleading information could face penalties of more than $12,000 for each false and misleading statement.

Additionally, it said it will be targeting people who withdraw and recontribute to their super to gain a tax deduction.

"Withdrawing your super early and then recontributing that amount back into your super fund and claiming a personal super contribution deduction can result in a range of tax outcomes," it said.

"You should ensure that you comply with the eligibility rules to access your super early and your broader obligations under the taxation legislation."

Read our full COVID-19 news coverage and analysis here.

Read more: ERSATOEarly Release of SuperAPRAAustralianSuperCOVID-19
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