British expats working in Australia may have payments into a superannuation pension even if they do not intend to retire there. Employers should make the payments for all eligible employees even if they are only temporary residents.
On leaving Australia, expats can reclaim this money under the ‘departing Australia superannuation payment’ or DASP.
Expats can claim DASP if:
- They have had payments into a superannuation account in Australia
- Any visa has expired or been cancelled
- They have left Australia
- They are not Australian or New Zealanders and are not now permanent Australian residents
Anyone who has moved jobs may have two or more super accounts.
Making a DASP claim
If expats have failed to claim their DASP cash six months after leaving Australia, the money is transferred to an account with the Australian tax office. An online search will locate where the super cash is.
If the money is held as a DASP, the payment can go to another superannuation account or directly to the expat. A good idea is to check all employment contributions have been made into a super before claiming DASP as some employers only make payments quarterly.
To claim DASP either:
- Apply online
- Make a paper filing to the Australian Tax Office
Before the claim is paid, the ATO or super fund will want to check your expat immigration status.
Tax and your DASP
The ATO will verify expat status with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. If the claim for a refund is for AUS$5,000 or more, expats should provide certified copies of identification documents. This requirement varies between funds, but most provide checklists of acceptable ID.
Online DASP applications are free, but those direct to funds may involve a charge. DASP refunds are generally processed and paid within 28 days, but can take longer if extra documentation is needed.
DASP payments are taxed at source, so expect to receive less than claimed. A payslip will show the tax free and taxed payments. Tax is deducted at 38% or 47%. Expats filing an Australian tax return should not include the DASP payment nor details of any tax paid as the money is not assessable income for income tax.