16 November 2005

Refining the Meaning of Interdependency Relationship

The Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, Mal Brough, today announced that regulations have been made to further refine the meaning of interdependency relationship for the purposes of superannuation and related taxation law.

Last year the Government expanded the definition of dependant so that people in an interdependency relationship' are eligible to receive superannuation death benefits tax free in the same way as a spouse, child (under 18) or person who is financially dependant on the deceased fund member,' Mr Brough said.

That amendment allowed people in interdependency relationships such as two elderly sisters, adult children residing with and caring for elderly parents, and same-sex couples to receive each others' superannuation death benefits tax free.

The regulations list a number of factors to be considered in determining whether an interdependency relationship exists, including the duration of the relationship, use and acquisition of property and the reputation and public aspects of the relationship.

They also confirm a number of specific situations in which an interdependency relationship does or does not exist, for example, two people can be temporarily living apart and still be in an interdependency relationship' explained Mr Brough.

The regulations were finalised following four weeks of public consultation. Mr Brough expressed his gratitude to all those who made submissions.

Details of the regulations are available on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments website at www.frli.gov.au.