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Time for employers to catch-up on super payments

Employers have six months to catch-up on paying superannuation entitlements to staff, after the amnesty came into effect on 6 March.

Time for employers to catch-up on super payments
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • March 11, 2020
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On 6 March, the government introduced a superannuation guarantee (SG) amnesty, offering employers an opportunity to get up to date with outstanding super payments to current and past employees, without being slugged with the harsh penalties that usually apply.

In its latest notice, the ATO explained that employers can now disclose and pay previously unpaid super guarantee charge (SGC), including nominal interest, that they owe their employees for quarter(s) starting from 1 July 1992 to 31 March 2018.

The Tax Office explained that payments of SGC made to the ATO after 24 May 2018 and before 11:59pm on 7 September 2020 will be tax deductible.

Employers who have already disclosed unpaid SGC to the ATO between 24 May 2018 and 6 March 2020 are being told that they don’t need to apply or lodge again. However, employers who come forward from 6 March 2020 need to apply for the amnesty.

“The ATO will continue to conduct reviews and audits to identify employers not paying their employees SG. If we identify these employers before they come forward, they will not be eligible for the benefits of the amnesty,” the ATO has said.

These employers are also being warned that they will be required to pay SG shortfall, nominal interest (10 per cent), an administration component ($20 per employee per quarter) and part 7 penalty (up to 200 per cent of the SGC). In addition, payments of the SGC won't be tax deductible.

“Paying super is an important part of being an employer. If you're not eligible for the amnesty, or you have unpaid super for quarters that are not eligible, you must still lodge an SGC statement,” the ATO advised.

It also confirmed that the law does not allow it to vary the due date for lodgement of an amnesty application. This includes those affected by the 2019-20 bushfires. 

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