ATO mobilises to ensure businesses comply with super obligations

Now that Single Touch Payroll (STP) has been introduced, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) wants to bring employers up to speed with their superannuation guarantee obligations.

STP came into effect for small business with 19 employees or less on July 1 this year, with an extension of its implementation until September 30.

Under the new system, the ATO is collating an extensive arsenal of data alerting its compliance officers of who is paying their compulsory super and when they are paying it. This level of transparency leaves no room for complacency by any business.

A planned direct mail-out campaign by the ATO to businesses is a timely reminder that under the new regime the ATO will very quickly be able to identify which businesses are not paying compulsory superannuation into their employees’ super funds on time.

There may be some relief for employers who find there has been a super guarantee shortfall in the past in the form of a Super Guarantee Amnesty which is currently being considered by the federal parliament.  If passed the amnesty period will commence 24 May 2018 and run until 6 months after the day the bill receives Royal Assent.  It will provide a penalty free window for employers to self correct historical underpayments of Super Guarantee going as far back as 1992.

It should be noted however that the amnesty does not excuse any employers from catching up on any missed Super payments which should be attended to as a matter of urgency

The last thing any employer wants is to be flagged on the ATO’s records, especially if the business is already behind in super payments.

It’s also important to note that, in some cases, directors of companies can be personally liable for unpaid superannuation.

Any business that receives a letter from the ATO and is unsure where they stand in relation to their superannuation guarantee obligations needs to get in touch with their accounting professional for advice.

The team at MWM Advisory has been keeping abreast of all developments in this space, including the nuts-and-bolts details of the proposed amnesty as they come to hand.

For more information, contact our team at or phone 5596 9070.

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