On 1 March 2019 Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No.4) Bill 2018 received Royal Assent, with the Bill containing recommendations made by the Superannuation Guarantee Cross-Agency Working Group.
Of considerable importance to employers are measures which provide the Commissioner with the power to issue a direction to an employer to pay unpaid and overdue Superannuation Guarantee Charge (‘SGC’) liabilities.
In cases where employers “defy” directions to pay their superannuation guarantee liabilities, Minister O’Dwyer said the ATO will be able to apply for court‑ordered penalties, including up to 12 months’ imprisonment. She added that the ATO would also have the ability to require employers undertake training to “embed ongoing compliance”.
The new measures apply to SGC obligations arising from 1 July 2018.
Whilst these measures are intended to target employers with consistent and serious contraventions of their obligations to pay SGC, it is a timely reminder of the need to remain compliant with your superannuation obligations as an employer (and director) and the Governments focus on non-compliance.
Employers who do not pay superannuation by the due date (28th of the month following each quarter) are required to lodge a Superannuation Guarantee Charge (‘SGC’) statement with the ATO. The SGC statement is used to report the unpaid superannuation and a 10% interest charge is imposed. The superannuation is then paid to the ATO who in turn remit the funds to each employees superannuation fund. Alternatively, payment can be made directly to the fund.
We have seen a recent increase in superannuation audits, largely in part to increased data matching technology. With the introduction of Single Touch Payroll for all employers of any size from 1 July 2019 , the ATO will have clear visibility over your superannuation affairs . The ATO will receive real time reporting and will be able to identify any and all non-compliance. You therefore have a small window to get your superannuation up to date.
If you have any queries or concerns, please contact our office to speak with an expert.