ATO Takes Strong Stance On Superannuation Compliance

The ATO will be enforcing stricter penalties for employers who fail to meet their superannuation guarantee (SG) obligations.

Penalties have been introduced to hold employers who are unable or unwilling to meet their SG obligations accountable. This includes non-payment, underpayment, or late payment of super contributions to an eligible employee’s complying super fund. The ATO provides tools that enable employers to understand and meet their SG obligations.

Paying super contributions

Employers are required to pay 9.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings to superannuation. These contributions must be paid to a complying fund by the quarterly due dates, which are 28 days after the end of each quarter.

Penalties

Employers who do not meet their SG obligations may be liable for a range of penalties or charges. If the correct amount of contributions to a worker’s super fund has not been made by the due date, employers will be required by law to lodge a superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) statement. In addition to the SGC, other penalties that may be imposed include:

  • A Part 7 penalty which is applied if an employer lodges their SGC late, or fails to provide a statement or information when requested.
  • A general interest charge (GIC) that is applied when an SGC is not paid by the due date. The GIC is calculated on a daily compounding basis and is tax deductible in the year it is incurred.
  • An administrative penalty if an employer makes false or misleading statements in order to pay less SGC than they should.
  • A choice liability, imposed when an employer does not give an eligible employee a choice of super fund.

In some cases, legal action may be taken by the ATO to recover outstanding tax and superannuation debts. SG audits may also be undertaken in the ATO’s tough approach on compliance. For more information and to ensure that you are meeting all SG obligations as an employer, you should consult your financial advisor.

The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.

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