Superannuation amnesty announced by the ATO – the right time to do the right thing

by Freya Lucas

March 20

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced an amnesty for employers who may not have paid the right amount of super guarantee (SG) to their workers, for any quarter between 1 July 1992 and 31 March 2018. 

 

“If you disclose your SG shortfalls during the amnesty, you can rectify past unpaid SG without incurring charges or penalties” an ATO spokesperson said, saying the SG amnesty is the time to come forward. 

 

With a number of businesses affected by natural disasters over the Australian summer, the ATO said “we understand that your priority is on your family and community at this time. However, the law doesn’t allow us to vary the due date for lodgment of an SG amnesty application.”

 

The SG amnesty runs until 6 September 2020 however, given this is a Sunday, applications are accepted until 11.59pm on Monday 7 September 2020. Businesses who have shortfalls are likely to be eligible, unless they have been told the ATO is examining their SG obligation for the period their disclosure relates to.

 

In the event that a business discloses an SG shortfall, and is found eligible, the following steps will apply: 

  • you must pay the SG shortfall plus interest
  • any payments you make before 11.59pm on Monday 7 September 2020 in your local time are tax deductible, including payments through a payment plan.

 

However, the ATO cautioned, a business must pay SG shortfalls, or payment instalments) to remain eligible for the amnesty. “If you default on your payment plan, you will no longer be eligible for the amnesty” a spokesperson said. 

 

“It’s important you act on this opportunity now to get your obligations up to date. If you’re aware of any unpaid SG for the periods covered under the amnesty and choose not to come forward, the consequences will be significant.” 

 

Penalties include up to 200 per cent penalty on top of the SG and interest owed (minimum 100 per cent penalty) and administration charges ($20 per employee per quarter).

 

More information about the SG amnesty may be found here

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