UPDATE – The ATO recently announced an amnesty for employers who voluntarily disclose previously undeclared superannuation guarantee (SG) shortfalls.  For further information on the amnesty, please visit the ATO website.

ATO Fact Sheet for Employers

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) recently released a fact sheet on its compliance approach towards employer superannuation guarantee (SG) obligations. This approach applies to employers who are unable or unwilling to meet their SG obligations.  It includes non-payment, under-payment, or late payment of SG contributions on behalf of an eligible employee.

Employers who fail to pay the required SG for an employee by the due date are liable for the super guarantee charge (SGC) which is made up of the following:

  • SG shortfall amounts calculated on an employee’s salary or wages
  • interest on the SGC shortfall
  • administration fee ($20 per employee per quarter)

Additional penalties may also include:

  • a penalty of up to 200% of the SGC amount payable for the quarter if the employer lodges their SGC statement late or fails to provide information when requested
  • general interest charges
  • administrative penalty of up to 75% may be payable by an employer who makes a false or misleading statement

The ATO’s compliance approach towards a particular employer will depend on that employer’s compliance history and other circumstances:

  • Employers who engage with the ATO and have a history of being generally compliant with SG obligations are unlikely to receive the additional penalties.
  • Employers experiencing difficulties meeting their SG obligations are encouraged to contact the ATO as soon as possible if they require assistance with lodging their SG statements or to discuss payment of the SGC.
  • Employers who are able but unwilling to meet their SG obligations will be subject to firm action from the ATO.

SG recap:

  • Employers are required to make SG contributions for employees and contractors who are paid mainly for their labour (such contractors are employees for SG purposes)
  • SG is calculated at 9.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings where the employee is paid at least $450 (before tax) in a calendar month
  • The SG contributions must be paid at least once every quarter within 28 days after the end of the quarter

If you have any queries or are concerned that you may not have met your superannuation guarantee obligations, please contact us for further information and guidance.