ATO shakes up approach to SG contributions issues
The ATO is taking a different approach to how it goes about handling superannuation guarantee (SG) contribution disputes and issues this financial year, evolving from its previous “one size fits all” approach.
As most practitioners are aware, taxpayers can lodge an ‘employee notification’ with the ATO when they believe their employer is not paying their superannuation contributions.
This year, rather than diving straight into an audit when an issue arises, the ATO intends taking a more consultative line with employees and employers.
“We’re taking a different approach in the way we deal with [notifications] when they come into the ATO now,” Nicole Dykstra, change management and liaison, superannuation, told SMSF Adviser. “We’re doing an upfront risk assessment based on the information in that employee notification. It’s really much more focused, looking at things like the compliance history of the employer.
“Where we see cases of an employer that looks like they’ve really tried to do the right thing – they may have missed a payment by a day or something like that – we’re taking a much more differentiated approach and more having a conversation with them about their process, rather than just moving straight into a full-blown audit,” she said.
“Previously, we’ve taken almost a one-size-fits-all approach.”
Ms Dykstra said the change works in line with the ATO’s “reinvention” and is an outcome of the ATO looking to target its resources to “the right cases”.
More broadly, the ATO has also issued a reminder to employers to make their SG payments by the next quarterly deadline of 28 July.
The ATO has also reminded small employers (19 or fewer employees) to continue progressing their SuperStream implementation and consider using it for their next SG payment.
Medium and large employers (more than 19 employees) are also reminded that, as of the new financial year, they are expected to already be SuperStream compliant, though the ATO has announced an extension for those “making a genuine effort” until 31 October.