Super guarantee amnesty deadline fast approaching
Australian employers have been reminded about the upcoming deadline for the super guarantee amnesty due to expire on 7 September this year.
A public statement issued by Senator Jane Hume stated that the ATO will begin sending notices to Australian employers reminding them of the upcoming deadline for the super guarantee amnesty. The amnesty expires on 7 September 2020.
The super guarantee (SG) amnesty is a one-off opportunity to correct past unpaid SG amounts dating back to 1 July 1992. Employers have until 7 September 2020, to disclose, lodge and pay unpaid SG amounts for their employees.
The ATO website states that employers can claim deductions and not incur administration charges or penalties during this amnesty.
To take up the amnesty, businesses must come forward and disclose to the ATO before the amnesty expires on 7 September, and either pay the unpaid amounts of superannuation in full with interest or put a payment plan in place to do so in the future.
Payments made by 7 September 2020 will be tax deductible.
Ms Hume said employers who don’t come forward in this amnesty period and are subsequently audited and found to have underpaid employees will face significant financial penalties.
The economy wide roll out of Single Touch Payroll’s real time data reporting to the ATO means future underpayments are highly likely to be detected, she warned.
The ATO has acknowledged that some businesses may not be fully able to pay their super guarantee debt at this time due to the effects of COVID-19. To encourage employers to still apply for the amnesty, the ATO has pathways in place to work with businesses and create payment plans to make good on unpaid super over time, said Ms Hume in the statement.
“Super is a form of deferred wages and every bit as important to be paid, and paid in full. The super guarantee amnesty allows employers a one-off opportunity to come forward, pay or put a plan in place to pay, and set things right without facing financial penalties from the tax office,” she stated.
“If you are in any doubt, it is vitally important that you talk to your tax agent or the ATO today; the amnesty expires in a month and it will take time to verify the amount of any unpaid super and pay it or put a payment plan in place.”
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.