The long-awaited superannuation guarantee amnesty bill has now passed both houses of Parliament, with employers having six months to disclose historical unpaid or underpaid superannuation guarantee charges before tougher penalties will apply.

So what is the Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty?

It is a one-off amnesty established to encourage employers to self-correct historical Super Guarantee shortfalls dating from 1 July 1992 through to 31 March 2019.  The amnesty will cease at the end of August 2020.

What are the benefits of using the amnesty?

Any voluntary disclosure of previously undeclared SG shortfalls made during the amnesty period will not attract the administration charges associated with late payments.  Further, the ATO will not add penalties to late payments and importantly, any shortfall payment made will be tax deductible if paid within the amnesty period.

Employers that do not take part in the amnesty will face higher penalties if caught, including a minimum 100% penalty on top of the SG charge owed, consisting of outstanding super plus 10% interest and an administration fee.   This payment will not be tax deductible.

So what should you do?

If you believe that you may have unpaid SG amounts, please contact your team member at Davidsons or call our office on 03 52216399 to discuss your situation as soon as possible.  We can assist you in calculating any potential shortfall and attend to the voluntary disclosure direct with the ATO on your behalf.

Superannuation is only one factor in the wide range of payroll related obligations that employers must comply with.  In addition to helping you with any SG shortfall matters we can also offer a review of your payroll system to check your compliance with the various FairWork obligations.  This review will not only provide peace of mind but will mitigate penalties imposed by FairWork if any breaches are found and rectified before you find yourself under a FairWork review.

So act now.  Superannuation wise the amnesty won’t last long and we are unlikely to see an opportunity like this again.

Disclaimer: this information is of a general nature and should not be viewed as representing financial advice. Users of this information are encouraged to seek further advice if they are unclear as to the meaning of anything contained in this article. Davidsons accepts no responsibility for any loss suffered as a result of any party using or relying on this article.