The ATO continues to expand their use of Single Touch Payroll data and monitor Superannuation Guarantee compliance. The ATO uses this real-time data to match the information reported by employers to the data on the amounts received by superannuation funds. Allowing the ATO to more easily identify non-payments, late payments and underpayments of superannuation. Now is a good time to check that you are meeting your payroll obligations and making accurate payments by the due dates.
The good news is that the ATO reports that employers have paid more than 94% of the superannuation guarantee charge (SGC), however, the ATO has raised $1,130 million in SGC liabilities through compliance action and voluntary disclosures (2022-2023). Demonstrating their resolve to recoup outstanding super for employees.
What can you do to avoid penalties for non-compliance?
There are a few things you can do to ensure that you comply with superannuation payments.
Know who you must pay -
The super guarantee applies to all paid workers over 18 years of age at a rate of 11% for ordinary time earnings (OTE). This rate will increase to 11.5% from 1 July 2024.
The ATO provides a Superannuation Guarantee eligibility decision tool to help employers
Your human resources (HR) advisor can provide you with more specific payroll, wages and entitlements advice
Know when you must pay superannuation –
The quarterly due dates for superannuation are:
Must be received by the fund at this date. Most accounting software will have a standard lodgement cutoff up to 10 days prior. If your payment is not received by the due date it is not a tax deductible expense for your business.
Schedule regular superannuation reviews -
Set aside time to review items related to employee’s superannuation at least quarterly.
Check the calculations of employee attendance and related hours, as well the information included in payroll systems.
Ensure that payments are being made into the correct employee superannuation accounts.
The ATO also provides a handy super obligations checklist for employer to help you see if you’re meeting you super obligations.
What if you miscalculated, missed a superannuation guarantee payment, or paid late?
Should you find that you have made an error in your payments, or haven’t paid the minimum amount of SG by the due date, correct this right away by voluntarily disclosing this to the ATO. Your bookkeeper or accountant can assist you with the submissions that are required. This gives you the best chance of avoiding additional penalties and being on the back foot with the ATO (and possibly employees who may make a complaint to the ATO).
You will need to lodge a superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) statement and pay the SGC. The ATO provides the form and instructions for employers who need to do this.
The SGC payment includes the SG shortfall amounts, as well as interest on those amounts (currently 10% per annum accrued from the start of the quarter in question), and an administration fee of $20 per employee, per quarter. You can see how quickly these charges can add up, so avoiding them is still the best course of action.
SGC statements are due within one month of the published lodgement date. The ATO can impose a 200% penalty if you lodge your SGC statement late!
What if the ATO has sent me a reminder or prompt about superannuation?
If you do receive a reminder or prompt from the ATO regarding superannuation, act immediately. Check calculations in relation to employee hours and the correlation to contributions made. Identify where mistakes may be occurring and put systems in place to prevent future non-compliance. The ATO provides a comprehensive list of reporting issues and errors to assist you to resolve problems.
Are company directors liable for SGC obligation?
If you are a company director you are liable for meeting the Superannuation Guarantee Charge obligations and may become personally liable to pay the penalty for these amounts.
Can ABA. Advice Beyond Accounting help with your super and payroll tax compliance?
Our ABA team offer payroll tax compliance and superannuation payment processing services to ensure your calculations are correct, and you never miss a deadline.
Reach out and we can help you stay on track with your payroll tax and ATO superannuation obligations for your employees.
Please note that we are unable to provide HR advice. Speak to your HR advisor about the National Employment Standards and they will also be able to assist you with awards, wages and entitlements advice.