The ATO will be enforcing stricter penalties for employers who fail to meet their superannuation guarantee (SG) obligations.
Penalties have been introduced to hold employers who are unable or unwilling to meet their SG obligations accountable. This includes non-payment, underpayment, or late payment of super contributions to an eligible employee’s complying super fund. The ATO provides tools that enable employers to understand and meet their SG obligations.
Paying super contributions:
Employers are required to pay 9.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings to superannuation. These contributions must be paid to a complying fund by the quarterly due dates, which are 28 days after the end of each quarter.
Employers who do not meet their SG obligations may be liable for a range of penalties or charges. If the correct amount of contributions to a worker’s super fund has not been made by the due date, employers will be required by law to lodge a superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) statement. In addition to the SGC, other penalties that may be imposed include:
- A Part 7 penalty which is applied if an employer lodges their SGC late, or fails to provide a statement or information when requested.
- A general interest charge (GIC) that is applied when an SGC is not paid by the due date. The GIC is calculated on a daily compounding basis and is tax deductible in the year it is incurred.
- An administrative penalty if an employer makes false or misleading statements in order to pay less SGC than they should.
- A choice liability, imposed when an employer does not give an eligible employee a choice of super fund.
In some cases, legal action may be taken by the ATO to recover outstanding tax and superannuation debts. SG audits may also be undertaken in the ATO’s tough approach on compliance.