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12 Month Super Amnesty

Recently, something really good has happened… or may happen! The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, has announced that there will be a 12 month amnesty for any naughty employer who has historical employee super debt, to pay that debt without also having to pay the usual penalties and charges. What’s more, those payments will also be deemed tax deductible! The minister is quoted as saying: “We are introducing this one-off amnesty to allow employers to wipe the slate clean and pay their workers what they’re owed . All Australians workers should be paid the entitlements they are owed.” The law has been introduced to parliament and is awaiting to be enacted. It is not yet law but if passed, the following will apply:

How will the amnesty work?

  • The amnesty will be from 24 May 2018 to 23 May 2019 . It applies to any/all undeclared super guarantee contributions (SG) from 1 July 1992 up to 31 March 2018. It does not apply to any SG payments from 1 April 2018 onwards.
  • If the employer is involved in a current SG audit, the periods relating to the audit cannot be included in the amnesty payments, BUT, all other periods of non-paid SG can be included.
  • Penalties and charges for late payment will not apply during the amnesty and the payments will be tax deductible
  • To be eligible, employers must disclose the SG shortfall including 10% nominal interest within the 12 month amnesty period.
  • As quoted from the ATO: “Employers who choose not to self-correct any shortfalls of SG payments to their employees will face harsher penalties if this is identified after the Amnesty period.” In other words, this is a one-time-only offer. Choose to ignore it at your own peril!! Tougher penalties are coming for non-compliance, including possible jail terms.
  • There are 2 ways to make the SG shortfall payment:
  1. make full payment of the shortfall and nominal interest directly to their employees super fund (or funds) and complete and lodge the SG Amnesty Fund payment form, or
  2. complete and lodge the SG Amnesty ATO payment form and enter into a payment plan with the ATO.

For further information regarding how to opt in and make payments see here: How to access the Amnesty and payment options

What do I think?

I agree wholeheartedly with the minister’s quote above. The money belongs to the employees, always has and always will. Those employers who choose not to pay SG are basically stealing in my opinion. I am glad that they will now have an opportunity to make good and clear the slate. However, any employer who ignores this golden opportunity should have the book thrown at them. Let’s hope the government follows through with their threats on this and makes every wayward employer accountable. If jail is the end-result, then so be it!

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