In brief 2 min read
The newly introduced superannuation guarantee (SG) amnesty scheme provides a one-off amnesty to encourage employers to self-correct historical SG non-compliance. This is done by allowing employers to claim tax deductions for contributions made during the amnesty period, as well as waiving certain penalties and fees that may otherwise apply in relation to historical SG non-compliance.
If an employer is liable to pay an SG charge and the employer qualifies for the amnesty:
- payment of the SG charge and any contributions offset against the SG charge are tax deductible, provided the payment is made during the amnesty period;
- the employer will not be required to pay the administration fee of $20 fee per employee, per quarter that the SG charge relates to; and
- the employer will not be liable for penalties for failing to provide information as required by the SG legislation, which may be up to 200% of the SG charge.
When is an employer liable to pay an SG charge?
Generally speaking, if an employer does not make the minimum superannuation contributions for all eligible employees as required by the SG legislation within the prescribed period, the employer will be liable to pay an amount known as an SG charge.
When will an employer qualify for the amnesty?
An employer will qualify for the amnesty if the employer discloses to the ATO information about an SG shortfall for one or more quarters (ie where an employer has not made the minimum superannuation contributions for all eligible employees as required by the SG legislation), provided:
- Amnesty period: The disclosure is made during the amnesty period, which commenced on 24 May 2018 and will end six months after the day the Bill receives Royal Assent. The Bill has not yet received Royal Assent.
- Relevant quarters: The disclosure relates to quarters commencing between 1 July 1992 and 1 January 2018. Any quarters commencing on or after 1 April 2018 will not be covered by the amnesty.
- First disclosure: The disclosure relates to an amount of SG shortfall that has not previously been disclosed to the ATO.
- Self-disclosure: The ATO hasn't previously informed the employer that it is examining, or intends to examine, the employer's compliance with their obligation to pay the SG charge in relation to the relevant quarters.
- Approved form: The disclosure is made in the approved form.
- Not disqualified: The employer has not been disqualified from the amnesty because the employer failed to: pay the SG charge in relation to the disclosed SG shortfall; enter into a payment arrangement; or comply with a payment arrangement.