5 August 2020

Super guarantee amnesty deadline approaches

This week the ATO will begin sending notices to Australian employers reminding them of the upcoming deadline for the super guarantee amnesty. The amnesty expires on 7 September 2020.

The super guarantee amnesty is a one-off opportunity that allows employers to disclose and pay previously unpaid superannuation, dating back to July 1 1992.

To take up the amnesty, businesses must come forward and disclose to the ATO before the amnesty expires on 7 September, and either pay the unpaid amounts of superannuation in full with interest or put a payment plan in place to do so in the future.

Payments made by 7 September 2020 will be tax deductible.

Employers who don’t come forward in this amnesty period and are subsequently audited and found to have underpaid employees will face significant financial penalties. And the economy wide roll out of Single Touch Payroll’s real time data reporting to the ATO means future underpayments are highly likely to be detected.

The ATO has acknowledged that some businesses may not be fully able to pay their super guarantee debt at this time due to the effects of Covid-19. To encourage employers to still apply for the amnesty, the ATO has pathways in place to work with businesses and create payment plans to make good on unpaid super over time.

Quotes attributable to Senator the Hon Jane Hume, Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology; 

“Super is a form of deferred wages and every bit as important to be paid, and paid in full. The super guarantee amnesty allows employers a one-off opportunity to come forward, pay or put a plan in place to pay, and set things right without facing financial penalties from the tax office.

“If you are in any doubt, it is vitally important that you talk to your tax agent or the ATO today; the amnesty expires in a month and it will take time to verify the amount of any unpaid super and pay it or put a payment plan in place.”