On 6 March 2020, the government introduced a super guarantee (SG) amnesty (the amnesty). The amnesty allows employers to disclose and pay previously unpaid super guarantee charge (SGC), including nominal interest, they owe their employees, for quarters starting from 1 July 1992 to 31 March 2018.
Eligible disclosures will not incur the administration component ($20 per employee per quarter) or Part 7 penalty. In addition, payments of SGC made to the ATO after 24 May 2018 and before 11.59pm on 7 September 2020 will be tax deductible.
If an employer has already disclosed unpaid SGC to the ATO between 24 May 2018 and 6 March 2020, they don’t need to apply or lodge again.
Employers who come forward from 6 March 2020 need to apply for the amnesty before the 7 September 2020.
Why you should act now
The ATO’s ability to identify underpaid SG has increased through greater data visibility as a result of more frequent reporting requirements by super funds and employers.
The ATO are increasingly using this capability to identify employers that have underpaid SG.
If the ATO identify underpaid SG amounts for a quarter that was covered by the amnesty that you have not disclosed, in addition to the SG shortfall you will also be liable for:
- the administration component ($20 per employee per quarter)
- up to a 200% Part 7 penalty (at minimum 100% if remission is applicable)
- nominal interest (10%)
- the general interest charge (GIC).
In addition, you will not be able to claim a tax deduction for the SGC paid.
Eligibility for the Amnesty
To be eligible for the amnesty you must meet and fulfill all the following criteria. You must:
- have not been informed the ATO is examining or intends to examine your SG obligation for the quarter(s) your disclosure relates to
- disclose any SG shortfall for an employee that you haven’t already disclosed to the ATO (or disclose additional amounts of SG shortfall for a quarter previously disclosed)
- disclose for quarter(s) starting from 1 July 1992 to 31 March 2018
- lodge your completed SG amnesty form with the ATO so they receive it no later than 7 September 2020.
The ATO understand you may wish to apply for the super guarantee amnesty (the amnesty) and may be concerned that, as a result of COVID-19, your circumstances may change and you won’t be able to pay the liability.
The ATO are offering options to establish payments plans that have flexible payment terms which can change as your circumstances do or extend the payment plan beyond the 7 September payment deadline. Please note that any payments made after the 7 September deadline will not be tax deductible even if made under a payment arrangement.
How to apply for the amnesty
To apply for the amnesty, you must:
- download the approved SG amnesty form (XLS 639KB)This link will download a file
- complete one form per quarter using the instructions contained in the form
- check the amounts are correct and there are no errors on your form
- complete the declaration to confirm you are applying for the amnesty
- save the form as an .xls file type.
- Lodge your SG amnesty form by secure mail
Note: SGC statements lodged after 5 March 2020 won’t be considered for the amnesty as they are not using the approved SG Amnesty form. If you don’t use the approved SG amnesty form or you don’t save it as an .xls file type, your application may not be accepted.
You will be informed in writing within 14 business days of the ATO receiving your application whether it has been accepted or declined.
We can assist you with making your SGC Amnesty application and our fee is dependent on how many quarters and employees you need to apply for:
|1‐5 employees||$350.00 per qtr + gst|
|6‐10 employees||$550.00 per qtr +gst|
|11‐15 employees||$695.00 per qtr +gst|
|16 plus employees||POA|