What exactly are the ATO penalties for paying superannuation into your employees’ funds after the due date?
Superannuation regulations are nothing but straightforward. In a nutshell:
- Super is payable once an employee earns $450 in the month
- Current superannuation rate is 9.5% of ordinary time earnings
- There is a table outlining the definition of Ordinary Time Earnings (OTE). You can click this link to go to the ATO site to find out what is and is not included in the calculation. Basically, OTE is not all of an employee’s pay. For example, superannuation is not calculated on overtime.
- From 01/07/2016, all employers in Australia must pay their employee’s super using a Superstream approved method. What is Superstream? It basically is an electronic superannuation paying portal. For more information click here to go to the ATO website or contact us for an easy explanation
- Superannuation is due to be paid within 28 days of the end of each quarter. Some employers are under awards that legislate they pay their superannuation monthly.
So What happens if you don’t pay your super obligations by the due date:
1. You must lodge a Superannuation Guarantee Charge Statement with the ATO
- This is a form you must lodge per employee per quarter.
- On this form you state the total wages and salaries paid to the employee for each quarter and if you have made any payments since the due date, you declare what you have paid.
2. The ATO will calculate the new payment amount and issue you an invoice
- There is a lodgement fee. This is calculated by multiplying the standard SGC lodgement fee by the total number of employees, by the total number of lodgements. If you have 10 employees and you paid your superannuation late for four quarters, you would be charged 40 lodgement fees.
- The new superannuation amount payable is calculated. As Super was not paid on time, you no longer have the luxury of paying on OTE (see above). Super is now calculated at 9.5% of total salaries and wages paid to the employee.
- Interest is charged on the overdue amount accrued at the ATO interest rate calculated daily.
- Any amounts you have paid since the due date are deducted
3. If an employee reports the employer and the ATO must request a Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC) form be completed, it may trigger an audit of previous years and/or all employees.
So, it’s easy to see that superannuation needs to be made a priority by all employers in Australia. The administrative cost, penalties, interest, additional super liability can become very costly.
If you need to catch up on some unpaid super, contact us and we can help you fill out the SGC. It only takes one employee to contact the ATO and report you.
We have personally assisted many employers with this process. We highly recommend getting superannuation payments under control.