Announced late last month, Federal Parliament has now passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2019 or "Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty Bill", and is currently awaiting Royal Assent.
The Bill will provide a one-off amnesty for employers who make a voluntary disclosure during the reprieve period about any unpaid superannuation contributions which occurred during the period of 1 July 1992 to 31 March 2018.
The amnesty period will commence from its first announcement (24 May 2018) and will expire six-months after the Bill receives Royal Assent.
Under the SG Amnesty, an employer who makes a voluntary disclosure during the amnesty period:
- will be able to claim a tax deduction for the Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC) liability during the reprieve period;
- can receive a remission of the administration fee component of the SGC liability ($20 per employee per quarter);
- will receive a remission of any Part 7 penalties for failure to lodge an SGC Statement (up to 200% per liability)
- can pay the unpaid superannuation directly to the employee's Super Fund, rather than through the ATO.
The Amnesty period only applies to underpayments that have not been previously disclosed to the ATO, and were made before any notification of an audit or review having commenced.
Employers who have already made disclosures to the ATO during a previously announced non-legislated amnesty period (24 May 2018 - 23 May 2019) will benefit from penalty remissions provided under the new legislation, and should seek a refund of any Part 7 and administrative fee penalties if necessary.
Additionally, employers to which the amnesty is provided are still obligated to pay the Superannuation Guarantee shortfall amount, as well as an interest amount applied on the shortfall.
Following the expiry of the Amnesty period, the new legislation will limit the discretion of the Commissioner of Taxation to remit Part 7 penalties. This means, if an employer lodges a SGC Statement late after the amnesty period has expired, the Commissioner cannot remit a Part 7 penalty below 100% of the amount SG Charge payable.
For More Information
For assistance in this matter or for more information on the Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty, please contact Ian Walker - Managing Director, Archer Gowland - on (07) 3002 2699.