25 February 2020

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has commended the Government for finally bringing the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) amnesty for employers to fruition.

“The IPA has long advocated for this one-off amnesty which allows employers to clean the slate by paying historical SG underpayments,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

“Single Touch Payroll (STP) has increased the level of transparency around when employers make SG contributions on behalf of employees. It is, therefore, an opportune time for employers to make good any outstanding SG liability without the full draconian penalty regime applying, which has acted as a disincentive for many to come forward.

“While any non-payment of this worker entitlement represents wage theft; a practice never to be condoned, the IPA has supported this amnesty period as it incentivises employers to come forward and do the right thing by their employees by paying any unpaid superannuation in full.

“We acknowledge that small businesses can sometimes experience cash flow issues, making them vulnerable when it comes to meeting their SG obligations by the required due date. This amnesty gives them time to atone.

“At the end of the day money is being directed into employee’s superannuation accounts with some interest added and that’s a good thing.

“Employers now have six months to pay outstanding SG amounts to their employees.

“Those that do not take advantage of this one-off amnesty will face significantly higher penalties if they are subsequently caught. In addition, throughout the amnesty period the ATO will continue its usual enforcement activity against employers,” said Mr Conway.