New data released by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) reveals more than $1.13 billion in super guarantee charge (SGC) liabilities were raised through superannuation guarantee (SG) disclosures and ATO compliance action during the 2022-23 financial year.
The ATO has recouped and distributed $683.8 million of super entitlements to super funds and individuals, a direct boost to Australians’ retirement savings. This includes SG amounts collected for liabilities raised arising from employee complaints, ATO initiated compliance activities and employer voluntary disclosures.
ATO Deputy Commissioner Emma Rosenzweig said while most employers are doing the right thing, the ATO takes non-compliance with SG obligations seriously.
‘Super belongs to employees for their future retirement savings and we do everything we can to ensure Australia’s hard working employees are receiving their lawful entitlements from their employers,’ Ms Rosenzweig said.
During the 2022-23 financial year, the ATO completed around 14,000 SG audit cases and issued around 134,000 reminders and prompts. In total, these raised over $685 million in liabilities, including penalties. In addition to this, 56,000 employers came forward and voluntarily disclosed $445 million in liabilities highlighting increasing awareness and review of their own obligations.
‘Unpaid super not only affects employees’ entitlements but it also raises other red flags that a business may not be viable. If you’re an employer who is struggling to pay super, we recommend you reach out to us or your registered tax professional quickly to help avoid getting into a situation you can’t resolve,’ Ms Rosenzweig said. ‘The earlier you engage, the better the outcomes for you and your staff.’
If an employer doesn’t pay super in full, on time, and to the right fund, they’re liable for the SGC. This is more than the super they otherwise would have paid, and is not tax deductible.
The ATO is committed to helping and supporting employers to make it easier to comply with their obligations.
‘We know that mistakes can happen, but it’s our responsibility to ensure a level playing field for all businesses,’ Ms Rosenzweig said.
‘The sooner we know about unpaid super, the greater chance we have to recover it and work with the employer to get them back on track.’
Ms Rosenzweig also explained what employees can do if they believe they aren’t being paid their super.
‘Employees can contact their super fund for the most recent information about their account. We encourage employees to get in touch with us as soon as possible if they believe they aren’t being paid their eligible super. We review and respond to every notification of unpaid super received from an employee. This process can take some time, and we can’t promise we’ll be able to recover all your unpaid super, but we’ll do our best and keep you updated along the way.’
For more information on the ATO’s SG compliance action and results, visit the ATO’s website.
Notes to journalists
- ATO file footage is available for use in news bulletins from our media centre.
- For more information on unpaid super, visit ato.gov.au/unpaidsuper
There are several elements to SG compliance:
- Super guarantee is the minimum amount employers must contribute to their eligible employees’ funds by the due date. The ATO works with employers to collect unpaid super liabilities and distribute amounts to employee super funds.
- Employers must pay the super guarantee charge (SGC) and lodge an SGC statement to the ATO if they don’t pay an employee’s minimum SG amount on time and to the right fund.
- Employers are liable for a Part 7 penalty if they lodge their SGC statement late, or fail to provide information when requested during an audit.
The ATO has a range of tools to help employees understand their super including:
If employees suspect they aren’t being paid their full super contributions, they can follow the steps at ato.gov.au/reportunpaidsuper
The ATO’s 2022-23 super guarantee (SG) compliance actions and results infographic is available for download at ato.gov.au/sgsnapshot. The figures in the infographic have been rounded and are not intended to be added together. The data has been obtained from a variety of sources including the ATO annual report, SG Tax Gap figures, and internal data.
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