Get ready for SuperStream says ATO to SMSFs & employers

ATO - SuperStreamThe ATO has encouraged both SMSFs and employers to get ready for SuperStream.

SuperStream creates a new standard for employers to transmit data about superannuation contributions to super funds, including both SMSFs and APRA funds.

SuperStream for SMSFs

“Put simply, SuperStream will make the transfer from employer to the SMSF easier and quicker” said Mr Philip Hind, ATO’s National Program Manager, Data Standards & E-Commerce (SuperStream). Over the long term the ATO expects SuperStream to reduce the amount of paperwork for trustees, while providing electronic records for accounting and tax obligations.

Employers will start using SuperStream from 1 July 2014 and the “number of employers using SuperStream is anticipated to steadily increase over coming months” . Therefor the ATO says SMSF trustees should check with employers to find out when they are going to start sending contributions data via SuperStream so the SMSFs can “ensure they have all their details at least 60 days before the planned start date”. Mr Hind also said that it only takes a “matter of minutes” to sign up with an SMSF Messaging Provider, and it is a “once-off event”. The SMSF messaging provider gives an SMSF access to an Electronic Service Address (ESA) and is available “at low or no cost”.

Though at this state the “ATO is emphasising education and support for employers and the SMSF industry during the introduction of SuperStream” Mr Hind said that “SMSF trustees should not delay getting ready”.

The ATO includes the following items on the checklist for employees with an SMSF:

  • Check with your employer about when they will start using SuperStream to send contributions data
  • Check that your employer has all the details required about your SMSF “at least 60 days before their planned start date”
  • Provide your employer with your SMSF’s ABN, ESA – Electronic Service Address and bank details

You can find the full checklist on the ATOs website.

SuperStream for employers

According to the ATO, SuperStream will provide a single channel for employers to deal with super funds, and will “simplify the employer experience and reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary variation and complexity”. The ATO expects SuperStream will be implemented by most large and medium employers between July and December 2014, though “there is flexibility for employers who continue to pay contributions with existing processes until they fully implement SuperStream”. Also it appears the ATO is at the ‘education-phase’ of SuperStream compliance, as the focus is on “awareness raising, education and support for employers during the first few years of SuperStream as the new standard is adopted”.

Based on the most recent ATO media releases this is the current implementation schedule:

  • “For large or medium sized employers (20 or more employees), implementation of SuperStream must be completed by no later than 30 June 2015”
  • Small employers (those with 19 or fewer employers) have another year before they commence using SuperStream, starting from 1 July 2015 but completing their implementation by no later than 30 June 2016″

Update: the ATO has released a SuperStream certified product register, which “enables employers to identify the readiness of payroll software and other service providers to meet SuperStream requirements.”

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