Jail for employers not paying super guarantee may pass Parliament today

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Legislation which could result in employers who don’t pay Superannuation Guarantee being sent to jail may pass Parliament today – the last sitting day for 2018.

Update: The House of Representatives has adjourned, seemingly without voting on the amendments – so the Bill has not yet passed.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill 2018 has passed both Houses of Parliament, but as it was amended in the Senate it will need to return to the House of Representatives. The amendments were moved by the Government and so would likely be agreed to in the House, but that depends on there being time for a vote.

The amendments to the Bill deal with deductible gift recipients.

The (potentially) soon-to-be Act will enable the ATO to issue directions to employers requiring them to pay Superannuation Guarantee that they owe. Failing to comply with the direction has a maximum penalty of 12 months jail, 50 penalty units ($10,500 at current rates), “or both” according to the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill.

The ATO will also be able to direct employers, where the Commissioner “reasonably believes the employer has failed to comply with a superannuation obligation”, to undertake an approved education course, according to the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill. Employers will have to provide proof they have completed the course to the ATO.

Failing to comply with the education direction “can result in administrative and/or criminal penalties,” says the EM.

Another Government Bill before the Parliament would create a 12 month amnesty for employers who haven’t paid their Super Guarantee obligations.

Single Touch Payroll to be extended to all employers

The legislation also extends Single Touch Payroll to all employers from 1 July 2019. Currently the payroll and superannuation reporting system only applies to employers with 20 more employers, who have had to use Single Touch Payroll since 1 July 2018.

The Bill also allows for Transition to Retirement Income Streams to revert to a spouse without them having to satisfy a condition of release. Additionally the legislation makes changes to super fund reporting requirements, amongst other measures.

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