Jail for employers not paying super guarantee may pass Parliament today

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. Read more...

3 year financial services ban for SMSF LRBA advice upheld by AAT

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has upheld a decision by ASIC to ban a financial adviser from providing financial services for three years, relating to SMSF advice.

ASIC banned Jason Sean Atkins from providing financial services for three years in 2017. ASIC said it had found Mr Atkins had advised clients to set up SMSFs and use Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBAs) to buy property in ways that breached the best interest duty.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has now upheld the three year ban, following an appeal of ASIC’s decision. Read more...

ATO streamlines Single Touch Payroll reporting for agents

The ATO has streamlined the requirements for registered agents lodging Single Touch Payroll forms on behalf of employers.

Previously registered agents – including tax agents – needed to get a declaration that the information in the Single Touch Payroll lodgment was ‘true and correct’ and they were authorised to lodged the form each time. This is common for other tax forms, but these are lodged much less frequently than under Single Touch Payroll – which requires lodgements each pay cycle. Read more...

Single Touch Payroll will be an “early warning” system for the ATO

Single Touch Payroll will be an early warning system for the ATO, allowing it to know far earlier than is currently possible that employer superannuation contributions haven’t been paid.

Senior ATO officials told the ASFA Policy Roadshow that Single Touch Payroll will “give us visibility of an employer’s SG obligation; each quarter we will compare the reported obligation with the contribution made. These new data sources will add significantly to our understanding and identification of non-compliance”. Read more...

Single Touch Payroll off to “positive start”, says ATO

The ATO says Single Touch Payroll is “off to a positive start”, with “thousands” of employers using the new reporting tool in the first month.

ATO Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd said the move to real-time reporting will improve the fairness of the tax and super systems, both for employers and employees.

“The ATO will receive and match employer reported data each pay cycle. This will give employers a better picture of their tax position, which can help them manage their business and tax obligations,” he said. Read more...

Single Touch Payroll start dates should be pushed back: Tax Institute

Employers have not been given enough time to prepare for Single Touch Payroll, and the start dates should be pushed back at least one year, says the Tax Institute.

Single Touch Payroll is a new system for employers to report salary & wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation information. Large employers (20 or more employees) are scheduled to start using the system from 1 July 2018, and small employers (19 or fewer employees) are expected to have to start from 1 July 2019.

Expanding Single Touch Payroll to small employers was only announced in August 2017 and requires legislation be passed, on which Treasury has been consulting. The Tax Institute, in a submission on the draft legislation, says employers have not been provided with adequate time to adjust, due to the “enormity of recent superannuation reforms”. Read more...

ATO tells employers it’s time to get ready for Single Touch Payroll

The ATO says it’s time for employers to get ready for Single Touch Payroll, urging employers with 20 or more employees to “act now”.

The ATO calls Single Touch Payroll (STP) “the next step in streamlining payroll reporting”. From 1 July 2018 employers with 20+ employees will need to report employee tax and super information to the ATO using software that is STP ready.

The Government announced in 2017 that small employers – those with 19 or fewer employees – will have to use STP from 1 July 2019, though they can choose to start using it earlier. Read more...

Draft Bill targeting Superannuation Guarantee underpayment released

The Government has released draft legislation aimed at cracking down on Superannuation Guarantee underpayment.

A draft of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Taxation and Superannuation Guarantee Integrity Measures) Bill 2018 has been released for consultation.

If the draft Bill is passed the ATO would have the power to disclose information to an employee about a failure, or suspected failure, by an employer to comply with their Super Guarantee obligations.

The Bill would also give the ATO the power to issue a direction to an employer to pay unpaid and overdue Superannuation Guarantee, or to undertake an approved education course on the SG obligations. Changes are also made to director penalties, including the ‘lock-down rule’. Read more...

Small businesses won’t get $100 for Single Touch Payroll software

Small businesses won’t be receiving $100 towards payroll software as part of Single Touch Payroll, the Government has announced.

In late 2015 Minster Kelly O’Dwyer announced that small businesses would receive a tax offset to help pay for the cost of Standard Business Reporting software, which is required for Single Touch Payroll reporting.

“To assist with the transition the Government will provide businesses, with a turnover of less than $2 million, a $100 non-refundable tax offset for SBR enabled software,”said Minister O’Dwyer at the time. Read more...

Government should justify small business Single Touch Payroll cost

The Government has been called on to release a cost benefit analysis to support its announcement that small businesses will have to use Single Touch Payroll.

The Government announced this week that small businesses (with 19 or fewer employees) would have to use Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2019, as part of a crackdown on Superannuation Guarantee non-compliance.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) was previously only going to be compulsory for large employers from 1 July 2018. STP will involve reporting PAYGW and superannuation data to the ATO as part of payroll processing. Read more...