The ATO has indicated that it will commence sending out initial notices to employers about unpaid superannuation obligations.
Failing to meet superannuation obligations will generate significant penalties for employers. In addition to interest and administrative penalties, employers lose the tax deduction that would normally be available for superannuation payments made on time.
The total cost to businesses found to have underpaid their super or paid it late can be substantial. The ATO has no discretion to waive or reduce these penalties.
Recent changes to the superannuation legislation also mean that company Directors may be held personally liable for any unpaid superannuation contributions and the associated interest and administration charges.
The ATO has regularly undertaken reviews of superannuation in the past. Penalties have greatly contributed to revenue for the ATO and with the increased resources now to be provided to the ATO by the Government it is likely the regularity of these reviews will be increased.
Considering the potential financial penalties and increased scrutiny, it is essential that employers take the opportunity to review their internal systems and ensure that superannuation payments are being made correctly, consistently and in a timely manner.