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Workforce education news - Issue 1/2011
Workforce education news - Issue 1/2011
Welcome to the first scheduled edition of Workforce education news for 2011 after our special issue that focussed on what the ATO was doing to assist communities affected by the flooding and fires throughout Australia.
Workforce education news is a free email newsletter we issue regularly to employers and professional associations. It contains updates about tax and superannuation entitlements and obligations that may affect you, your employees and members of your association.
Feel free to pass the newsletter on to your employees and members as it contains information that may interest them.
To update or cancel your subscription or to provide feedback, email us at email@example.com
Free superannuation clearing house for small business
The government is offering a free super clearing house service to small businesses with less than 20 employees.
The clearing house allows an employer to pay their employees superannuation contributions to a single location. The clearing house then distributes the superannuation contributions to the relevant funds. It is easy to use and reduces the amount of paperwork involved in making multiple payments to different superannuation funds.
This service is optional and is designed to reduce red tape and compliance costs for small businesses when meeting their super guarantee obligations.
Super contributions are due for the quarter ending 31 March 2011 by Thursday 28 April 2011.
If you do not meet your super obligations, you must lodge a Superannuation guarantee charge statement - quarterly (NAT 9599) and pay the super guarantee charge to us.
The super guarantee charge must be paid if you:
- do not pay enough super (9%) to your employee's super fund
- miss the quarterly payment cut-off date (28 April for current quarter)
- do not pay super to your eligible employee's chosen fund.
If you are an employer, you may have to pay super for contractors - even if the contractor quotes an Australian business number (ABN).
Employers need to pay super contributions for contractors they pay under a contract that is wholly or principally for the contractor's labour, even if the contractor quotes their ABN. This is because they are considered employees under superannuation guarantee law.
If your temporary resident employees meet the super guarantee criteria, you have to make super contributions for them, either to the temporary resident's chosen super fund or to your employer nominated super fund.
When your temporary resident employee leaves Australia and their visa has expired or been cancelled, they are entitled to receive their super benefits. This payment is called a departing Australia super payment (DASP). Your employee can apply for a DASP using our free online application system.
To be eligible for departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) employees need to have had:
- visited on a temporary visa (excluding visa subclasses 405 and 410)
- super contributions paid on their behalf by you as an employer
- their visa cancelled or expired
- departed Australia.
Temporary residents need to complete a new application for each employer they worked for in Australia to receive their entire super.
If they have lost track of their super, they can look for it at www.ato.gov.au/superseeker
Work out which employees you need to pay super for through our Super guarantee (SG) eligibility decision tool and how much to pay using our Superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions calculator.
Claiming super will not prevent temporary resident employees from returning to Australia and working on another visa.
Withholding tax, generally at a rate of 35% will be deducted.
New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of Australia are not eligible for this payment.
We balance our support for those struggling to pay in the short term with taking firmer action against others who ignore their obligations, break promises to pay, or where businesses are not viable.
Information on our firmer action approach to debt collection, and how this may affect you if you have a tax debt, is now available at www.ato.gov.au/firmeraction
Visit www.ato.gov.au/debt for more information on managing tax debt.
If you are thinking of starting a new business or you are already a small business operator, come along to our free seminars to help you understand your tax, record keeping and super obligations.
Nat is a typical busy 30 year old. Recently a friend told her about some lost super he found by searching online using a search tool called SuperSeeker. He suggested she get her TFN and also have a look.
Nat was not sure - super is something that will not really affect her until she is at least 60 and that is too far away.
Her friend did a quick calculation and worked out that $1,000 in today's dollars would be worth $4,321 by the time she was 60, based on a rate of return of 5% per year.
Every year that Nat delays retrieving her lost super she potentially loses over $100 in compounding interest. It might not sound like much, but it all adds up. Imagine if you had more than one lost account?
Why leave $1,000 lying around year after year when it could be earning you interest in your super fund?
For more information about searching for your lost super, see SuperSeeker.
With over 800,000 Australians falling victim to personal fraud (scams) each year, Consumer Fraud Awareness Week (7-13 March) provides a timely reminder for all taxpayers to stay one-step ahead of fraudsters.
Fraudsters commonly imitate the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to try and trick innocent taxpayers to hand over money, tax file numbers and other identity details.
As part of our involvement in Consumer Fraud Awareness Week in March, we would like to remind you that your tax file number (TFN) is an important part of your identity and, in the wrong hands, could be used to steal your identity and commit fraud in your name.
You should only provide your TFN to certain people and organisations, the most common being:
- the ATO when discussing your tax records
- your employer after you start work
- your bank
- your super fund.
Issue four of Targeting Tax Crime: a whole of government approach was launched in February and is now available online.
Issue four contains interesting commentary from industry experts and the latest information about what Australian Government agencies are doing to protect the community's tax system. Some of the features in this edition include:
- a discussion of how we operate within the parameters set out by the law
- new developments in our ability to identify those who rort the system to their advantage
- a progress update on Project Wickenby
To find previous issues of Workforce education news see www.ato.gov.au/wen
Last Modified: Friday, 11 March 2011