• Bilateral social security agreement with Latvia

    If you send an Australian employee to work temporarily in Latvia, you must continue to pay superannuation guarantee contributions in Australia for them.

    Before you send the employee, apply to us for a certificate of coverage:

    We'll issue a certificate to you on the basis that you'll continue to make super guarantee contributions in Australia for the employee. You or your employee then show the certificate to the Latvian authorities to be exempted from super payments in Latvia. The certificate can cover a period of up to four years.

    When completing the request for a certificate of coverage, you'll need to provide an Australian contact name and their phone, fax and e-mail details.

    When you receive the certificate, keep a copy for your records and give the original to your employee to take with them to Latvia.

    On this page:

    About the agreement

    Our bilateral social security agreement with Latvia applies when double super coverage occurs – that is, when you or your employee would otherwise have to make super guarantee contributions (or equivalent) in both countries for the same work by your employee. It applies to Australian super guarantee law and Latvian social security laws.

    For information about:

    The agreement applies from 1 January 2013. It can also apply to employees you sent to Latvia or Australia for work before this time, but only for super guarantee contributions (or equivalent) made on or after 1 January 2013.

    Effect for different types of employee

    Employees working temporarily overseas

    If you send your employee to work in Latvia for a period not exceeding four years – for your business or a related entity – and double super coverage occurs, only the super laws of your home country will apply. This means super guarantee contributions (or equivalent) are required only under the law of the country that your employee is most likely to retire in.

    This rule also applies if the employee is sent to work for a related company and double super coverage occurs.

    Example

    David is sent by his Australian employer to work in Latvia for two years. David's employer must make contributions in Australia under super guarantee legislation. David and his employer must also make social security contributions under the relevant Latvian law.

    As double super coverage occurs, the agreement takes effect and exempts David and his employer from making contributions under Latvian law. David's employer will continue to make super guarantee contributions as required in Australia.

    This rule also applies if David is sent to work for a related company and double super coverage occurs.

    End of example

    Government employees working temporarily overseas

    If a government employee is sent to work temporarily in Latvia and double super coverage occurs, only the super laws of Australia will apply.

    Self-employed people

    The agreement doesn't apply to self-employed Australian residents working in Latvia. They're not subject to super guarantee law in Australia, so double super coverage doesn't occur.

    Diplomats

    The agreement doesn't affect the treatment of diplomats and consulate officials under the relevant Vienna Conventions for diplomatic and consular relations.

    Extension beyond four years

    Generally, a certificate of coverage will cover Australian employees for a period of up to four years employment in Latvia. If you need coverage for a period longer than four years, you'll need to write to us explaining the reasons for the extension.

    Approval to extend a certificate of coverage is determined on a case-by-case basis. We can grant an extension only with the mutual agreement of the relevant agency in Latvia, and only in certain circumstances.

    An extension may be granted when:

    • an individual who was scheduled to replace your employee is unable to do so because of death, serious illness or resignation
    • your employee must remain in the country of secondment due to an unexpected personal situation – this includes medical reasons (self, spouse or children) or if your employee's children must stay to complete the school year
    • your employee has been under one country's social security system throughout their career and is planning to retire in the immediate future
    • the extension is for a short period
    • your employee returned to their country of origin for a short period during the period of secondment for unexpected personal reasons – this includes medical reasons (self, spouse or children)
    • the extension for work purposes would be in the national interest of either country
    • cessation will cause undue hardship to you (the employer) or your employee
    • there has been a reorganisation of your company and your employee maintains an important role after the reorganisation
    • your employee has special skills or background, and you make a strong case for needing your employee to complete a special assignment or project that will be finished within one to four years following the four-year secondment period.

    An extension may also be granted in other special circumstances.

    Your request for an extension must be in writing and should include:

    • employer's name, ABN and contact details
    • your employee's name
    • the certificate number
    • the reason for the extension.

    Send your request to:

    Superannuation – Bilateral agreements
    Australian Taxation Office
    GPO Box 9977
    ADELAIDE SA 5001
    AUSTRALIA

    See also:

      Last modified: 27 Jul 2016QC 26803