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  • Late payments

    If you don't pay an employee's super on time, you are liable for the super guarantee charge (SGC). This is even if you make the payment later.

    But you may be able to do one of two things:

    There are time limits on both.

    Late payment offset

    You'll generally be able to offset late payment amounts against the SGC if you:

    • made the payment to your employee's super fund
    • made the payment before the date your SGC assessment was made. (This means your original assessment, not any subsequent amended assessments)
    • lodge your late payment offset election with us within four years of your original SGC assessment date.

    To claim your late payment offset, you can submit a completed spreadsheet version of the SGC statement (XLS, 527KB)This link will download a file via the Business Portal or Online services for agents. To do this:

    • attach the spreadsheet to a new portal message
    • select Superannuation as the topic
    • select Lodge SGC Statement as the subject.

    If you are unable to lodge via this method, phone us on 13 10 20 for options.

    If you elect to use your late payment to reduce your liability for the SGC:

    • it's not tax-deductible
    • it can't be used as a prepayment for current or future super contributions
    • you can't subsequently change the offset amount or revoke your election.

    See also:

    Carry forward your late payment

    Your other option is to use your late payment towards your super guarantee contribution. This is in the quarter it was actually paid or a future quarter.

    You can do this if:

    • it's for the same employee
    • the start of the quarter is within 12 months after the payment date.

    You can't claim a late payment offset for contributions you've used as a prepayment for current or future periods. If you carry a late payment forward, it is tax-deductible in the year you paid it.

    You should talk to your tax adviser to determine the best outcome for your situation.

    Example 1: Late payment offset

    Charles must pay super contributions for his employee, Joanna. The contribution for the quarter ending 31 March is due to be paid to Joanna's super fund by 28 April.

    However, Charles makes the payment late, on 1 July. This is after the quarterly due date of 28 April.

    As Charles missed the due date, he lodges an SGC statement and pays us the SGC.

    In the statement, Charles chooses to have his late payment applied as an offset to reduce the SGC. He lodges his SGC statement on 10 July. He claims the late payment offset and pays the difference.

    End of example


    Example 2: Late payment carried forward

    Hannah must pay super contributions for her employee, Henry. Hannah should make a contribution to Henry’s super fund by 28 October for the quarter ending 30 September.

    However, Hannah makes the payment late, on 5 November. This is after the quarterly due date of 28 October.

    As Hannah missed the due date, she must lodge an SGC statement and pay us the SGC.

    In the statement, Hannah chooses not to offset the late payment against the SGC she must pay. She lodges the statement on 12 November and pays the SGC. 

    Hannah decides to carry forward her late payment from 5 November and use it towards her obligations for Henry for the current quarter, ending 31 December. Hannah can do this because the payment is for the same employee and for a quarter in the 12 months following the date she paid it.

    End of example
    Last modified: 12 Nov 2020QC 33759