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  • Individuals Stewardship Group key messages 29 March 2022

    Opening comments

    The Chair Hoa Wood referenced the recent natural disasters occurring around Australia and noted that impacted taxpayers should contact the ATO to discuss any problems they are experiencing in meeting their tax obligations.

    Environmental scan

    Members shared their insights into what they were seeing in their patches. Adult Multicultural Education Services Australia (AMES) provided an overview of their work informing migrant workers through English language classes and in their first language about:

    • hidden or cash wages and the pros and cons of not reporting cash wages
    • employer obligations including withholding tax and making superannuation guarantee payments.

    The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is:

    • providing education to investors on how to identify and avoid scams and select investments, including the due diligence required when making investment decisions
    • engaging with international jurisdictions and other government agencies to identify promoters and influencers who are promoting investments, to ensure they register for a Financial Services Licence or desist in promoting investments
    • considering how to work with Google and Facebook to promote the need for licensing and to support any new financial services regulations which may be introduced.

    Treasury has been focused on the Budget – members can contact Bede Fraser directly if they have questions once the Budget has been released.

    The ATO noted support provided to taxpayers impacted by the floods including extensions to lodge activity and instalment statements up to 28 March 2022 and tailored debt support services such as record reconstruction if required. It was stressed that it is important that clients engage with the ATO when they are ready.

    Non-pursued debt

    During the pandemic, the ATO has not been offsetting credits, that is refunds, against some classes of taxpayer debt. The ATO is now writing to some taxpayers and reminding them of the debt on their account and that where there is an available credit, it will be applied against the debt. This engagement is designed to ensure that taxpayers are given sufficient information to explain why their refund amounts may be less than expected.

    Superannuation guarantee – removal of the $450 per month eligibility threshold

    On 22 February 2022 legislation was passed to remove the $450-a-month salary and wage threshold for superannuation guarantee (SG) eligibility. The change applies from 1 July 2022.

    Employees who are over 18 years old and earning salary or wages less than $450 in a calendar month from a single employer, will be eligible for SG. Employees under 18 years old who work less than 30 hours a week (including overtime) will not be entitled to SG.

    The ATO communication strategy will focus on:

    • raising employer awareness of the change
    • ensuring employees are aware of their entitlement to SG
    • leveraging intermediaries to assist employer clients to determine and meet their SG obligations.

    Key messages for employers:

    • From 1 July 2022 the $450 eligibility threshold will be removed.
    • Update your payroll and accounting systems to ensure the correct calculation of SG. The ATO SG contributions calculator can help work out how much must be paid.
    • ATO advice and guidance, including online tools and calculators will be updated on 1 July 2022 to reflect the change.

    Key messages for eligible individuals:

    • From 1 July 2022 employers must pay super regardless of how much you are paid.
    • It is important to check that your employer is paying you the correct amount.
    • Use the Estimate my super tool to work out eligibility for SG, and to check if the employer is paying the correct amount.

    The ATO is working with digital service providers (DSPs) to ensure they are aware and prepared for 1 July 2022. Key messages for DSPs:

    • Payroll systems need to be updated to remove the $450 eligibility threshold for SG.
    • Ensure clients are informed of the changes and they understand their obligations.

    Superannuation guarantee employee notifications update

    A SG obligations overview was provided to members noting Single Touch Payroll and superannuation fund data is used to detect employers who do not meet their SG obligations – around 95% of employers comply without ATO intervention.

    In 2021 a new approach was trialled to resolve less complex complaints about unpaid superannuation. These complaints were resolved faster than our previous processes and made it as easy as possible for the employer to meet their obligations. Employers who do not engage with us to resolve complaints are investigated under audit.

    Compliance activity results:

    • In 2020–21 the ATO completed over 19,000 SG employer reviews and raised around $790 million in SG charge liabilities, including approximately $272 million in penalties.
    • The ATO distributed $944.7 million of SG entitlements to individuals and superannuation funds collected from employee notification review activities, ATO initiated compliance activities and employer voluntary disclosures.


    Attendees list




    Hoa Wood (Chair), Individuals and Intermediaries


    Lloyd Williams, Individuals and Intermediaries


    Reece Parry, Superannuation and Employer Obligations


    Tim Loh, Individuals and Intermediaries

    AMES Australia

    Teresita Romero

    Australian Securities and Investment Commission

    Danny McCarthy


    Bede Fraser

    Guest attendees

    Guest attendees list




    Donna McArthur, Superannuation and Employer Obligations


    Julie Rowland, Superannuation and Employer Obligations


    Larry Costa, Superannuation and Employer Obligations


    Les De Wind, Lodge and Pay


    Monika Sikora, Individuals and Intermediaries


    Neill Stromborg, Superannuation and Employer Obligations


    Phillip Jones, Superannuation and Employer Obligations


    Rebecca Knill, Superannuation and Employer Obligations


    Rebecca Sullivan, Individuals and Intermediaries


    Tracy Procter, Lodge and Pay


    Victoria Hopley, Superannuation and Employer Obligations


    Apologies list




    Kerry O'Loghlin, Individuals and Intermediaries


    Trevor Schloss, Superannuation and Employer Obligations

    Australian Shareholders Association Limited

    Eden Zanatta

    Federation of Ethnic Communities' Council of Australia

    Janecke Wille

    Financial Counselling Australia

    Carmel Franklin

    First Nations Foundation

    Phil Usher

    National Seniors Australia

    Craig Sullivan

    People with Disability Australia

    Samantha French

    Real Estate Institute of Australia

    Jock Kreitals

    Tax Clinic

    Connie Vitale

      Last modified: 18 May 2022QC 69616