• FAQs for those affected by recent payroll company issues

    This page provides guidance for employees and employers impacted by the alleged actions of Plutus payroll and associated companies, currently under the joint AFP and ATO investigation, Operation Elbrus.

    We hope this general advice will provide clarity for employees and employers who have used the services of payroll company Plutus Payroll Australia Pty Ltd and associated entities and may be seeking guidance regarding PAYG withholding and super guarantee status, to ensure they meet their obligations.

    We will regularly update this page with more details.

    The following are some of the things we are still working through. We are implementing a range of support measures to ensure that you have clarity on your circumstances. These may include:

    • extension of time to prepare and lodge monthly, quarterly and annual obligations
    • treatment of unpaid entitlements such as super guarantee, salary sacrificed amounts and fringe benefits
    • redundancy payments
    • potential GST implications.

    On this page:

    Employees

    My boss uses a payroll service provider. How do I know if my tax has been paid to the ATO?

    We are making sure that employees are not impacted this tax time. As an employee you won’t be penalised if the amount withheld is not actually paid to the ATO. At tax time, the amounts withheld from your pay will be applied when the income tax liability is assessed.

    What happens if I don’t get a payment summary? How do I lodge my tax return?

    You don’t need a payment summary to lodge your tax return. You can calculate your income and withholding amounts using our online tool. Alternatively, you can use your payslips and bank records to calculate your income and withholding amounts.

    Find out more: Lost or missing PAYG withholding payment summary

    Has my super been paid?

    Super guarantee entitlements are paid by employers to your super fund if you are an eligible employee. Use our tool to help you understand whether you are entitled to super guarantee contributions from your employer.

    Find out more: Am I entitled to super?

    Your employer is responsible for paying super guarantee entitlements to your super fund at least quarterly.

    If you're not sure if all of your super guarantee entitlements have been paid, you should check with your employer. You should ask them how often they're paying your super and how much they are paying. This allows you to check with your super fund that the amounts have been received. If it's not possible to check with your employer, check with your super fund to see if they’ve received anything.

    If, after checking with your employer and super fund, you believe that your full super guarantee payments have not been made you should contact the provisional liquidator of the Plutus group of companies to let them know. You can send an email to plutus@deloitte.com.au.

    You should also phone us on 1800 060 062 if after checking with your employer and super fund you believe that your full super guarantee payments have not been made. Providing information about your employer, your salary and wages, and payslips that show super guarantee amounts will help us work out your entitlements.

    We are working with the provisional liquidator of the Plutus group of companies on possible ways to identify and address any outstanding employee entitlements including super guarantee.  

    I have not been paid my correct entitlements, including salary sacrificed amounts. What do I do now?

    You could contact your employer directly. If you are unable to do so, please contact the provisional liquidator by sending an email to plutus@deloitte.com.au.

    If you are paid through a labour hire firm to work for someone else, the labour hire firm is considered to be your employer.

    The payroll service provider has overpaid me/underpaid me/asked to take money out of my pay or account. How do I declare this on my tax return?

    You should only declare income that you receive. This means if you were overpaid or underpaid, you declare the amount you were paid. If money is taken from your account without your knowledge or permission, contact your bank.

    Employers

    We are aware of a number of different arrangements that operate in the payroll services industry to provide services to employers, contractors and recruitment companies. We’ve developed some scenarios that we’re aware of in relation to Plutus payroll and associated companies. Whether your situation falls within a particular scenario will depend on your circumstances. We are currently developing guidance for other scenarios and will continue to update this page accordingly. If you do not fit into any of the scenarios described, you're encouraged to either seek advice from a tax professional or phone us on 1800 060 062.

    The scenarios also provide guidance for others who may be involved in one of these situations. The result may be different from that given in the scenarios if you received a financial benefit from the payroll service provider. For example, a fixed fee or percentage rebate for using that particular provider. The result may also be different if you knew, or reasonably should have known, that the PAYG withholding amount deducted from an employee's salary or wages was not being paid in full to the ATO.

    Who is responsible for PAYG withholding?

    Generally, whoever is responsible for remitting the PAYG withholding also has the liability for any unpaid amounts. This means they also have responsibility for:

    • reporting and paying all PAYG withholding to the ATO
    • issuing payment summaries to employees
    • preparing and lodging a PAYG withholding annual report.

    In general terms, employees who have had PAYG withholding amounts withheld from their salary or wages are entitled to receive a credit for that amount when they lodge their tax return.

    Your super guarantee responsibilities

    Employers are responsible for paying super guarantee entitlements for their eligible employees. Contractors paid mainly for their labour are also employees for super guarantee purposes. Use our tool for help working out if you need to pay super guarantee.

    Find out more: Super for employers

    Super guarantee amounts must be paid to your employees' super fund and must be paid at least quarterly. For example, any super contributions for the quarter ending 31 March 2017 were required to be paid and reported to your employees' super fund on or before 28 April 2017. The next due date is 28 July 2017 for payments made during the quarter commencing 1 April 2017.

    If you were a business using Plutus payroll services to make super guarantee payments to your employees' super fund, you will need to take steps to check if all amounts have reached their fund. This may involve asking your employees to check with their fund.

    If there are any super guarantee amounts paid through Plutus payroll services that have not been received by a super fund, please contact the provisional liquidator of the Plutus group of companies by sending an email to plutus@deloitte.com.au.

    You should then also phone us on 1800 060 062. You will need to provide information relating to each worker and the details of the super guarantee amounts outstanding.

    We are working with the provisional liquidator of the Plutus group of companies on possible ways to identify and address any outstanding employee entitlements, including super guarantee amounts.  

    Employer scenarios

    Scenario 1 – you used Plutus for payroll services

    You engaged Plutus (or an associated company) to provide payroll services for your employees. The service included making salary payments, paying PAYG withholding to the ATO and super guarantee payments to super funds.

    We have assumed that all workers are employees of your business and you engaged a third party for payroll services.

    As an employer you will have no obligation to withhold as you didn’t make payments of salary of wages to your employees. You also don't have any reporting obligations in respect of PAYG at the end of the financial year.

    If you have subsequently taken over the administration of your own payroll, you will have reporting obligations for these payments.

    Employees who have had PAYG withholding amounts withheld from their salary or wages are entitled to receive a credit for that amount when they lodge their tax return. If they are looking for advice on how to lodge their tax return without a payment summary, they can phone us on 1800 060 062.

    Find out more: Lost or missing PAYG withholding payment summary

    Scenario 2 – you used a recruitment agency or labour hire firm that used Plutus for payroll services

    You engaged a recruitment agency or labour hire firm to provide workers. They then engaged Plutus (or an associated company) to manage and provide payroll services. Timesheets are signed and approved by the recruitment agency or labour hire firm.

    We have assumed that the worker is an employee of the recruitment agency or labour hire firm, not your business.

    Your business will have no obligation to withhold as you didn’t make payments of salary of wages to these workers. You do not have any reporting obligations in respect of PAYG at the end of the financial year.

    If you have subsequently taken over the administration of your own payroll, you will have reporting obligations for these payments.

    The employee will be credited for the tax that was withheld. If they are looking for advice on how to lodge their tax return without a payment summary, they can phone us on 1800 060 062.

    Find out more: Lost or missing PAYG withholding payment summary

    The recruitment agency or labour hire firm has no obligation to withhold as it didn't make any payments to the employees. It also has no obligation to provide payment summaries or annual reports to the ATO.

    Scenario 3 – you used a recruitment agency or labour hire firm and the worker engaged Plutus to handle all payroll services on their behalf

    You engaged a recruitment agency or labour hire firm to provide workers. The worker chooses to engage with Plutus (or an associated company) to provide payroll services. The recruitment agency or labour hire firm then pays Plutus for the worker based on time sheets provided by the worker.

    We have assumed that the worker is an employee of the recruitment agency or labour hire firm.

    Your business has no obligation to withhold. You do not have any reporting obligations in respect of PAYG withholding at the end of the financial year.

    The employee will be credited for the tax that was withheld. If they are looking for advice on how to lodge their tax return without a payment summary, they can phone us on 1800 060 062.

    Find out more: Lost or missing PAYG withholding payment summary

    The recruitment agency has no obligation to withhold as it didn't make any payments to the employee. It also has no obligation to provide payment summaries or annual reports to the ATO.

      Last modified: 21 Jun 2017QC 52304