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  • ATO approach to dealing with super guarantee non-compliance

    The ATO recognises the importance of the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) to the community and its vital role in providing for people’s retirement. Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said that while the vast majority of the $85.7 billion paid in superannuation each year is paid voluntarily by employers, there are reports of non-compliance from employees.

    “In 2015-16 we undertook around 21,000 cases that addressed SG non-compliance, raising $670 million in SG, including penalties, from a range of reviews and audits” Mr O’Halloran said.

    “Since 2010-11 we have transferred almost $2 billion in SG entitlements to employee’s super funds as a result of ATO action.”

    Mr O’Halloran said the ATO receives roughly 20,000 reports each year from people who believe their employer has not paid SG.

    “We have over 150 staff focused specifically on SG compliance. We examine every report of non-compliance and follow-up with the employer and if necessary undertake audits and apply penalties,” Mr O’Halloran said.

    “We also have an additional 300 staff who review SG compliance in conjunction with Pay As You Go Withholding Tax audits targeted across a range of industries, regional areas and individual circumstances to address non-compliant behaviour.”

    In addition to investigating all reports of non-compliance made to us, the ATO undertakes a range of compliance activities to detect and deal with non-compliance

    “This includes analysing our data to detect patterns in non-payment, identifying high-risk industries, and taking firm action with employers who do not cooperate with requests to ensure employee entitlements are paid on time,” Mr O’Halloran said.

    “Third-party referrals from intermediaries such as super funds, employee associations, other government agencies and tax professionals are additional sources of information for compliance action.”

    If an employee believes their employer is not paying SG they should report their employer through our online tool or by calling 13 10 20. Our website also has calculators and guidance to help employees determine whether they are being paid enough SG. When the ATO recovers outstanding super amounts from employers, payments are then sent to the employee’s super fund.

    The ATO’s submissionExternal Link to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics on Superannuation Guarantee Non-Payment has more detail about how the ATO deals with SG non-compliance.

    Last modified: 03 May 2017QC 51924