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  • SuperStream compliance date extended for medium to large employers

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reminding all large and medium-sized employers that the 30 June due date for SuperStream compliance is now only weeks away.

    Philip Hind, ATO’s National Program Manager, Data Standards & E-Commerce (SuperStream) said the ATO will extend its compliance flexibility to employers who are not yet SuperStream-ready by four months until 31 October 2015.

    Employers with 20 or more employees should already be implementing SuperStream, but we understand some businesses are unlikely to make the upcoming compliance date and will need more time.

    “Employers should be making sure they are putting plans in place now and come up-to-speed as soon as possible. We want to ensure businesses do not rush into this at the last minute, but take the time to get ready and ensure they get their implementation right,” Mr Hind said.

    Mr Hind said the ATO would not be taking compliance action against employers who miss the 30 June deadline but will be working closely with employers over the next few months to continue providing education and support.

    “The ATO’s first priority is to help employers understand and comply with their SuperStream obligations.

    “Those employers making genuine attempts to get ready will be offered some flexibility to become fully SuperStream compliant in the coming months. Where necessary, we will work with employers having difficulties to help them transition-in to the new requirements,” Mr Hind said.

    Mr Hind said many tens of thousands of employers have already implemented SuperStream and are experiencing the benefits, including significantly reducing the processing time it takes to make their contributions.

    “Many employers have already committed to become SuperStream ready with the number of SuperStream contributions made each month already surpassing the one million mark. This will continue to grow as more employers come on board.”

    There are a variety of options available for employers to adopt SuperStream. This may include upgrading their current payroll software, using a clearing house service or their default super fund’s portal.

    Employers can also check the SuperStream Certified Product RegisterExternal Link which identifies the readiness of payroll software and other service providers to meet SuperStream requirements. This is updated regularly by the ATO.

    Once using SuperStream, employers send super contributions electronically in a standard format, with linked data and payments. It provides a simpler, consistent method of preparing contributions, and in many cases, a single channel for interacting with multiple funds.

    Mr Hind says employers can expect reduced processing costs in the long term, spending less time paying contributions and more time running their business.

    “Once fully implemented, SuperStream will provide employers with a consistent process for making super contributions. In many cases, this will enable them to submit a single contribution for their employees rather than have multiple interactions in different formats previously required by each fund.”

    SuperStream for small employers with 19 or fewer employers starts from 1 July 2015. The ATO is part-way through a series of regional events around the country to explain the changes and what it means for local employers.

    The ATO has provided a step-by-step checklist to help employers prepare, at ato.gov.au/SuperStreamChecklist.

    What employers are saying about SuperStream

    We have over 200 employees and pay to over 70 funds. After hearing about SuperStream we were keen to implement the changes as quickly as possible. The standardisation of the payments process has reduced the amount of time spent by about 75%. It has made a big difference to our business and we feel that we are managing our employees' super more efficiently – Payroll officer, Melbourne

    We were pleasantly surprised that SuperStream wasn't just another government change that caused us extra work for no benefit. We spoke to our accountant who recommended we upgrade our payroll software. We did this and our payroll officer finds that paying and reporting superannuation is quicker and easier for our 28 employees. What took her two hours per month now takes around 30 minutes – Business owner, Albury

    Last modified: 21 Aug 2015QC 45479