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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), 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 by both:

    • attaching the spreadsheet to a new portal message
    • selecting ‘Superannuation’ and ‘Lodge SGC Statement’ as the topic and subject.

    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 in the quarter when 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. He must make a contribution to Joanna's super fund by 28 April for the quarter ending 31 March.

    However, Charles made the payment to the fund on 1 July. This is after the quarterly due date of 28 April, but, before the date the original superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) assessment was made.

    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, 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. For the quarter ending 30 September, Hannah should make a contribution to Henry’s super fund by 28 October.

    However, Hannah makes the payment on 5 November. This is after the quarterly due date of 28 October, and before the date the original superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) assessment was made.

    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

    Paper lodgment

    Where you are unable to access any of our preferred electronic lodgment options you can download an offset election form which you will then need to print and post to us:

    • Superannuation guarantee late payment offset election (NAT 14899)
    Last modified: 09 Dec 2019QC 33759