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If you’re making super contributions for your employees, it’s essential to report and pay your contributions to their super funds by the quarterly deadline.
Otherwise, you could be up for some costly penalties and interest charges.
Making your employees’ super contributions is not something that can be put in the ‘too hard’ basket, so here’s a simple guide to the dates you need to mark on your calendar.
Deadlines and conditions for super payments
When it comes to making super contribution payments on behalf of your employees, it’s important to make them by the deadlines and to meet the various payment conditions:
1. Superannuation Guarantee (SG) payments
Under super law, you must make SG contribution payments for your employees at least four times a year.
Your SG payments must be made in full by the quarterly due dates, which are 28 days after the end of each financial quarter.
|SG contribution due date
|SG statement and charge due date
|1 July – 30 September
|1 October – 31 December
|1 January – 31 March
|1 April – 30 June
If you don’t meet the SG contribution payment deadline, you are required to lodge an SG Statement by the due date in the following month. You are also required to pay the ATO’s SG Charge (SGC), which consists of the shortfall amounts, interest and an administration fee.
2. Employee super contributions (after-tax or salary sacrifice)
The deadline for other employee super contributions can be different to those applying to SG contributions.
If you make an agreement with an employee to deduct additional super contributions from their pay, these contributions must be paid promptly in accordance with the employee’s terms of employment and any legal requirements, such as the conditions of an industrial award. The agreement your employee signed with you to enter into the arrangement may also specify a payment deadline or the frequency with which contributions should be forwarded to the superannuation fund.
If there is no other deadline specified, you can forward employee’s personal after-tax and salary sacrifice contributions to their super fund at the same time you pay your SG contribution.
3. Super fund and award requirements
It is important to check all your contractual or award obligations when it comes to paying an employee’s super contributions.
If you sign up to become a participating employer with a super fund, some contracts require employees’ SG contributions to be paid more regularly than the quarterly due dates. Some funds require you to make contribution payments on a monthly basis.
When you have employees who are covered by an industrial award, it is also essential to check when the award requires super contributions to be paid. Some awards require SG contributions to be paid more often than the normal quarterly basis.
3 handy tips for your super payments
- When an SG due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, you can make your contribution payment on the next business day. For example, if the deadline is a Saturday, you can make your payment on the following Monday.
- You can make SG payments more regularly if you wish, provided your SG obligation for the quarter is paid in full by the quarterly due date.
- You must calculate SG contributions for your eligible employees from the day they start employment with you.
Small business superannuation clearing house (SBSCH)
If you use the free Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH), your SG payments are considered to be received by the super fund the same day the payment is received by the SBSCH, although for the avoidance of doubt the clearing house recommend you contribute prior to the deadlines.
ATO guidance also indicates you can claim a tax deduction for employer contributions (including salary sacrifice amounts) in the income year the money is received by the SBSCH, even if contributions do not arrive in the super fund until the following financial year. See the guidance note here.
Reporting and paying through SuperStream
As well as paying super contributions to your employees’ super funds at least quarterly, you need to electronically report your contributions at the same time in the standard SuperStream format.
All your contribution reporting must be SuperStream compliant and provide the necessary contribution data for your employees. The minimum contribution data you are required to supply includes the employee’s full name, date of birth, residential address, TFN, phone contact and the payment reference number.
You must also provide details of your business, ABN, contact details and financial institution account. SuperStream reports also require information about the relevant contribution pay period and type of contribution made (SG, salary sacrifice, voluntary or award contribution).
If you provide incomplete contribution data, the super fund is required to contact you within five days to obtain the extra information. You have ten business days to provide the missing information.
Difficulty meeting your super obligation
If you find it difficult to pay SG contributions by the quarterly deadline, the ATO recommends making a voluntary disclosure, rather than ignoring the problem.
The ATO has discretion to consider partial or full remission of Part 7 penalties if an employer makes a voluntary disclosure. Whether you receive remission of the potential penalties or are given access to a payment plan is based on your individual circumstances, compliance history and how much you have attempted to comply.
Lost your records? What to do about your super contributions
Australia regularly experiences natural disasters, which can make it difficult for some employers to calculate and pay their SG contributions on time.
If your employment or SG records are lost or damaged in a disaster, you can estimate your SG contributions using old records from your employees, bank, super fund or past PAYG payments.
The ATO works with employers affected by disasters, so it’s important to contact them as soon as possible if you find yourself in this situation.