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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.
|Quarter||Period||SG contribution due date||SG statement & charge due date|
|1||1 July – 30 September||28 October||28 November|
|2||1 October – 31 December||28 January||28 February|
|3||1 January – 31 March||28 April||28 May|
|4||1 April – 30 June||28 July||28 August|
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. Personal after-tax super contributions
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 make personal super contributions on their behalf, 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.
Generally, you need to pay an employee’s non-SG contributions within 28 days of the end of the month in which the amount was deducted from your employee’s pay. For example, if a contribution was deducted from their salary and wages in October, you need to make the contribution payment by 28 November.
3. Salary sacrifice contributions
Just like SG contributions, you can claim a tax deduction for employees’ salary sacrifice super contributions, provided they are made under an effective salary sacrifice arrangement to a complying super fund.
Salary sacrifice contributions you make for an employee must be included on their annual payment summary as reportable employer super contributions.
4. 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.
5 handy tips for your super payments
- 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. For more information, read SuperGuide article Managing your employees’ SG contributions? Technologies you need to know.
- 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.
- Unlike SG payments, if you plan to claim a tax deduction for salary sacrifice contributions paid through the SBSCH in a particular financial year, ensure your payment is received by the super fund – not the SBSCH – before 30 June.
Reporting and paying through SuperStream
Although you need to pay super contributions to your employees’ super funds at least quarterly, you also 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 employer 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.