The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released its 2023/2024 Corporate Plan in July and as anticipated, have identified 'superannuation guarantee (SG) integrity' as one of eight focus areas.
The ATO's objective is to continue expanding the use of data to improve SG compliance, monitoring whether employees receive correct and timely superannuation entitlements and taking firm action against employers who fail to meet their obligations. Single touch payroll data will be the ATO's main, but not only, data source.
To add complexity, it is possible that the classification of some workers as being entitled to SG or not may have changed as a result of recent court decisions. In particular, how section 12(3) of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 applies to individuals working under contracts for labour has been clarified by the Full Federal Court in Jamsek and JMC, and may yet be subject to further clarification if the ATO's special leave application from JMC is successful.
In light of the above, it is critical that employers review their SG practices and processes as a matter of priority. Immediate focuses should include:
- review of payroll system configurations for alignment with SG obligations
- review of governance processes and policies around how workers are to be classified for SG
- consideration being given to the making of voluntary disclosures where any historic misclassifications are identified.
This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.