Thousands of SMEs at risk of super compliance failure

The ATO is warning that many SMEs risk breaking the law come 1 July, as changes to superannuation reporting take effect.

As the calendar ticks over into the new financial year, it will become mandatory for all employers to implement SuperStream to send all super payments and employee information in a standard format.

According to a statement from the ATO, only 65 per cent of Australian SMEs have come on board so far, meaning that some 700,000 are yet to do so.

“The super industry is ready to help, so initiate contact and open the conversation with a SuperStream expert,” said James O’Halloran, deputy commissioner of the ATO.

“Accountants and bookkeepers can provide this expert SuperStream advice. Support is also available from your super fund, payroll system provider, messaging portal provider or by contacting your super clearing house. You don’t have to work it out alone.

“If you’re worried as you don’t operate electronically, or you only pay super to a few employees, be assured that there is a SuperStream solution to suit every business.”

Mr O’Halloran said the set-up is a one-off task; however, it is a significant benefit to businesses once implemented.

Businesses already using the system have reported reducing the amount of time spent on super processing by approximately 70 per cent.

The reminder came as the ATO also outlined the areas it will target for audit this year.

“We know that the rules around work-related deductions can be confusing but we are here to help people understand them,” assistant commissioner Graham Whyte said.

“Generally speaking, if you claim a deduction you need to remember the three golden rules: one, make sure you spent the money yourself and were not reimbursed; two, make sure it’s related to your job; and three, you need a record to prove it.”

The areas the ATO will be targeting this year include car expenses – including those for transporting bulky tools – internet and mobile phone expenses, travel and self-education.

The ATO will pay particular attention to individuals with higher-than-expected deductions compared with others earning similar amounts in a similar industry.

 

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