Employers face the prospect of a new red tape rollout, with the government unveiling tougher penalties for SG non-compliance and reinforcing its commitment to a new director ID.
Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said the draft legislation aims to protect workers’ superannuation entitlements, while modernising the way the Super Guarantee (SG) is enforced.
“It is not acceptable for people not to be paid their superannuation entitlements,” she said.
Under the proposal, Single Touch Payroll (STP) will be extended to all employers from 1 July 2019. STP is a system that allows employers to report payments like salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) tax and super directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) from their payroll system as they pay their employees.
Ms O’Dwyer said the ability for all employers to use STP will boost reporting of super payments and obligations, while allowing the ATO to access real time compliance information.
From 1 July this year, super funds will also begin event-based reporting to the ATO.
“Combined, these measures provide the ATO with more timely information to support earlier detection and proactive prevention of non-payment of superannuation that is rightfully owed to employees,” Ms O’Dwyer said.
However, in a move likely to anger the business community, Ms O’Dwyer reinforced the government’s commitment to the unpopular Director Identification Number (DIN).
“The government’s commitment to a Director Identification Number will help identify those directors who are robbing their employees of their superannuation,” she said.
My Business readers were aghast at the idea of yet more red tape in the form of a new ID, after the idea was first floated in September last year in a bid to crackdown more on phoenix activity than super payments.
“How is it that a non-government entity such as Today Tonight can successfully track down these phoenix operators yet ASIC with access to substantial information from existing government databases has had such difficulty in the past?,” noted one reader at the time.
“ASIC already have access to MyGov, ABN, ACN, Company and personnel TFN , AUSTRAC database, GPRS database of valid addresses, the Federal Govt Document Verification Service for confirming the validity of all Drivers licences, birth certificates, passports, citizenship documents etc. There already exists the following organisations Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Australian Financial Security Authority, Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority, ASIC, AUSTRAC, and the Financial Reporting Council. How much more bureaucracy, overheads and red tape does small business need?”
“ASIC already require full name, date and place of birth for all company directors, and you are required to put in director TFNs when the company applies for a TFN … Why another number to keep track of?” retorted another.
A third reader suggested that if the government is so committed to tracking financial mismanagement, that it look closer to home.
“How about ‘We the people’ demand that serving politicians be assigned a Politicians Identification Number (PIN) so we can black ban any member who is found to have squandered, wasted or lost OUR money,” said the reader.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.