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ATO sends STP warning to non-compliant employers

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has revealed how it is going to use Single Touch Payroll (STP) data, acting as a warning to non-compliant employers.

ATO Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran indicated that the office is “heavily focused” on SG obligations, after analysing SG contributions for 75 million payment transactions for the first three quarters of 2018–19 for around 400,000 employers.

“From this data, we can already see that between 90 per cent and 92 per cent of contribution transactions by volume were paid on time and that between 85 per cent and 90 per cent of the transactions by dollar value were paid on time,” Mr O’Halloran said in a speech to the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) 2019 Chairs Forum.

“We’re now starting to actively use the data to warn employers who appear not to be paying the required SG on time, in full or at all, that they should change their behaviour.”

The ATO has attributed the increase in data visibility to the introduction of Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting and improvements in super funds’ reporting through the Member Account Transaction Service (MATS).

A new SG campaign is now underway, with Mr O’Halloran noting that 2,500 employers who have been identified as having paid some or all of their SG contributions late during 2018–19 set to be contacted this week.

A further 4,000 employers will begin receiving due-date reminders from the ATO.

“It should be noted this is the first direct use of the Single Touch Payroll reporting arrangements, based on what your funds report to us relating to SG payments,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“It’s a tangible action which demonstrates our increasing ability to effectively follow up in relative real time apparent late or non-payment of SG.”

The ATO’s actions come as the proposed SG amnesty and its associated legislation has been reintroduced into Parliament. Read more about the amnesty here.

To discuss your Single Touch Payroll obligations call (03) 5331 3711 or (03) 8391 3063.

DISCLAIMER: The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only.  It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone.  If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.

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