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Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Australian Tax Office has said that about 25 per cent of small businesses were not compliant in September 2016 with their superannuation reporting obligations under the Government’s ‘SuperStream’ reporting rules.
Under the rules all employers regardless of size were required by 30 June 2016 to report and make their superannuation payments in compliance with SuperStream rules.

Under SuperStream requirements superannuation payments and data are sent electronically in a standard format. It must be used by all employers, self-managed superannuation funds and APRA-regulated funds.

The Tax Office told the ATO’s Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group meeting in November it estimated that as of September, 75 per cent (or 500,000) of small businesses had “made changes and are SuperStream compliant. This figure is expected to be higher following the 28 October lodgement date.”

The ATO offers a free Small Business Clearing House for small business to comply with SuperStream. Over 237 000 small businesses are now using this clearing house to make their super payments.

The ATO said that “across all market segments (large to small) the ATO estimate is that over 90% of employee superannuation’s contributions are now made electronically by employers on behalf of 10.5 million employees.

“Over the next reporting periods the ATO will monitor employer compliance and continue to support and educate businesses who are yet to comply to make the change.

“Recent research indicated that overall SuperStream awareness was quite good among small businesses. However, there was a desire for more information on what needed to be done so the ATO published a decision tree to help small business choose from a range of SuperStream solutions that might best suit them.

“Tax practitioners play a critical role in assisting small business clients to meet their SuperStream obligations. The ATO encourages bookkeepers’, tax and BAS agents to assist employers to meet SuperStream requirements in particular if employers have manual paper based systems and/or if they do not have a computer or internet connection.

“In July 2016 the ATO surveyed 1000 businesses that were yet to become SuperStream compliant to understand the factors that contribute to delays in adopting SuperStream solutions.

“Some of the key findings were:
• Businesses in remote areas have varying internet coverage and access services in more populated communities infrequently or are clearly dealing with cheques.
• Some use manual business practices and unlikely to use a payroll product, or if they do, it is likely to be unsophisticated and outdated.
• There is a demographic of business owners who do not trust or have not embraced technology.
• Some have concerns related to privacy and security.
• Some are new to business and not fully aware of their obligations.

“Members discussed electronic payment behaviours, expectations and experiences of their clients and some of the existing blockers and perceptions to adopting SuperStream solutions. Members and the ATO acknowledged the role of the support and collaboration needed from the superannuation industry and the tax profession to support employers in this transition.”


Click below to view source

ATO: Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group - TPSG minutes, November 2016

ATO: SuperStream

First State Super: Key dates for employers

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