The proposed superannuation guarantee (‘SG’) amnesty is a one-off, 12-month opportunity to self-correct past non-compliance (i.e., from 24 May 2018 to 23 May 2019).
It will apply to previously undeclared SG shortfalls for any period from 1 July 1992 up to 31 March 2018.
The ‘carrot’ currently on the table is that employers who voluntarily disclose previously undeclared SG shortfalls during the amnesty (i.e., importantly, before the commencement of an ATO audit) will:
not be liable for the administration component and penalties that may otherwise apply to late SG payments, and
be able to claim a deduction for catch-up payments made during the relevant 12-month period.
This means that employers will still be required to pay all employee entitlements, including any unpaid SG amounts owed to employees and the nominal interest, as well as any associated general interest charge.
Employers who are not up-to-date with their SG payment obligations and who do not come forward during the proposed SG amnesty have been put on notice by the ATO that they may face higher penalties in the future.
While the SG amnesty is being actively promoted by the ATO, it is important to be aware that the proposed concessions currently on the table are not guaranteed until the relevant legislation becomes law.