Tax & Super Australia (TSA) has called for the recently legislated Super Guarantee (SG) amnesty to be extended for at least a further six months to give employers whose businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic time to re-group.
“Time is already ticking down for employers, with the six-month amnesty period having started on 6 March and due to end on 7 September 2020,” said TSA senior tax counsel John Jeffreys.
“We’re concerned that many employers, including those in the hospitality industry, who have outstanding SG obligations may be too overwhelmed, or simply unable, to manage the amnesty process in the coming months.”
TSA says the reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, someone from the business has to calculate and determine the shortfalls for what could be a number of years — as far back as 1992. Many businesses would have to work with an accountant and BAS agent for this and pay relevant fees for this service.
Secondly, the employer has to find the money to make the payment to the ATO. Yet with non-essential services being shutdown at various points across Australia, and more social and business restrictions likely, businesses cash flow is tighter than ever.
“There’s potentially a number of employers and businesses who might have taken advantage of the amnesty that will now forget it because they are severely short of cash or closing down in this unprecedented situation,” Mr Jeffreys said. “This is despite relief from Federal and State governments.”
As well as extending the amnesty period, TSA believes this is a good chance for the Australian Labor party to put more of its support behind the amnesty.
“Extraordinary events like COVID-19 emphasise more than ever the need for Australians to have financial security. Superannuation is an important part of building this security and every bit helps. We want to make sure the SG amnesty can fulfil its purpose as much as possible.”
For further comment, please contact TSA senior
tax counsel John Jeffreys:
Mobile: 0416 250 461
Tax & Super Australia (TSA) is a not-for-profit organisation that educates and empowers more than 4,000 tax and superannuation practitioners and a broader community of 15,000 across Australia. TSA advocate for and supports professionals through targeted education and resources that meet the challenges of Australia’s modern tax regime.