The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has commended the Government for reintroducing a bill for an on-off amnesty of historical superannuation guarantee (SG) underpayments, but says it needs bipartisan support.
Andrew Conway, IPA chief executive, said amnesty needed to be supported as it gave employers an opportunity to make good on post underpayments.
“With increased transparency around when employers make SG contributions on behalf of employees thanks to Single Touch Payroll (STP), it is an opportune time for employers to make good any outstanding SG liability without the full draconian penalty regime applying, which acts as a disincentive in coming forward,” Conway said.
The Federal Opposition previously didn’t support the amnesty on the basis employers shouldn’t be rewarded for non-compliance.
However, Conway said that despite wage theft should not be condoned, allowing amnesty would incentive employers to come forward and pay unpaid superannuation in full.
“We acknowledge that small businesses can sometimes experience cash flow issues, making them vulnerable when it comes to meeting their SG obligations by the required due date. This amnesty gives them time to atone,” Conway said.
“Employers that do not take advantage of the one-off amnesty will face significantly higher penalties if they are subsequently caught.”
“In addition, throughout the amnesty period the ATO will continue its usual enforcement activity against employers.”