Senate committee critical of ATO on unpaid SG

3 May 2017

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been sent a clear message to pick up its act on dealing with the non-payment of the superannuation guarantee (SG).

The final report of the Senate Economics Committee inquiry into SG non-payment has not only pointed to shortcomings in the ATO’s approach but has recommended that, in future, SG contributions be paid and reported monthly to align with payroll cycles.

The Senate committee report, Superbad – Wage theft and non-compliance of unpaid Superannuation Guarantee, followed an inquiry prompted by allegations leveled by Industry Super Australia (ISA) which yesterday warmly welcomed the report findings.

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In doing so, the ISA pointed out that amongst the key recommendations was the public provision of accurate, reliable data on the extent of unpaid super – “something the ATO was unable to produce during the inquiry”.

“Instead the committee was forced to rely on an ISA analysis of an ATO sample file that revealed 2.76 million Australian workers were underpaid their super by an average of $2,025 each, in 2013-14,” ISA public affairs director, Matt Linden said. 

“Over the course of the inquiry we’ve heard from decent, hardworking people who weren’t paid their superannuation, and were then fired for having the temerity to ask why,” Linden said. “The Senate committee and an interagency working group convened by the Minister have spent almost six months on this – Australians now expect to see action in next week’s budget.”

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