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‘Unprecedented level of visibility’: ATO announces first use of STP data

The ATO has announced its first direct use of Single Touch Payroll information, vowing to act on its “unprecedented level of visibility” of superannuation information, as it sends a warning to errant employers.

ATO deputy commissioner James O’Halloran said the agency is now “heavily focused” on SG obligations, having recently completed an examination of SG contributions for 75 million payment transactions for the first three quarters of 2018–19 for around 400,000 employers.

“From this data, we can already see that between 90 per cent and 92 per cent of contribution transactions by volume were paid on time and that between 85 per cent and 90 per cent of the transactions by dollar value were paid on time,” Mr O’Halloran said.

A new SG campaign is now underway, with Mr O’Halloran noting that 2,500 employers who have been identified as having paid some or all of their SG contributions late during 2018–19 set to be contacted this week.

The ATO’s actions come as the proposed SG amnesty and its associated legislation has been reintroduced into Parliament.

The SG amnesty provides for a one-off amnesty to encourage employers to self-correct historical SG non-compliance dating from 1 July 1992 to the quarter starting on 1 January 2018.

While the ATO will continue to apply the existing law until the bill passes, employers have been warned of the short six-month amnesty time frame to rectify any past underpayments.  Should the bill pass without amendments, the amnesty period will end six months from the date it receives royal assent.

To view the Accountants Daily article in full, click here.

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