The Australian Government previously announced a one-off superannuation guarantee amnesty for employers who have not met their superannuation obligations or whose payments have been late, however delays and the election which intervened saw the legislation lapse.

Similar legislation was recently introduced and, assuming passage through Parliament, will provide:

*        Superannuation guarantee amnesty for the period from 24 May 2018 and ending 6 months after Royal Assent.

*        Minimum penalty for employers who do not voluntarily disclose historical non compliance.

Employers qualify for the amnesty by reporting superannuation guarantee shortfalls for quarters from 1 July 1992 up to the March 2018 quarter and the catch up payments will be tax deductible.

This is a real opportunity for delinquent employers to wipe the slate clean, catch up and receive a tax deduction not normally available for missed payments (provided the payments are made in the superannuation guarantee amnesty period).

As announced on 18 September 2019 in this Media release from Senator The Honourable Jane Hume (Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology), employers who do not take advantage of the one-off superannuation guarantee amnesty will face significantly higher penalties when they are subsequently caught – typically employers will face a minimum 100 per cent penalty on top of the SG Charge they owe.  The SG Charge includes the full amount of SG owed to employees, interest on the SG owed of 10 per cent, and an administration fee.  In addition, throughout the amnesty period the ATO will still continue its usual enforcement activity against employers for historical obligations they do not own up to voluntarily.