The message from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is loud and clear. Businesses with 19 or fewer employees (full time/part-time or casual) have until 28 October 2016 to be compliant with making employee contributions via a SuperStream compliant payment channel. If they’re not, they run the risk of being non-compliant and penalties could apply.
The ATO’s Assistant Commissioner, Nicole Dykstra, warned small businesses who are currently paying super but haven’t adopted SuperStream that they can’t ignore the 30 June 2016 compliance deadline any longer.
“The ATO provided a four-month period of compliance flexibility for small businesses that were unable to meet the original deadline, however we will not be granting any further extensions for businesses who have not implemented SuperStream.”
What is SuperStream?
SuperStream is a standard way of electronically processing superannuation information and payments in real time. Under SuperStream, businesses can make all their superannuation contributions in a single transaction which means contributions can be processed faster.
How to set up SuperStream
Setting up SuperStream is a one-time, two-step process and is something your accountant, adviser or bookkeeper can help with.
If the only contributions you make are personal contributions for yourself, or contributions to a related self-managed super fund (SMSF), you don't need to use SuperStream because these are exempt contributions.
- A SuperStream compliant payroll provider
- A super clearing house (such as Essential Super in NetBank or the ATO’s own free service)
- A message only service portal
Step 2: If you haven’t set up a default account for any employees on NetBank, you’ll need the following:
- Employee tax file number (TFN)
Choice Fund only
- Fund ABN
- Fund unique superannuation identifier (USI)
If your employees have a self-managed super fund (SMSF), they will need to give you slightly different information:
- Employee TFN
- Fund ABN
- Fund bank account details
- Fund electronic service address.
Then you simply enter this new information into the system, along with the other details you use to pay super, and you're ready to be compliant with SuperStream.
Are you still paying by direct credit, cheque or BPAY®?
Since 30 June 2016, BPay, EFT (Direct credit) and cheque are not compliant payment methods for any employers making superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions. All businesses must pay their employees’ superannuation guarantee via SuperStream compliant channels.
NetBank is a compliant clearing channel. However, employee super payments must be through the Essential Super employer arrangement, and not through Transfers & BPay in NetBank as this is not compliant.