Superannuation guarantee amnesty

From ATO

Last modified: 27 July 2020

Superannuation guarantee amnesty

A super guarantee amnesty was introduced on 6 March 2020. Employers participating in the amnesty need to apply by 7 September 2020.

If you’re affected by economic changes due to COVID-19, we can help.

Find out about:

COVID-19 effects

We understand you may wish to apply for the super guarantee amnesty (the amnesty) and may be concerned that, as a result of COVID-19, your circumstances may change and you won’t be able to pay the liability.

If you want to participate in the amnesty, the law requires you to apply by 7 September 2020.

However, we will work with you to establish a payment plan that is flexible to help you to continue making payments. These arrangements include:

  • flexible payment terms and amounts which we will adjust if your circumstances change
  • the ability to extend the payment plan to beyond 7 September 2020, the end of the amnesty period. However, only payments made by 7 September 2020 will be deductible.

If, after we work with you, you are unable to maintain payments, the law requires us to disqualify you from the amnesty and remove the amnesty benefits. However:

  • the disqualification will only apply to any unpaid quarters
  • we will advise you which quarters are unpaid – for these quarters we will re-apply the administration component of $20 per employee included in the disqualified quarter
  • we will also take your circumstances into account when deciding whether a Part 7 penalty should be applied to your disclosure – a review of your circumstances may result in the Part 7 penalty being reduced to nil.

We also recognise that for some employers, applying for the amnesty will result in them receiving a refund. In particular:

  • for those employers who are eligible and lodged a super guarantee charge (SGC) statement between 24 May 2018 and 6 March 2020, we are amending your returns as quickly as possible so that any refunds can be paid to you
  • if you have made payments of SGC or contributions to employee super funds in 2017–18 or 2018–19 that are eligible for income tax deductions, you should include this deduction in your tax return for the relevant year. Once we have amended your return we will pay any refund due as soon as possible. Generally this will be within 14 days.

To allow us to issue your refunds in a timely manner make sure that your financial institution account details are updated and correct. You can do this via the Business Portal or by phoning us on 13 10 20.

We acknowledge the difficult times the community has been experiencing recently with COVID-19 and the 2019–20 bushfires. However, the law does not allow us to vary the due date for lodgment of an amnesty application. If you’re a small or medium business and you need further assistance managing your tax and super obligations, contact our Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 or speak with a trusted tax adviser.

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