Every time the ATO brings in a new measure of compliance I can’t help but get frustrated. It means that there is one more piece of red tape that must be hacked away, one more thing that small business owners and managers must learn to do and be kept away from working in their business while doing so.
Employers have no choice but to adopt this new standard, regardless of whether they are a company or a trust, a partnership or sole-trader. Those with 20 employees or more were required to be compliant at 31 October 2015. Those with 19 or fewer employees must be compliant by 30 June 2016.
There is value in this new compliance measure. Employees are entitled to superannuation as much as they are entitled to their wage or salary, and that entitlement ought to be protected. Too often we hear of a situation where an employee hasn’t received their superannuation or have received it late. Some employers seem to think that Superannuation Guarantee payments to their employees are a bonus, or that those funds can be used as working capital for a little longer because it doesn’t go directly to the employee.
SuperStream has been brought in because of that type of employer and because the ATO takes payment of Superannuation Guarantee seriously. Did you know that Directors of companies can be held personally liable for unpaid superannuation guarantee obligations?
If that has you worried, you needn’t be (unless you’re already not complying with your obligations). It’s not too difficult, and you might even find it easier than how you have been managing your superannuation payments. MYOB and Xero online accounting software, among others, have SuperStream capabilities.
There is even a solution for you if you don’t use a subscribed accounting package: you can register with the ATO’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH).
My own family’s bookkeeping for their business is done on a spreadsheet, so the SBSCH was the option that suited them. Registering was simpler than I expected from the ATO. Then, all that was required was to add the details of their employees and their respective nominated superannuation funds. To process a payment of superannuation all that is needed is to provide the amounts applicable to each employee for the period. You are then given details necessary to make a single payment to the SBSCH (direct debit, B-Pay, etc.), which will distribute the superannuation amongst your employees’ Superannuation Funds for you.
Employers will now only need to make one single payment. That is all that employers will now be responsible for, rather than having to pay each employee separately into their superannuation fund.
Are you ready for SuperStream? If you need help to become SuperStream compliant contact us at Optima Partners and we will happily help you.
Daniel Causerano CPA – Snr Accountant