Super changes and planning for employers

There are a number of upcoming changes to superannuation that you should be aware of as an employer, some of which commence from 1 July 2013.  A summary of the changes is set out below together with links to more detailed information and actions required.

  • The level of compulsory superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions required to be made by employers will increase to 9.25% on 1 July 2013.
  • The upper age limit for making SG contributions for employees aged 70 years or over has been removed from 1 July 2013.
  • Employers will be required from 1 January 2014 to ensure that their default super fund for employees that have not selected a preferred fund offers a MySuper product.
  • A new data and e-commerce standard is being introduced from 1 July 2014 to make it possible for employers to send contributions to all funds in one standard electronic format.
  • If you are a small business with 19 or fewer employees, the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is available to help you pay your employer super contributions.  For more information on the small business superannuation clearing house and to register to use it click here.
  • With many changes to super proposed over the next few years we have prepared a checklist of the upcoming changes.

Review of employer payroll obligations

With the above changes to superannuation, recent ATO and State Revenue Office activity and year end fast approaching, there are a number of areas that employers should review and consider from both a risk management and tax efficiency perspective.

Payroll tax In recent months we have seen a significant increase in payroll tax audits and reviews.  These reviews typically focus on grouping with related companies, use of consultants and contractors.  State Revenue is also data matching information from other state revenue offices and the ATO.  If you have any concerns regarding payroll tax, the year-end reconciliation is the most efficient time to review your overall approach and risks.
Salary packaging  For many companies salary packages have been in place for a number of years.  In recent years there has been many changes to FBT (including car fringe benefits) and superannuation contribution limits.  These changes may have impacted the effectiveness of your salary packaging arrangements.  With the new employment year about to commence now is the time to review the arrangements to ensure they are up to date for 1 July.
SG reviews The ATO regularly reviews and audits companies to ensure that they are meeting their SG obligations.  It is worth reviewing the SG contributions to ensure that they are being made on the correct contributions base and that the relevant caps and limits are being correctly applied.

Should you require any assistance with a review or have any specific questions regarding employee taxes please contact your local William Buck Director.

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