Important information about the Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty

Amnesty Details
  • Employers can contribute, to an employee’s superfund, amounts of underpaid super relating to the period from 01 July 1992 to 31st March 2018 without incurring certain penalties.
  • This can occur up to 07 September 2020.
  • Note: Ministers are currently treated as non-common law employees and as such are not subject to Superannuation Guarantee (SG) obligations.  This results in the amnesty not being applicable to Ordained Ministers.
Key Dates
  • Quarters that qualify for the amnesty - 01 July 1992 to 31 March 2018
  • Quarters that do not qualify for the amnesty - Quarters commencing from 01 April 2018
  • Amnesty period - 24 May 2018 to 06 September 2020
  • Application closing date - 06 September 2020

Note: As the end date falls on a weekend, employers will have until 11:59PM on 07 September 2020 to disclose, lodge and pay under the amnesty.

Benefits for Employers
  • You will not be required to pay the administration component ($20 per employee per quarter) of the superannuation guarantee charge
  • A full reduction of any penalties and fees that may otherwise apply in relation to historic SG non-compliance (up to 200% of the SG Charge).
  • The amount paid will be deductible for the employer 
  • The ability to make payments directly into employees’ superannuation funds, rather than channelling these through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
Employer Eligibility

To be eligible for the amnesty employers must satisfy all the following criteria:

  • Have not been informed by ATO that they are currently examining or intend to examine your SG obligation for the quarter(s) your disclosure relates to
  • Disclose a superannuation guarantee shortfall for an employee that you have not already disclosed to the ATO or disclose additional amounts of Superannuation guarantee shortfall for a quarter previously disclosed
  • Disclose for quarter(s) starting from 01 July 1992 to 31 March 2018
  • Lodge the completed superannuation guarantee amnesty form with the ATO so they receive it no later than 07 September 2020.
Application Process

Do not use the superannuation guarantee charge calculator in the Business Portal if you want to apply for the amnesty.

Employers can use the Mail function in the Business Portal or Online services for agents:

  • select “New message”
  • type Topic: “Superannuation”
  • type Subject: “Lodge SG amnesty”

Attach the completed SG amnesty form for each quarter to the secure mail message. 

If employers have trouble lodging the form, contact the ATO on 13 10 20. Make sure you have your ABN and contact details handy.

Application Assessment

If you are eligible for the amnesty:

  • Employers will be informed in writing within 14 business days of the ATO receiving the application
  • Employers will need to pay or set up a payment plan to pay the total amount of superannuation guarantee charge owed.
COVID-19 Impact

The ATO understand that employers may wish to apply for the superannuation guarantee amnesty and may be concerned that, as a result of COVID-19, circumstances have changed and the liabilities may not be able to be paid.

Employers who want to participate in the amnesty, are still required by law to apply by 07 September 2020. However, the ATO will work with employers to establish a payment plan that is flexible to help them to continue making payments.

A Cautionary Note

Employers who choose not to voluntarily disclose any shortfalls within the 12-month amnesty period and are subsequently found not to have met historical SG obligations will not be granted these concessions in the future.

Once the amnesty is completed, if the ATO discovers SG underpayments, then, on top of repaying the SG, plus interest, the non-deductibility and the administration charge, the ATO will impose penalties which could range from 50% to 200% of the outstanding SG.

Links for further information
Contact information

If you have any further clarification questions, please contact either:

  • Vicki Roper, Synod Employment and Industrial Relations Manager, on or alternatively, please call 0417 286 752.
  • Marian Curtin, Synod Payroll Manager, on or alternatively, please call 0418 119 256.