The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill, which is currently before the House, states that from 1 July 2018, employers who underpay or fail to pay their employees’ superannuation will not only face financial penalties but also up to 12 months in prison. The Australian Tax Office will be allowed to search for noncompliance and apply for court-ordered penalties, including jail time, rather than waiting for employees’ complaints.
In addition, the amendment introduces a requirement to report salary amounts exchanged for employer superannuation contributions through the “Single Touch Payroll” system that was introduced in 2017. All employers are required to use the government’s new “Single Touch Payroll” technology to report payroll information, which includes payments such as salaries and wages, pay-as-you-go withholding, superannuation and tax reporting. Employers with 20 or more employees are required to implement the new technology by 1 July 2018, whereas employers with 19 employees or fewer must comply by 1 July 2019. More information on the “Single Touch Payroll” reporting technology can be found here.