SuperStream deadline for Small Business

SuperStream is an electronic transfer method by which businesses pay compulsory employee superannuation contributions to superannuation funds. According to the ATO, SuperStream “… is a government reform aimed at improving the efficiency of the superannuation system.” Use of SuperStream is mandatory for all employers. The deadline for small businesses to comply with SuperStream was 30 June 2016, but the Australian Taxation Office have extended the deadline for small businesses. Businesses with less than 20 employees now have until 28 October 2016 to comply.

There are no exemptions for compliance. However, you do not need to use SuperStream for:

  • contributions to your own self-managed super fund (SMSF) – e.g. you are employed by a family business and your super fund contributions go to your SMSF; or
  • personal contributions – e.g. you are a sole trader and make your own contributions to your super fund.

How can you comply with SuperStream?

There are a few different options for compliance. These include:

  • a payroll system that meets standards;
  • a super fund’s online system; or
  • a messaging portal or super clearing house.

The ATO can provide a free clearing house service to small businesses with less than 20 employees, or an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million per year. It is also important to note that the ATO have confirmed that payments using EFT or BPAY are not SuperStream compliant.

SuperStream does not only impact on payment methods, but also sets data and payment standards. This may require you to collect additional information from existing employees. SuperStream requires that an employer making a superannuation contribution for an employee to:

  • provide the fund with details about the employee;
  • assign a reference number to the contribution; and
  • include the reference number with the contribution.

If an employer does not comply with SuperStream requirements, they could be liable for a penalty. Click here to see the ATO’s checklist for compliance.

Unsure of how your business can become SuperStream compliant? Our expert commercial accountants and lawyers can guide you. Please don’t hesitate to contact our Newcastle and Sydney lawyers on (02) 4929 7002 or fill out an enquiry form on our website.