Earlier this week, the ATO released some research which indicates the net superannuation gap — which is the difference between the value of superannuation guarantee (SG) required to be paid by law minus what is actually paid — is about $2.85 billion.
The net gap has increased from 3.8 per cent in 2009/10 to 5.2 per cent in 2014/15 of the total amount that was owed to employees.
Also, about 20,000 reports of unpaid superannuation are made to the ATO each year, with key non-compliance drivers including poor cash flow management by employers, poor record keeping, and insolvency.
According to the ATO, this is sufficient evidence to support a large-scale surveillance project on Australian employers.
For example, the ATO will be increasing its “proactive” SG casework by about one-third this financial year. This will involve reviews and audits, and employers who are found to have breached their obligations will be subject to penalties.
Penalties can apply of up to 200 per cent per employee where an SG payment is not met. There is an interest component to this also.