Earlier this year, the government announced a 12-month amnesty period for historical underpayment of the superannuation guarantee, in anticipation of the full implementation of STP.
The amnesty will be available from 24 May 2018 to 23 May 2019, but legislation has yet to be passed.
Speaking to The Bookkeeper, Laurus Bookkeeping director Cassandra Scott said clients have been actively inquiring about the amnesty under the assumption that it is now law.
“The SG amnesty still hasn't been passed, and yet we've got clients talking to us about different elements of it,” said Ms Scott.
“The ATO has been promulgating that quite heavily on their website, so we're caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to advising our clients whether or not they should be trying to take advantage of the amnesty when the legislation has not even been passed.
“They are ready to take advantage of it, some are wanting to know more about it and what are the advantages of working with the amnesty and the main one is the tax deductibility of the payments, but as it stands, until legislation passes, anything that we offer to them in that space is purely speculative, because there is still no guarantee that the legislation is going to be passed.”
Ever since the announcement of the proposed amnesty, businesses have been encouraged to take advantage of the benefits, including the tax-deductible status of all catch-up payments; the waiver of the administration component of the SGC; and the exclusion of the Part 7 penalty.
The Institute of Public Accountants chief executive Andrew Conway earlier said the proposed amnesty was an opportunity for businesses and clients alike to “wipe the slate clean”.