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ATO trials new compliance tool for SG payments


The tax office has doubled its number of SG non-compliance cases and has been testing a new analytic model for identifying employers with an increased likelihood of non-compliance.

By Miranda Brownlee 9 minute read

ATO deputy commissioner, superannuation, James O’Halloran said from July 2017 to mid-March 2018, the ATO has completed 8,100 ATO-initiated cases. This represents a 105 per cent increase from the 3,238 cases that were completed in the same period last year.

“We have raised a total of $110 million from ATO-initiated cases compared with $73 million for the same period last year. This is a 50 per cent increase,” said Mr O’Halloran in a public address last week.

“Overall we have completed some 19,547 compliance cases for the period 1 July 2017-31 January 2018 compared with 9,837 cases for the same period last year. This is an increase of 98.7 per cent.”

Mr O’Halloran said the ATO has also contacted 12,000 employers between July and January as a result of reviews or audits, compared with about 16,000 employers for all of 2016-17.

“From July 2017 to January 2018, we have raised approximately $509 million from all our SG casework compared with $481 million for the same period last year. Indeed, for all of 2016-17 we raised $604 million,” he said.

The ATO has now also developed and tested a new case selection analytic model, he said, which is based on a ‘comparative nearest neighbour’ concept.

“This model compares like characteristics for employers and identifies those with an increased likelihood of non-compliance,” he said.

“These are then selected for ATO-initiated cases which will assist in enabling a more targeted, timely and proactive approach to SG compliance. Results from these sample case are currently being reviewed. The early indications are positive in that they are identifying high levels of outstanding SG.”

Mr O’Halloran said the ATO’s future work will build on any additional data that becomes available, including when single touch payroll and increased fund reporting is operational during 2018-19 and beyond.

“In the coming financial year, a proposed Superannuation Guarantee Taskforce will extend the ATO’s current compliance activities. It will provide greater scrutiny of employers based on more sophisticated data and analytics and will operate for three years from 1 July 2018.”

Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee


Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.

Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.

You can email Miranda

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