No retrospectivity on SG loophole closure

A key Parliamentary Committee has accepted Australian Taxation Office (ATO) urgings against making the closing of a loophole which allows unscrupulous employers to count additional employee superannuation contributions against their superannuation guarantee (SG) obligations retrospective.

The committee has decided to wave through making the legislation effective from 1 July, next year, because of the ATO’s argument that payroll providers would need time to update their software.

This was despite the Senate Economics Legislation Committee receiving a number of submissions arguing that the loophole should have been closed much earlier and that retrospectivity was justified.

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Among those was a submission from the Institute of Public Accountants which said there appeared to be no obvious reason why the measure could not be imposed inside the current financial year.

It said that the legislation closing the loophole was effectively ending legalised theft.

However, the ATO argued that while it recognised the loophole was allowing some employers from doing the wrong thing, feedback from payroll providers needed time to update their software.

“So obviously making it retrospective doesn’t give them time at all,” the ATO said.

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