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Further changes looming for superannuation

BUSINESSES have been warned to start preparing for new payment and reporting rules for superannuation.

From July 1 this year employers must pay compulsory superannuation contributions at least every quarter. Currently many employers make these contributions on an annual basis.

In addition, employers will have to send written reports to their employees within 30 days of each contribution.

The report will have to specify the amount of superannuation contributions and may also need to specify the destination of contributions.

The Australian Tax Office has advised that further details of the reporting requirements will be made available later this year when the regulations are finalised.

Sean Neary of tax consulting firm Webb Martin said it appeared that many businesses were not preparing for these changes.

He said employers should update their software and payroll systems to ensure they can meet the new payment and reporting requirements.

Mr Neary said some companies that currently made monthly superannuation contributions had mistakenly assumed they would not have to act. In these cases, the companies would still have to comply with the new reporting requirements.

He added that payslips, which specify the amount of superannuation withheld by the employer, would not satisfy the proposed reporting obligations.

That was because the withholding of superannuation monies by an employer was different from paying the money to the employees. The written advice would have to confirm that the payment had been made.

The rationale for the changes was to protect workers in cases where their employer shuts down.

Past experience had shown that superannuation contributions were not always made prior to the closure of the business.

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