Super guarantee payment risk

EMPLOYERS run the risk of incurring severe penalties relating to their superannuation guarantee payments for the January 2004 quarter because of confusion about when it is due.

The requirements under the SG normally coincide with the deadline for the lodgement of the Business Activity Statement.

Small businesses have received an extension of time from the Australian Taxation Office for the lodgement of their BAS in January for one month in consideration of the holiday period.

However, there is a trap.

Some employers may assume that the extension applied to the lodgement of the BAS will also apply to the SG lodgement and reporting but this is not so.

The legislation does not allow for any extensions to be made to the requirement to pay SG obligations on January 28 and therefore the ATO cannot provide a similar extension to that they applied to the BAS.

Employers who have arranged staff holidays based on the assumption that the extension applied to both the BAS and SG are in for a rude shock when they reopen their businesses.

If they don’t pay their SG on time they will incur a penalty of the shortfall that is the net amount they should have paid by the due date and no deduction is available to the employer for this shortfall amount.

It is a ridiculous situation when an employer has to recall staff to complete his SG obligations while, at the same time, an extension has been provided for the BAS obligation.

It makes sense to change the legislation so this situation does not arise again.

Peter McDonald - Taxpayers Australia

Canadian claims misplaced

CLAIMS by WAFarmers grain section spokesman Peter Wahlsten that Canada’s Free Trade Agreement with America has been a major cause of problems in Canada’s farming sector should be rejected.

Mr Wahlsten has chosen to ignore the fact that Canada had preserved its single desk monopoly on wheat within the US trade agreement and that this was to blame for many of the problems facing Canadian farmers.

Canada’s wheat board is such a shambles that first advance payments to growers last season had to be met by the  Canadian Government.

Canadian farmers have been prepared to go to jail for the right to sell their wheat over the border into the US for higher prices than those offered by the Canadian wheat board and we have seen the Alberta Government taking action against the Canadian Government to break the CWB monopoly.

In fact, Canadian farmers are going out of their way to produce grains and oilseeds other than those acquired by the Canadian monopoly and the resulting production and trade in unregulated Canadian grain has been phenomenal.

There has also been major growth in Canada’s grain fed beef industry resulting from the monopoly on wheat and some of this beef is going into the US.

The PGA urges the National Farmers Federation not to allow significant benefits to Australia from a free trade agreement with the US to be jeopardised by defence of the Australian Wheat Board’s single desk.

We do not accept that an Australian Wheat Board monopoly that has many costly disadvantages for our growers, and that will probably disappear anyway within a few years, should jeopardise better trading prospects for a host of other industries.

This applies particularly in Western Australia where most of our agricultural production and most of our mineral and manufactured products are almost entirely dependent on export markets.

Leon Bradley - Pastoralists and Graziers Association


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