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Employer obligations should be taken seriously

The ATO takes a dim view of employers who don't take seriously their obligations

As each new tax year ticks over, all small businesses should review that they are meeting their obligations as an employer.

The ATO takes a dim view of employers who don't take seriously their obligations

Getting employee entitlements wrong is one area where the ATO takes a very dim view of mistakes.

The ATO recently estimated that there was $17 billion of super missing in taxpayer accounts over a six year period.

Most of this was due to non-payment or under payment from employers.

Those businesses who have been through a superannuation or PAYG audit will attest that the ATO puts them through a very thorough and exacting process.

As with most things, an ounce of prevention is always better than implementing a cure after the event.

Affinitas Accounting encourages that all small businesses take the time to review the following payroll information on a regular basis. The following steps should give you a good place to start.

1. Have you applied the Annual Wage Increase handed down by the Fair Work Ombudsman (CPI)?

This increase is generally handed down on July 1 each year. On July 1, 2018 the Annual Wage Increase was 3.5% for a new weekly minimum wage of $719.20 per week.

2. Have you applied any wage increases for junior employees?

3. Has there been any wage movement for employees under a traineeship or apprenticeship?

4. Have you been keeping yourself up to date with any changes within your employees’ award?

5. Is your employee record keeping up to date?

6. Do you have a record of accrued annual leave/sick leave/long service leave? Are these being kept up to date?

7. Have you been paying your superannuation guarantee (SG) on time?

8. Do you have an employee agreement?

Note: An employee agreement is not necessary but they generally are considered good practice.

Audit insurance will protect a business from the fees involved in answering an ATO audit, which can run into many thousands of dollars even if you have no breaches.

The insurance will not, however, save you from any fines or penalty interest. And if you are deemed to have deliberately ignored your superannuation obligations and SGC paperwork then audit insurance may refuse to cover you.

If you require any guidance with reviewing your payroll matters, please contact us on 07 3359 5244, email , or reach us on Messenger below.

Information on your obligations as an employer also can be found on the FairWorks Ombudsman website https://www.fairwork.gov.au.

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    I’ve been using Deb from Affinitas Accounting now for many years and have found her to be excellent in looking after my taxation needs. I’m in Tasmania, Affinitas Accounting is in Queensland and distance is no barrier. She understands my business needs, everything is done in a friendly and efficient manner and I happily recommend to anyone looking for ‘down to earth’ taxation advice.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    David Williams

    We’ve been with Affinitas Accounting for over 5yrs when they were known as Online Accounting & Taxation Solutions. From our initial phone call with Brad looking for an accounting team that would meet our expectations as well as provide efficient service, we’ve been really impressed with the team’s professionalism, knowledge & expertise.

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    Debbie is our accountant and has been for seven years. She is thorough and always does what she can to honestly get us the best return but always adheres to the ATO guidelines. We recommend her to our friends and wouldn’t take our business to anyone else. Thanks Debbie.

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    Can’t fault Affinitas.

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    I have been a client of Affinitas Accounting (previously Online) for the past 8 years. It is like a one stop shopping experience, all my needs were addressed in the one office.

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