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SuperStream deadline for small businesses

SuperStream deadline for small businesses

With the 30 June 2016 rapidly approaching, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is encouraging small businesses to make becoming SuperStream ready a priority.

SuperStream, the standardisation of how employers make super contributions on behalf of their employees, involves employers sending all super payments and employee information electronically in a standard format.

Are you SuperStream ready?

If you run a small business that has 19 or fewer employees, you have until 30 June 2016 to start using SuperStream.

In the past, most employers have had to process employee super contributions to numerous funds in different formats. With SuperStream you only need to make one electronic transaction to cover all your employees.

Do you need help getting ready for SuperStream?

The ATO is running free webinars to help small business owners set up and use SuperStream. Getting on board now will give you plenty of time to check that things are running smoothly before the SuperStream deadline.

Forthcoming webinars are scheduled for the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday 26 April 2016 10.00 am-10.40 am AEST
  • Tuesday 26 April 2016 5.00 pm–5.40 pm AEST
  • Thursday 12 May 2016 10.00 am–10.40 am AEST
  • Thursday 12 May 2016 3:00 pm-3:40 pm AEST
  • Wednesday 1 June 2016 4.00 pm–4.40 pm AEST

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Choose an option

Step 2: Collect information and update your records

Step 3: Use SuperStream

Step 1: Choose an option

To use SuperStream, you need to pay super and send employee information electronically. If you’re already doing this, you may only need to refine your system to send the contribution data in the standard format. You can use:

  • a payroll system that meets the SuperStream standard
  • your superannuation fund’s online system
  • a superannuation clearing house
  • a messaging portal.

You can also ask your accountant or bookkeeper to help you with one of these options.

If the only contributions you make are personal contributions for yourself or contributions to a related self-managed super fund (SMSF), you don’t need to use SuperStream because these are exempt contributions.

Payroll system

If you use a payroll system, check with your system provider that it is SuperStream ready. You may need to update your system.

Some payroll systems cover data and payments, and some are data only, which means you may need to make payments to each fund separately. Either way the payment must be electronic (EFT or BPAY).

Your super fund’s online system

Large super funds have online payment services you can use. Check with your fund.

Supernnuation clearing house

A clearing house pays super to your employees’ funds for you. You send a single electronic payment to the clearing house, together with the contribution data for all your employees, and the clearing house does the rest.

If you have 19 or fewer employees, or a turnover of less than $2 million a year, you can use the ATO’s free Small Business Super Clearing House.

You can also choose from several commercial options, or your super fund may have a clearing house you can use. Talk to your fund to see what they offer.

Remember, even if you outsource some parts of making super contributions, you’re still responsible for ensuring your employees’ super is paid correctly.

Messaging Portal

A messaging portal can convert contribution data for your employees to a SuperStream compliant format and send it to the relevant funds for you. You still need to make one electronic payment. Talk to your messaging portal provider and financial institution.

Step 2: Collect information and update your records

To use SuperStream you’ll need to collect some new information from your employees, in addition to the information you already use to pay super.

Once you have this information, enter it into your system, along with the other details you use to pay super, and you’re ready to use SuperStream.

You only need to collect this information for current employees. New employees who choose their super fund will fill out a standard choice form, which will have all the information you need.

Ask your employees for the following information, if you don’t have it already:

  • employee tax file number
  • fund ABN
  • fund unique superannuation identifier (USI).

If your employees have a self-managed super fund (SMSF), they need to give you slightly different information:

  • employee tax file number
  • fund ABN
  • fund bank account details
  • fund electronic service address.

If you’re an employer contributing to your own SMSF, you don’t need to collect this information for these contributions.

Step 3: Use SuperStream

Start using SuperStream as soon as possible.

Employers with 19 or fewer employees should be SuperStream ready by 30 June 2016 (larger employers should already be using SuperStream).

Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran says that “Some small business owners, who are currently using SuperStream, have reportedly cut time spent on super processing by around 70 per cent each cycle.

“We recognise that businesses operate differently and that’s why there’s more than one SuperStream option to choose from. This enables individual employers to select how SuperStream best fits into your business,’ says Mr O’Halloran.


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