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Friday 30 May 2014

SuperStream - Electronic Payments & Information

SuperStream is being introduced to ensure employer contributions are paid in a consistent, timely and efficient manner to employees’ super funds. It is intended that common standards of data transmission will make it easier for employers to comply with their obligations. Payments and details of the payment are to be made electronically.

From 1 July 2014, if you have 20 or more employees, you must use the new Superannuation Data and Payment Standard when making super contributions. The SBSCH (was called Medicare Clearing) is already compliant with the data standards.

Note that as at April 2014, there is proposed legislation awaiting a decision, which would delay the start date of SuperStream to November 2014, and allow eight months (to 30 June 2015), to move across to the new standards required.

Superstream offers a simpler way of making super contributions and, for many employers, will provide a single channel for making contributions to multiple super funds. All the major software companies have guaranteed to provide for Super Stream data standards within their software by the time it is mandatory for employers to comply.

Under the standard, employers will need to:

  • send all super data electronically (such as the employee's details & the amount of super being paid)
  • make contribution payments electronically
  • link data & payments with a unique payment reference number
Some options to help you meet the standard include:
  • upgrading your software so that it complies with the standard (if this is not automatically included in your software updates)
  • engaging a service provider (clearing house) who can meet the standard on your behalf
  • getting advice from your super fund on how your business can meet the standard

SuperStream Data Fields Required


  • Name
  • TFN (if provided)
  • Member identifier
  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Contact details
  • Contribution type (e.g. employer SG contribution, salary sacrifice)
  • Contribution amount
Super Fund
  • Fund Name
  • ABN
  • Unique Product Identifier (if required)
Payment Details
  • Payment date
  • Payment type
  • Payment reference number (unique)
  • Fund bank account details
  • Fund name
SuperStream and Self-Managed Super Funds

Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF’s) are run by the members for their own benefit and are also the trustees of the SMSF. The key principle of the SMSF is to provide retirement benefits to the members. The SMSF trustee can accept money contributions from various sources for example a Life Insurance Policy, but with some restrictions being member’s age and contribution caps. Generally you cannot accept an asset as a contribution from a member.

The income of your SMSF is generally taxed at a concession rate of 15%. For the fund to be eligible for this rate it must comply with the laws and rules of SMSF.

The trustee of the SMSF must arrange an annual audit of the fund and keep appropriate records. From 1st July SMSF trustees are required to appoint an approved SMSF auditor who is registered with ASIC.

SMSF will also be subject to the SuperStream requirements. Employees wishing to have their SGC paid into an SMSF will need to provide the employer with ABN, bank account and electronic service address of the SMSF to their employer. Note that the electronic service address is different to an email address and must be provided by a registered service provider that will act as the e-commerce gateway and message delivery service. More information and a list of registered service providers is available here:

Friday 23 May 2014

ATO - Stopping Paper Activity Statements

The ATO understands that many businesses use electronic channels to manage their day to day interactions and record keeping.

As of 1st July 2014, if you lodge an activity statement electronically you will NOT receive any more paper activity statements.

The ATO will continue to send paper activity statements for form types:
    Q: Annual GST report
    R: Quarterly PAYG Instalment only
    S: Quarterly GST Instalment only
    T: Quarterly GST Instalment and PAYG Instalment only

Transitioning activity statements to be fully electronic is one of the steps the ATO is taking to keep pace with community expectations.

For full details from the ATO point of view:

Changes to PAYG withholding annual reporting

Are you currently lodging your PAYG withholding annual report using disks or flash drives (USB)?

If so, you will need to change the way you lodge your report. From this year, you will need to lodge your annual report online using the file transfer facility on the ATO business portal at  or you can also lodge directly from accounting or payroll software if you are using Standard Business Reporting (SBR) enabled software.

To use the online services you need an AUSkeyExternal Link.

Full details available:

Monday 12 May 2014

Definition of 'All-day Parking' in relation to Fringe Benefits Tax

The tax law defines 'all-day parking' on a particular day as a single car being parked for a continuous period of 6 hours or more during the daylight period.

'Daylight period' is defined as a period on a particular day that is:
  • After 7am; and
  • Before 7pm
Different parking fees that apply to different parking times may affect whether the fees paid are considered an 'all-day parking' fee.

For example, if the fee paid for vehicles entering the parking station from 1pm is different from the fee charged for the 8 a.m. entry, the 1 p.m. fee is not an 'all-day parking' fee because it is impossible to park for a continuous period of 6 hours from 1 p.m. until a time before 7pm

Monday 5 May 2014

Difference between wages and Ordinary Time Earnings (OTE)

  1. OTE is what an employee earns while working their ordinary hours as is specified in their employment agreement, or if not specified, the regular or customary hours worked by the employee.
  2. When calculating the minimum superannuation guarantee contribution an employer must use an employee's OTE. This ensures employees are treated similarly for superannuation guarantee purposes.
  3. What an employee earns in wages and salary is not necessarily the same as OTE. Wages and salary can include items outside the ordinary hours of work.
  4. Listed below are some payments that may be included as OTE and/or wages and salary:
    Payment Received
    Ordinary Time Earnings
    Wages and Salary
    Over-Time (more than stipulated hours)
    Not included
    Earned under stipulated hours
    No ordinary hours stipulated
    Reimbursement of expenses
    Not Included
    Not Included
    Christmas Bonus
    Annual Leave
  5. For example, an employee under a contract is required to work a minimum number of hours per week but is allowed to work additional shifts. As there is no distinct pattern of how many hours are worked per week and no penalty rates for over-time, all wages received will also be OTE.
  6. However, if an employee is contracted to work 38 hours but works a further 6 hours of overtime for a higher rate, the 38 hours will be considered as wages and OTE but the extra 6 hours will only be considered wages.
  7. For more information, click here.