Sky Update – September 2021
Stapled Super Funds
Most employers are required to provide a choice of superannuation fund to new employees.
This choice is given by providing the employee with a Standard Choice Form that they can complete to nominate the super fund of their choice.
Alternatively, an employee can select the default super fund nominated by the employer.
If a new employee nominates a super fund of their choice, the employer is obligated to pay contributions to that super fund. In this situation, the changes noted below do not apply.
If a new employee does not complete the Standard Choice Form or opts for the employer’s default fund, contributions must be paid to that default fund.
From the 1st of November changes are taking effect that will require employers to check if a new employee has a “stapled super fund” before making any contribution payments to a default fund.
A stapled super fund is a fund that is linked to an individual and must be used instead of the employer’s default fund.
The purpose of stapled super funds is to ensure that an employee does not end up with too many different default super fund accounts as they move around from employer to employer.
Employers will be required to use the ATO’s online services to check if a new employee has a stapled super fund. Alternatively, a tax agent can make the enquiry on the behalf of the employer.
For more details on the new process, please refer to the ATO website. Alternatively, feel free to contact us.
COVID-19 Vaccination – Workplace Rights & Obligations
With State & Territory Governments outlining their approaches to the “National Plan”, the focus on vaccination has been amplified.
It has become clear that the easing of restrictions will be directly linked to the vaccination rate.
There have also been new announcements around mandatory vaccination requirements in certain industries. For example, Victoria has recently announced vaccination requirements for construction workers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman continues to update their guidance on workplace rights and obligations around vaccination.
With the vaccination settings rapidly evolving, both employers and employees are encouraged to keep an eye on this space to ensure that they are across the latest developments.
2021 Annual Wage Review
Each year the Fair Work Commission undertakes an Annual Wage Review and announces increases in the national minimum wage and award wages. These increases normally apply from the 1st of July.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2.5% increase from the 2021 Annual Wage Review has been set to come into force in stages.
The next stage comes into effect on the 1st of November for a number of awards including the Fitness, Hair & Beauty, Hospitality, Registered Clubs & Restaurant Awards.
A full list of the affected Awards can be found here.
Businesses in those industries should keep an eye out for the updated Pay Guides that will be published by the Fair Work Ombudsman closer to the 1st of November.
Tax Time Update
Notwithstanding the ongoing lockdowns preventing us from completing income tax returns from our offices, we have managed to lodge a significant volume.
We continue to work within the constraints of the COVID-19 health orders to process income tax returns and thank our clients for their patience in these challenging times.
It is anticipated that the ATO will soon do their annual media exercise to publicise the 31 October due date for 2021 income tax returns.
We take this opportunity to remind you that where you use a tax agent (eg. Us), the 31 October due date does not apply.
Instead, Tax Agent Lodgement Program due dates apply such that the majority of tax returns are not due until the 15th of May 2022.
If you would like to check the due date of your income tax return, or make arrangements to have your income tax return prepared, please get in touch.
Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) deadline
The EMDG is a program aimed at helping Australian businesses to expand their export markets.
Under the scheme, businesses can be reimbursed 50% of their eligible expenditure up to $150,000 for the 2020/21 year.
The 30 November due date to apply for the 2020/21 year is now approaching.
Businesses that have incurred costs to develop export markets are encouraged to investigate whether they should submit an application.
Similarly, businesses looking to expand their export markets are encouraged to look at how the EMDG scheme may be able to assist them in future.
Quote of the month
With COVID-19 lockdowns dragging on in NSW, Victoria and the ACT, fatigue and frustration have well and truly set-in.
The “roadmaps” announced by the respective Premiers have done little to lift our collective spirits as it has been made clear that meaningful easing of restrictions is still a way off.
Let’s take counsel from the Roman poet Virgil who said “come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance”.
If we can muster up just a bit more endurance, we will eventually conquer this virus and return to something resembling a more normal way of life.
Sky Accountants Ballarat
Phone: 1300 328 855
Office Address: 902 Howitt Street, Wendouree, Victoria 3355, Australia
Postal Address: PO Box 2234, Bakery Hill, Victoria 3354
Sky Accountants Gisborne & Macedon Ranges
Phone: 03 97444522
Office Address: 45 Hamilton Street, Gisborne, Victoria 3437, Australia
Postal Address: PO Box 270 Gisborne Victoria 3437