IT consultancies lag on ATO SuperStream adoption

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IT consultancies lag on ATO SuperStream adoption

Tax agency pushes back SMB deadline.

The Australian Tax Office has decided to extend its deadline for small businesses to comply with new superannuation payments requirements by four months due to struggles adopting the SuperStream standard.

SuperStream introduced the ebMS 3.0 AS4 standard in 2014 for the uniform, electronic payment of super contributions for employees. It means payments are recognised in hours rather than days or months.

The ATO gave employers with more than 20 staff until July 1 2015 to become compliant with SuperStream.

Businesses with less than 20 staff were given an extra year, until June 30 2016.

But the ATO has now extended that compliance deadline to October 28 after finding 22 industries were struggling to adopt the payment standard.

It singled out IT consulting and management advice firms as those particularly having a difficult time integrating SuperStream.

There are 37,530 technology and management consultants that still need to implement SuperStream, according to ATO figures.

Just under 35,000 of those have less than 20 employees, while 2627 employ more than 20 staff. The latter have missed their October 31 2015 deadline for compliance. 

“Through the ATO’s ongoing engagement with small businesses, we understand some need more time to implement their SuperStream solution or to work with a SuperStream expert to find a solution that suits their needs,” deputy commissioner James O’Halloran said in a statement.

Employers with less than 20 staff, as well as those with less than $2 million in annual turnover, can implement the ATO's small business super clearing house for free to become SuperStream compliant, as well as a range of SuperStream-approved payroll systems, messaging portals and online super fund platforms.

Larger businesses were also given a reprieve at the start of the project in 2013, when the ATO deferred its initial July 31 2013 compliance deadline for businesses with more than 20 staff to July 1 2015 to lessen the impact on payroll systems.

The ATO's success with SuperStream has spurred the agency to see if the same can be done with invoicing.

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