AUSTRALIA - Staff could avoid paying an additional tax of up to 35% on employer's superannuation contributions by amending disclosure rules to allow employers to provide their employees' tax file numbers (TFN) to superannuation funds, Mercer has claimed.
Mercer chief executive Peter Promnitz said, with some large funds reporting they were missing TFN for half of their members, it was likely the no-TFN rules would see the benefits of the new superannuation arrangements reduced for millions of individuals.
In a submission to the Senate Economics Committee, Mercer stressed the need for "a significant increase" in the provision of TFNs to funds over the next five months to ensure the new system would operate effectively from 1 July, 2007.
"If this doesn’t happen many members will see their benefits reduced, superannuation funds will be placed under additional strain and the integrity of the new regime will be undermined,” said Promnitz.
In its submission, Mercer recommended employers be required to pass on current employees’ TFNs (where they are known) to the relevant super funds as a once-only requirement during this transitional arrangement.
The consultant also recommended the ATO provide super funds with TFNs for members for whom the ATO has an appropriate matching.
“The biggest problem to overcome will be general inertia, and while an advertising campaign may help it will not have enough impact to generate the extremely high level of TFN provisions required to ensure that as many people as possible won’t be affected,” explained Promnitz.
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