Go to top of page

Administered programs 1.5 to 1.19

Purpose

The ATO contributes to the economic and social wellbeing of Australians through governing a range of programs that result in transfers and benefits back to the community.

Performance results overview

All deliverables are achieved through making payments to eligible recipients in accordance with relevant laws.

We paid $102.0 billion in administered payments in 2020–21, $54.8 billion higher than 2019–20. The large increase was due to JobKeeper and cash flow boost payments.

Table: Administered payments 2018–19 to 2020–21(a)

Payments

2018–19
$m

2019–20
$m

2020–21
$m

Fuel tax credits

7,179

7,383

7,530

Product stewardship for oil program

73

90

95

Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive

0

3

6

Private health insurance rebate

240

236

237

National rental affordability

170

160

162

Superannuation co-contribution scheme

126

121

120

Research and development refundable tax offsets(b)

2,311

2,333

2,707

Australian Screen Production Incentive

328

349

330

Low income superannuation tax offset

743

703

662

Interest payments on lost superannuation accounts

28

92

35

Seafarer tax offset

10

9

10

Economic response to the Coronavirus – JobKeeper

0

20,574

68,217

Economic response to the Coronavirus – Cash Flow Boost

0

14,454

20,901

Economic response to the Coronavirus – JobMaker Hiring Credit

0

0

7

Total administered payments

11,208

46,508

101,019

Distribution of super guarantee charge entitlements

532

611

945

TOTAL(c)

11,740

47,119

101,963

Notes

(a) Totals may differ from the sum of components due to rounding.

(b) Only refundable research and development tax offsets are administered payments.

(c) The total excludes interest on overpayments of tax ($91 million in 2018–19, $123 million in 2019–20, and $63 million in 2020–21).

Performance results – programs 1.5 to 1.13 and 1.15 to 1.19

The way the ATO measures the performance of administered programs and the achievement of their purpose is set out on pages 212–222 of the Australian Taxation Office Budget Statements (in the Treasury PBS), and pages 17–19 of the ATO corporate plan 2020–21.

Programs 1.5 to 1.13 and 1.15 to 1.19 Administered programs performance

Performance criterion

Source

2018–19

results

2019–20

results

2020–21

results

2020–21

target

1.5 Australian Screen Production Incentive – Value of tax offsets processed

PBS 212
CP 19

$328.0m

$349.4m

$329.6m

Administer the program in accordance with the law

1.6 Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive:

- All applications received are processed and taxpayers notified of their exploration credit allocation within 28 calendar days of the application period closing

PBS 213
CP 18

Target met

Target met

Target met

100% notifications issued within 28 calendar days of the application period closing

- Public reporting data uploaded on data.gov.au (and linked to the ato.gov.au website) after determination letters are issued

PBS 213
CP 18

Target met

Target met

Target met

Within 56 calendar days of the application period closing

1.7 Fuel Tax Credits Scheme – Value of claims

PBS 213
CP 19

$7.2b

$7.4b

$7.5b

Administer the scheme in accordance with the law

1.8 National Rental Affordability Scheme – Value of tax offsets processed

PBS 214
CP 19

$170.3m

$160.0m

$162.3m

Administer the scheme in accordance with the law

1.9 Product Stewardship for Oil:

- Value of revenue collected

PBS 215
CP 19

$30.9m

$31.4m

$30.8m

Administer the program in accordance with the law

- Value of payments processed

PBS 215
CP 19

$72.7m

$90.4m

$95.0m

Administer the program in accordance with the law

1.10 Research and Development Tax Incentive

- Value of claims processed for: 38.5% non‑refundable research and development tax offset claimants

PBS 216
CP 19

$2.7b tax offset paid

$2.1b tax offset paid

$2.2b tax offset paid

Administer the program in accordance with the law

- Value of claims processed for: 43.5% refundable research and development tax offset claimants

PBS 216
CP 19

$2.3b tax offset paid

$2.3b tax offset paid

$2.7b tax offset paid

Administer the program in accordance with the law

- Number of claims processed for: 38.5% non‑refundable research and development tax offset claimants

PBS 216
CP 19

1,600

1,468

1,488

Administer the program in accordance with the law

- Number of claims processed for: 43.5% refundable research and development tax offset claimants

PBS 216
CP 19

10,819

10,017

11,638

Administer the program in accordance with the law

- Proportion of offsets processed within service standard time frames

PBS 216
CP 19

89.7%

85.6%

86.2%

Administer the program in accordance with the law

1.11 Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset – Value of entitlements paid

PBS 217
CP 19

$743.4m

$703.2m

$661.6m

Administer the program in accordance with the law

1.12 Private Health Insurance Rebate – Value of rebates processed

PBS 217
CP 19

$239.7m

$235.5m

$237.3m

Administer the program in accordance with the law

1.13 Superannuation
Co-contribution Scheme
– Value of entitlements paid

PBS 218
CP 19

$125.9m

$120.8m

$120.2m

Administer the program in accordance with the law

See Administered programs 1.5 to 1.19 | Transparency Portal for Program 1.14 – Superannuation Guarantee Scheme

1.15 Targeted Assistance through the Taxation System – Value of interest payments processed

PBS 220
CP 19

$27.7m

$92.0m

$34.7m

Administer the program in accordance with the law

1.16: Interest on Overpayments and Early Payments of Tax – Value of credit interest applied to client accounts(a)

PBS 220
CP 19

$9.4m

$121.0m

$61.5m

Administer the program in accordance with the law

1.17 Bad and Doubtful Debts and Remissions – Proportion of total tax receivables unlikely to be collected (provision)

PBS 221
CP 18

34%

35%

43%

Below 35%

1.18 Seafarer Tax Offset – Eligible taxpayers are aware of how to claim the offset

PBS 221
CP 18

100%

100%

100%

100%

1.19 Economic Response to the Coronavirus(b)

- Value of JobKeeper paid

PBS 222

$20.6b

$68.2b

Administer the program in accordance with the law

- Value of Hiring credit paid

PBS 222

$6.6m

Administer the program in accordance with the law

- Value of Cash Flow Boost paid

PBS 222

$14.5b

$20.9b

Administer the program in accordance with the law

– = New, not previously reported in the annual report for the given years.

Notes

(a) From 2019–20 the measure calculation changed to increase the scope of the interest captured, to include interest on overpayment amounts applied for all legal entitlements.

(b) Measures not included in 2020–21 ATO corporate plan.

Results analysis

We use our systems, processes and controls to establish and maintain confidence that the correct level of payments and transfers delivered through the tax and superannuation systems are paid to eligible recipients in accordance with relevant laws, thus meeting our performance target for many of our administered program measures.

In many instances, small annual fluctuations in the value of benefits arise due to minor changes in economic conditions or the circumstances of our clients. However, there are some programs where a more substantial change in the value of benefits was observed in 2020–21. There is considerable interest in the Superannuation Guarantee scheme and changes in the number and value of liabilities raised by the ATO. Further discussion of these cases is provided below.

Administered program 1.16: Interest on Overpayments and Early Payments of Tax

The amount of interest paid on overpayments was $61.5 million in 2020–21, compared to $121 million in the previous year. Factors contributing to this year’s decrease include:

  • a lower rate of interest on client credits – an average of 0.06% (compared to 1.08% in 2019–‍20) – which also resulted in more credit amounts falling below the $0.50 threshold for payment
  • system improvements and enhanced automation, leading to faster processing of refunds and notices of assessment.

Administered program 1.17: Bad and Doubtful Debts and Remissions

The provision for bad and doubtful debts as a proportion of total tax receivables at 30 June 2021 was 43%. This does not achieve the target of below 35%.

The Impairment allowance (asset item) increased by $5.7 billion from the 2020 result. This is largely due to the older proportion of debts being impaired at a higher rate using a revised methodology. The higher rate of impairment has been driven by:

  • the impacts of COVID-19 increasing the proportion of older debts
  • revisions to the methodology to use more recent data, including periods impacted by COVID-19.

Administered program 1.19: Economic Response to the Coronavirus

A total of $89.1 billion was paid in JobKeeper and cash flow boost payments in 2020–21, compared to $35.1 billion in 2019–20.

The JobKeeper Payment was a stimulus measure paid as a subsidy to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, to keep more Australians in jobs, and to maintain the connection between employers and their employees. From April 2020 to September 2020, employers received a payment of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee. The payments were also made to other entities, such as eligible sole traders. JobKeeper was extended until March 2021, with tiered payments per employee dependant on hours worked; at a rate of $1,200 or $750 per fortnight, which reduced to $1,000 or $650 per fortnight from January 2021.

The Cash Flow Boost stimulus measure supported businesses during the economic downturn associated with COVID-19. Eligible small-to-medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations that employ staff received between $20,000 and $100,000 in cash flow boost amounts by lodging their activity statements, commencing with the March 2020 monthly or quarterly period and concluding with their September 2020 monthly or quarterly period.

Payments under the JobKeeper and Cash Flow Boost stimulus measures ceased in the 2020–‍21 year.

The value of JobMaker Hiring Credit paid in 2020–21 was $6.6 million. The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme was an incentive for businesses for each eligible additional employee they hired between 7‍ October 2020 and 6 October 2021. Eligible employers may receive payments of up to $200 a week for each eligible additional employee aged 16 to 29 years (inclusive); or $100 a week for each eligible additional employee aged 30 to 35 years (inclusive).

Performance results – program 1.14

Program 1.14 Superannuation Guarantee Scheme

Performance criterion

Source

2018–19

results

2019–20

results

2020–21

results

2020–21

target

Superannuation guarantee gap as a proportion of superannuation guarantee contributions

PBS 219
CP 18

3.9% or $2,298m (2016–17)

4.0% or $2,440m (2017–18)

3.8% or $2,450m (2018–19)

Reduce the gap to a level as low as practicable given the nature and complexity of the law and the resources available

Value of superannuation guarantee charge: raised (including penalties and interest)

PBS 219
CP 18

$1,069.2m

$1,033.5m

$1,683.0m

$1,020m

Value of superannuation guarantee charge: collected

PBS 219
CP 18

$576.6m

$674.0m

$1,039.8m

$516m

Value of superannuation guarantee entitlements distributed to individuals or superannuation funds

PBS 219
CP 18

$532.3m

$611.2m

$944.7m

$485m

Value of superannuation guarantee debt: on hand

PBS 219
CP 18

$2.2b

$2.4b

$3.0b

$2.8b

Value of superannuation guarantee debt: irrecoverable at law or uneconomical to pursue

PBS 219
CP 18

$191.7m

$74.6m

$105.5m

$203m

Results analysis – program 1.14

Administered program 1.14: Superannuation Guarantee Scheme

This year, the value of superannuation guarantee liabilities raised totalled nearly $1.7 billion, an increase of over 60% on the previous year’s result. The increase is mainly attributable to:

  • an influx of voluntary disclosures under the superannuation guarantee amnesty, which closed in September 2020
  • completion of a backlog of compliance activity following the return of staff who had previously been redeployed to assist with stimulus activities, as well as additional staffing.

This also led to an increase in superannuation guarantee collections and the value of entitlements distributed to individuals or superannuation funds.

We estimate a net superannuation guarantee gap of 3.8% ($2.45 billion) for the 2018–19 year. Overall, we estimate that employers are paying around 95% of the super guarantee they are required to pay without intervention from the ATO.

Across the estimation period of 2013–14 to 2018–19, net gap estimates have trended downwards in the first four years and then stabilised. Overall, the superannuation guarantee gap population is considered to be highly compliant, with strong growth in ATO compliance activity outcomes since 2015–16 contributing to reducing the gap over time.

A similar decline in the gross gap estimates suggests that voluntary compliance has also increased over this period. This increase in compliance activity outcomes may partly be due to the greater visibility of individual’s superannuation account balances and employer contributions paid through ATO online, and the regular reporting of employer payroll information, including SG liabilities, through STP enabled software.