Single Touch Payroll: what you need to know

03-03-2020

If you haven’t heard of Single Touch Payroll before, it’s a new way of reporting tax and superannuation information to the ATO. With STP you report employees’ payroll information – such as salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super – to us each time you pay them through STP-enabled software.

Single Touch Payroll has recently become mandatory by the ATO, but as with most things, it’s taking time for business owners to make the transition.

We’ve pulled together all the information on STP, to help you navigate the right solution for you:

I’m a Small Employer (19 employees or less), do I need STP?

Yes, STP became mandatory in September last year (2019) for small employers. If you haven’t started reporting through STP, you can start by:

  • Finding a software solution that’s right for you. The ATO have put together a product register to help you find the software that’s right for you: https://api.gov.au/productregister/.

  • Asking for a concession. This could be reporting quarterly at the same time as your activity statement. Eligibility will depend on your circumstances.

  • Asking for more time if you’re not ready.

As a Small Employer, do I also need STP reporting for closely held employees?

Yes, you will need to report your closely held employees through STP, but not until the start of the 2020-21 FY. You do not need to apply for this exemption. A closely held employee is one who is directly related to the entity from which they receive payments, for example:

  • Family members of a family business

  • Directors or shareholders of a company

  • Beneficiaries of a trust.

I’m a Micro Employer (4 or less employees), do I need STP?

Yes, but you may be able to choose a low-cost STP reporting solution. These solutions may include mobile apps, simple reporting solutions and portals. The solutions must:

  • Be affordable (costing less than $10 per month)

  • Take only minutes to complete each pay period

  • Not require the employer to maintain the software.

You can view the full range of products available for micro employers here. These will offer varying degrees of functionality, support, and pricing models.

How do I choose a software solution?

As mentioned above, the ATO has put together a range of software solutions for Small Employers and Micro Employers, with varying degrees of functionality, support and pricing models.

What if the software I’ve chosen isn’t appropriate for my business needs?

If you begin reporting and find the product you chose doesn’t fit your business needs, you may change to another solution at any time (subject to contractual arrangements).

Anything else I need to know?

If you have been affected by a natural disaster, there is additional support available and we will help you sort out your tax affairs later.


Still confused?


If things are still confusing for you, the ATO have also put together a helpful interactive quiz to help you determine your next steps, based on your particular business circumstances.

We at Greenhalgh Pickard also have a team of helpful and knowledgeable Accountants who can help you through this process. Don’t hesitate to contact us to determine the right solution for your business.

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