As a small business employer you would have by now heard of Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting and perhaps haven’t really had to pay much attention until now…..

Single Touch Payroll is the next step in streamlining your payroll reporting. It will change the way you report your employees’ payroll information to the ATO. It starts from 1 July 2019 for employers with 19 or less employees.

So what does STP Reporting mean?

  • When you start reporting through Single Touch Payroll you will send your employees’ payroll and super information to the ATO from your payroll software each payday.
  • Your payroll cycle will not change. You can still pay your employees weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
  • Your payment due date for PAYG withholding and super contributions will not change. However, you can choose to pay earlier if you desire.
  • You may not need to provide your employees with a payment summary at the end of financial year for certain payments you report through Single Touch Payroll. The ATO will make that information available to employees through myGov.
  • You will have the option to invite your employees to complete Tax file number declaration, Superannuation standard choice form and Withholding declaration online. However, this feature will not be available immediately.
  • When you report to the ATO through Single Touch Payroll, your employees will be able to view their year‑to‑date tax and super information through myGov.

The first year will be considered the transition period and no penalties will be charged and corrections can be made in the next report, so don’t panic.

Most software providers should now be updated to offer Single Touch Payroll Reporting however, if your software does not offer STP reporting as yet be sure to contact them to ensure STP reporting will be offered else you can request a deferral from the ATO for further time.

Those that are in remote areas with poor internet service or any other issue that impedes the ability to report online may apply for exemption from STP reporting with the ATO.

Super funds will also be required to report super contributions received for employees to match to employer STP reporting to ensure the correct amount of super is being paid compared to what is being reported.

UPDATE: As of 1 July 2019 ALL businesses with employees need to be ready for Single Touch Payroll (STP). 

By Rachel Cooper

Senior Accountant