Important Dates for Single Touch Payroll

We all know that employee tax and superannuation aren't the most exciting things that an employer gets to deal with, but they are very important and crucial for a good working business. The ATO have been looking at this for awhile, and over the last year or so have been overseeing the introduction of Single Touch Payroll for all businesses in Australia. But, what is Single Touch Payroll and what dates are relevant to you?

Single Touch Payroll, or STP, is a way to report tax and superannuation information to the ATO. It is available through most payroll, accounting and business management software, however head to the ATO Single Touch Payroll website for more information. Everyone should currently be reporting through STP or should have applied for a deferment or exemption.

Important Dates

Now, to the important part. The following dates are applicable to everyone, no matter your business size or type.

Micro employers (with 1-4 employees)

Your compulsory responsibility to commence using STP as a micro employer commenced on 1 July 2019.

If you are an employer with 1-4 employees and you do not use STP software however, there are still options available to report from 1 July 2019. The ATO has a list on their website of low cost or no cost STP solutions, including software, apps and portals, which are available to micro employers. You also have the alternative option for your registered tax or BAS agent to report your STP information quarterly, rather than each time you run payroll, however this option will only be available until 30 June 2021. It is important to discuss this with your tax agent for more information.

Small Employers (with 5-19 employees)

Your compulsory responsibility to commence using STP as a small employer commenced on 1 July 2019, and you must commence reporting before 30 September 2019.

If you are an employer that has 5-19 employees, there are a few different choices when it comes to STP:

  • You can start reporting now, if your current payroll software offers STP. This will require you to update your product, so speak to your software provider about how this occurs to ensure it is done correctly.
  • You can commence reporting between 1 July 2019 and 30 September 2019.
  • You can apply for an extension of time, to allow you to become ready for STP.
  • You can ask for a full exemption from STP, if you are located in an area with intermittent to no internet, and therefore no Single Touch Payroll obligations and dates will apply to you if your exemption is granted.

Take a look at the ATO's About Single Touch Payroll for some more information

Employers with 20 or more employees

Your compulsory requirement to commence using STP as a larger employer commenced on 1 July 2018.

If you are an employer with 20 or more employees, STP commenced on 1 July 2018. You should therefore already be using it or have a granted extension of time for you to commence using it at a later date. Speak to your tax professional regarding any issues or concerns you may have when it comes to STP, or whether your software is STP-compatible.

If you’re committed to ensuring your business stays on top of their STP reporting requirements, we can help. Speak to our experienced Sunshine Coast accountants at (07) 5471 7077 or complete our online accountant appointment request today.

Resources:

ATO (About Single Touch Payroll): https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/About-Single-Touch-Payroll/

ATO (Single Touch Payroll): https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/

The Sydney Morning Herald ('Get on board': Single touch payroll required for all employers): https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/get-on-board-single-touch-payroll-required-for-all-employers-20190212-p50x73.html

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