Published on Apr 1, 2019

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Since July 1, 2018 businesses with more than 19 employees have been required to report their employees’ wages/salaries, tax and super to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through Single Touch Payroll (STP). From July 1, 2019 this will now be extended to include businesses with 19 or fewer employees. Once the changeover has been made it will mean the end of group certificates.

What is STP?

STP is an electronic system of reporting your employee payment information to the ATO each payday instead of yearly. Whichever payroll software you use will need to have the STP function.

Do I need to change when I pay my staff?

No, you can continue using whatever pay frequency you currently use, whether that’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

What will this mean for employees?

It will give employees greater transparency regarding their wage, tax and superannuation payment information. This can be accessed at any time through the employee’s myGov account.

It also helps to guarantee that employers are doing the right thing by their employees and complying with their obligations to the ATO.

The big plus of this system is that once businesses are on board, they won’t need to issue group certificates come tax time. The information will be accessible through the employee’s myGov account.

Low cost STP reporting systems

The ATO is working with software providers to develop low cost reporting systems including simple payroll solutions, portals and mobile apps. They have published a list of providers on their website.

The STP initiative is seen as an important step in streamlining business reporting and keeping pace with the digital age.

How to get ready for STP:

  • Visit the ATO website for information, resources, news and detailed guidelines.
  • If you have payroll software, speak to your provider to find out if your product is STP ready or when it will be.
  • If you don’t have software, choose a product that offers STP. Ask your registered tax or BAS agent for advice on choosing a product that suits your business needs.
  • Update your payroll software.
  • Start reporting to the ATO through STP.