What is Single Touch Payroll?

Information current as of 16 April 2018

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a new way to streamline business reporting obligations. As an employer, you will be able to report salary or wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information to the ATO from your payroll solution, at the same time you pay your employees.

Rather than reporting your wage tax liability to the ATO with your activity statement (quarterly or monthly), you will be required to report the wage tax liability to the ATO at the same time as you pay your employees.

How does STP affect businesses with 20 or more employees?

For businesses with 20 or more employees on April 1 2018, you will need to report through a payroll solution that enables Single Touch Payroll from July 1 2018. If you don’t use a payroll solution, you will need to use one by July 1 2018 that enables Single Touch Payroll reporting.

How does STP affect businesses with less than 20 employees?

For businesses with less than 20 employees, Single Touch Payroll reporting will be optional until July 1 2019 dependant on legislation being passed in Parliament - however, you can set up and report through Single Touch Payroll to take advantage of any benefits that it may offer.

When does STP come into effect?

It is proposed that STP will be available from July 2017. Organisations with ≥20 employees will be required to start reporting from July 2018.

As an employer, what does it mean to me?

  • simplified business reporting by leveraging the existing payroll processes to meet your PAYG withholding reporting obligation in real time
  • removal of the requirement to produce payment summaries to individuals or a payment summary annual report to the ATO
  • reduction of on-boarding activities as tax file number declarations and super Standard Choice forms can be completed online via myGov
  • communication of the new digital approach to payment summaries and myGov to all employees

As an employer with seasonal workers, what does it mean to me?

Exemptions are granted by the ATO under certain circumstances. If you have seasonal workers, we recommend you read this article published by the ATO or contact your accountant or business adviser for further information.

As an employee, what does it mean to me?

  • visibility of your total YTD income, PAYG withholding amounts and superannuation contributions as they accumulate
  • reduced risk of businesses getting behind on the payment of superannuation entitlements or PAYG

Will there be penalties?

No penalties will be imposed for the first 12 months for late submission of STP reports, and there will be a grace period for incorrect data on STP reports.

What does this mean for Agrimaster and Wagemaster?

Wagemaster version is the first step towards Single Touch Payroll compliance. Here is an article explaining what to do before setting up Single Touch Payroll. 

What’s next for you?

This communication only offers you a very brief overview of Single Touch Payroll and its potential impact to you. We recommend you visit the ATO website for detailed information and/or consult your accountant.

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