Single Touch Payroll reporting: ATO urges employers to get ready

Single Touch Payroll reporting: ATO urges employers to get ready

The ATO has called on employers with 20 or more employees to start preparing now for the Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting regime which will be mandatory from 1 July 2018.

Assistant Commissioner, John Shepherd, said STP will allow employers to meet their ATO reporting obligations for employees’ tax and super information using their own payroll or accounting software that is STP ready. Many employers will be able to update their existing payroll software to a version that is STP ready. However, employers with 20 or more employees who do not use payroll software will need to choose a product that offers STP by 1 July 2018, Mr Shepherd said.

From 1 July 2018, employers will need to report their employees’ tax and super information to the ATO through payroll software that is STP ready, as part of efforts to help employees meet their reporting obligations to the ATO by using their own payroll or accounting software.

The ATO has outlined the next steps to help employers get ready for STP:

  • Download the “Get ready checklist” from the ATO Webpage.
  • Do a headcount of employees on 1 April 2018.
  • Talk to existing software providers on how and when their product will be STP ready.
  • Employers who don’t have existing software should choose a product that offers STP. A tax or BAS agent may be able to suggest a suitable product.
  • Update the payroll software when it’s ready and start reporting to the ATO through STP.

“Some payroll software providers have asked us for more time to get ready – employers should ask if their provider has been given a deferral which will cover them, and also check when their product will be updated to offer Single Touch Payroll reporting.

“We’ve been working closely with payroll software providers, tax and BAS agents and payroll specialists from concept through to design and now deployment of solutions to ensure that Single Touch Payroll can be successfully implemented.

“The ATO is here to make the transition as smooth as possible for employers to ensure they meet their obligations. We have developed a number of resources including factsheets, checklists, information packs and advice on how to manage headcount. These are all available to download on the ATO website.” Mr Shepherd said.

Employers with 19 or less employees have another year to prepare, however they can choose to start reporting through STP prior to 1 July 2019 if their software is updated.

A number of STP resources including factsheets, checklists, information packs and advice on how to manage headcount are available on the ATO Webpage.

Adam Ahmed is an Australian international tax lawyer. Adam has over a decade of experience working at 3 of the big 4 accounting firms and one of the top tax law firms in Australia. He is currently the managing director of Adam Ahmed & Co.