EMPLOYERS with 19 or fewer employees are now required to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll (STP) from 1 July 2019.
STP requires employers to report their employees’ salaries and wages, pay as you go withholding and super information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) from their payroll solution each time they pay their employees.
Since STP reporting became mandatory for employers with 20 or more employees on 1 July 2018, more than 60,000 Australian employers, representing around 4.3 million Australian employees, have been successfully reporting through STP.
ATO assistant commissioner John Shepherd said the ATO would be working with employers to support them as they transition to STP.
“Single Touch Payroll is an important change that will deliver benefits for both employers and employees by streamlining payroll processes and providing greater transparency around super entitlements,” he said.
“Employers with a payroll solution already in place may be able to start reporting now by updating their software to one that is STP-ready.
“We encourage employers to talk to their software provider about when their product will be available.
“We understand the deadline of 1 July can be difficult for some small employers and we want to reassure them that the ATO is committed to providing employers with enough time to properly consider their options.
“As such, small employers can start reporting anytime from 1 July to 30 September.
“If they start during this period they will be reporting on time.”
Mr Shepherd said the ATO was providing small employers with this three-month transitional period to work out the best solution for their business.
“We encourage them to talk to their accountant or tax advisor and ensure they are aware of all their options,” he said.
“We will also be generous in granting deferrals to small employers who need more time to start STP reporting, and a number of low-cost options (less than $10 per month) will also become available in the 2018-19 financial year.
“These options may include simple payroll solutions, portals and online apps.”
As the ATO did for employers with 20 or more employees, the first year of reporting will be a transition year and the ATO will work with small employers to ensure they have the information and help they need to transition smoothly.
“The ATO is focused on educating and supporting tax professionals and employers to make the transition easier,” Mr Shepherd said.
For more information, visit www.ato.gov.au/stp.