What is Single Touch Payroll?

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a Commonwealth Government proposal that enables employers accounting software to automatically report payroll and super information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at the same time as they pay their employees.  The key components of STP are to:

  • report an employee’s salary and wage amounts (including ordinary time earnings) and PAYG withholding amounts;
  • report superannuation contribution information at the time payments are made to the fund and;
  • an option to pay their PAYG withholding early at the same time they pay their employees.

STP is designed to simplify tax and superannuation reporting obligations.  The proposed changes were introduced into Parliament on 31 August 2016 as part of the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016. 

Important dates to remember:

  • Employers with 20 or more employees will have the option to start reporting through STP from 1 July 2017. However from 1 July 2018 it will be mandatory to report using STP.
  • Employers with 19 employees or less can elect to report using STP from 1 July 2017. However, no date has been set as to whether this is a requirement at this stage.

The ATO will be running a pilot with small businesses soon to help them understand their needs, and explore the benefits of STP.

In addition, STP includes streamlined processes for new employees commencing employment. Access will be available to pre-filled forms including tax file number declaration and super “choice of fund” forms through their myGovExternal Link account, making it easier for your employees.

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