Time Is Running Out! – Single Touch Payroll Compliance

Updated March 19th 2020

You must be Single Touch Payroll (STP) Compliant before 30 September 2019

Six steps from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to help you be STP ready;

1. Determine how you will report through STP

The first step is to determine how you will report through STP. This may depend on the size of your business, and if you currently use a payroll or accounting software.
You can choose one of the following options:

  •  report through a Single Touch Payroll-enabled software solution
    • check if your current software supports STP
    • if not, talk to your tax or BAS agent for advice on choosing the right product to suit your business needs
  • ask a third party – such as a registered tax or BAS agent, or a payroll service provider to report through STP for you
  • for employers with four or less employees only: choose a no-cost or low-cost solution when one is available.

2. If you use a payroll software, talk to your provider

Find out how your payroll software provider will offer STP reporting – this may be through an update to your existing software, or an additional service. Older software products, such as those purchased off-the-shelf, may not be updated to offer STP reporting. Your provider will be able to tell you which of their products offer STP reporting.

3. Discuss STP with your staff

Ensure that the right people in your business know about STP – especially the person or people responsible for running your payroll.
This is also a good time to ensure you are:

  • paying your employees correctly
  • calculating your employees’ super entitlements correctly
  • addressing overpayments correctly
  • maintaining accurate information including names, addresses, and date of birth records.

Cleaning up any anomalies in your payroll now will help you report successfully.

4. Start reporting

See the Start reporting checklist before sending your first STP pay event report to the ATO. This will help you to send your file successfully

Note that:

  • Support is available, particularly during the first year of reporting, and;
  • Mistakes can be corrected. The first year is a transitional year and penalties will generally not apply.

5. Apply for more time if you need it

Employers with 19 employees or less:

  • If you won’t be ready to start reporting before 30 September 2019 you will need to apply for a deferral. See Single Touch Payroll deferrals
  • If you have closely held payees you don’t need to start reporting these payees until 1 July 2020. There is no action required from you, this is automatically granted.

Employers with 20 or more employees

  •  You should be reporting through STP, or have a deferral in place. If not, apply for one online or seek assistance from your tax agent
  •  When requesting a deferral, make sure you follow the ATO guidelines and provide all the evidence, if required.

6. If you need more support

Contact your CIB manager now for assistance to ensure your first report meets with ATO requirements.

We understand the hardest part is the initial set-up stage and preparing for your first report. We can help you to create and follow successful processes, that suit your specific business needs, to ensure a smooth transition to STP.