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Mature-aged couple meeting with CE Smith Mackay Financial Advisor

Single Touch Payroll - are you ready?

Single touch payroll (STP) was introduced on 1 July 2018 for all businesses with more than 20 employees.

It will be mandatory for ALL employers from 1 July 2019 and you have the ability to voluntarily opt in prior to that date.

Please note there are NO changes to the statutory due dates for payments (and lodgements) of superannuation guarantee or PAYG Withholding.

What is Single Touch Payroll?
Single touch payroll is the electronic transfer of payroll data to the ATO each time your employees are paid.

Most accounting software providers are already STP compliant and ready to go.  If you are still using a manual payroll system we urge you to contact our office as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Each pay cycle your software will report the following information:
Each employee’s name and tax file number
Gross amount paid
Tax withheld on the gross
Ordinary time earnings for the period
Any superannuation guarantee obligations

The ATO will use this information to report to you each month or quarter the correct amount of PAYG Withholding to pay in your activity statement.  There will also be information available regarding your superannuation obligations to either pay the ATO clearing house or your independent provider.  There is no change to how you report and pay your employees’ superannuation entitlements  under single touch payroll.

Employers will no long have to prepare and provide payment summaries and in time there will be the ability to more easily obtain TFN and super details for employees.

Employees will have access to real time tax information through “mygov” and access to their payment summaries.

Ok I’m ready to opt in – what do I need to do?
If you are using a cloud based or online accounting software provider (MYOB, Xero, Intuit, Reckon etc) you should be able to access specific help instructions for each provider in regards to reporting via single touch payroll.

The basic steps are:
1. Check your employee and company information is correct
a. Employee information including; address and valid tax file number
b. Company information including; ABN, branch code (if applicable), phone number and address
2. Connect to the ATO from within your software and have your unique software ID (SSID) provided to the ATO.

If you are using a manual payroll system please contact our office to discuss your options, there are a number of low-cost single touch payroll solutions now available in the market.

Where can I find out more information?
The ATO website https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/ has detailed information on Single Touch Payroll covering how to correct errors, what information must be reported (and what can’t be reported), what happens if you change software providers during the year and much more.
Your software providers ‘help’ function

This will be a big transition for some however the ATO has vowed to work with employers in the interim.

Our advice is to become single touch payroll ready sooner rather than later.  We are here to help you through the process if you need it.  Please do not hesitate to contact our office for support.