ATO finds employers support Single Touch Payroll

Single Touch Payroll, ATO, consultation processThe ATO has found support for Single Touch Payroll among employers, as part of a consultation process, but also that at least a year would be needed for successful implementation.

Single Touch Payroll is a Government initiative for real time reporting of PAYG Withholding (PAYGW) and Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions. It may also include real time payment of these amounts.

According to the ATO the consultation process found “there is general support for the real time reporting concept given the broader community benefits and potential future use of the data by other government agencies.”

“Most employers saw benefits of simplifying the process to bring on new employees.”

However “most businesses” will require 12 to 18 months to successfully implement Single Touch Payroll.

Additionally, the ATO found, “some participants believe Single Touch Payroll may increase the current burden on employers, due to more frequent reporting.”

“Discussions are continuing with software developers to explore design options for reporting payroll information.”

When announced in late 2014 the new system was intended to start from July 2016, however this proved unrealistic.

“Having listened carefully to the earlier feedback the Government acknowledges that a start date of July 2016 will not be achievable for many businesses,” said the then Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson.

A time frame for implementing Single Touch Payroll has not been announced, other than “targeted pilots” starting in July 2016.

It is, as yet, unclear what implications the change of Small Business Minister will have on Single Touch Payroll.

It is also unclear to what extent Single Touch Payroll will only increase the frequency of reporting, or if it will also include more frequent PAYGW and SG payments.

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