ATO tells employers it’s time to get ready for Single Touch Payroll

The ATO says it’s time for employers to get ready for Single Touch Payroll, urging employers with 20 or more employees to “act now”.

The ATO calls Single Touch Payroll (STP) “the next step in streamlining payroll reporting”. From 1 July 2018 employers with 20+ employees will need to report employee tax and super information to the ATO using software that is STP ready.

The Government announced in 2017 that small employers – those with 19 or fewer employees – will have to use STP from 1 July 2019, though they can choose to start using it earlier.

ATO Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd said STP will provide greater transparency and connect businesses to the ATO.

“Single Touch Payroll is a game-changer for both employers and the ATO. This will allow employers to be able to meet their reporting obligations to us using their own payroll or accounting software,” he said.

“Many employers will be able to update their existing payroll software to a version that is Single Touch Payroll ready. Employers with 20 or more employees who do not use payroll software will need to choose a product that offers STP by 1 July 2018.”

“Employers need to start preparing now in order to be ready for this important reporting change.”

“We’ve been working closely with payroll software providers, tax and BAS agents and payroll specialists from concept through to design and now deployment of solutions to ensure that Single Touch Payroll can be successfully implemented.”

Mr Shepherd said that some payroll software providers have asked the ATO for more time to get ready. He said employers should ask their software providers if they have received a deferral which will cover them, and ask when the software will be updated for STP.

“The ATO is here to make the transition as smooth as possible for employers to ensure they meet their obligations. We have developed a number of resources including factsheets, checklists, information packs and advice on how to manage headcount. These are all available to download on the ATO website.”

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