Small employers have less than 2 weeks to be using STP

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The ATO has warned small employers they have less than two weeks to be using Single Touch Payroll (STP), with the end of a transition period.

Single Touch Payroll became mandatory for small employers – those with 19 or fewer employees – on 1 July 2019, though the ATO gave a three month transition period, until 30 September.

The ATO has warned small businesses that this deadline is now less than two weeks away.

“Employers have a number of options to transition to STP. They can start reporting now, get a deferral, or work with their registered tax or BAS agent to report quarterly (if eligible),” said the ATO.

“There are also concessions available for employers who don’t have access to a reliable internet connection, as well as those that employ family members or other ‘closely held’ payees, one to four employees, and intermittent or seasonal workers.”

ATO Assistant Commissioner Jason Lucchese said that it’s time to move to STP, and that small businesses need to be taking steps to start reporting.

“More than 425,000 employers are already reporting their employees’ tax and superannuation information through STP, but we understand all employers operate in slightly different ways and can sometimes be faced with unique challenges which can affect their payroll processes.

“Regardless of whether you’re ready to start reporting, or if you still need more time to get ready, there are options available to you.”

Even once the deadline has passed, the ATO plans to be accommodative as small businesses use the new reporting system.

“The Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan has reassured small employers that the ATO’s approach will be flexible, reasonable and pragmatic with no penalties for mistakes, missed or late payments for the first year”, Lucchese said.

During the three month transition period the number of small employers reporting with STP had more than tripled, increasing from around 100,000 to 350,000 at 16 September, says the ATO.

The ATO has a range of resources on Single Touch Payroll for employers on its website.

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