Single Touch Payroll start dates should be pushed back: Tax Institute

Employers have not been given enough time to prepare for Single Touch Payroll, and the start dates should be pushed back at least one year, says the Tax Institute.

Single Touch Payroll is a new system for employers to report salary & wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation information. Large employers (20 or more employees) are scheduled to start using the system from 1 July 2018, and small employers (19 or fewer employees) are expected to have to start from 1 July 2019.

Expanding Single Touch Payroll to small employers was only announced in August 2017 and requires legislation be passed, on which Treasury has been consulting. The Tax Institute, in a submission on the draft legislation, says employers have not been provided with adequate time to adjust, due to the “enormity of recent superannuation reforms”. Read more...

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. Read more...

Draft Bill targeting Superannuation Guarantee underpayment released

The Government has released draft legislation aimed at cracking down on Superannuation Guarantee underpayment.

A draft of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Taxation and Superannuation Guarantee Integrity Measures) Bill 2018 has been released for consultation.

If the draft Bill is passed the ATO would have the power to disclose information to an employee about a failure, or suspected failure, by an employer to comply with their Super Guarantee obligations.

The Bill would also give the ATO the power to issue a direction to an employer to pay unpaid and overdue Superannuation Guarantee, or to undertake an approved education course on the SG obligations. Changes are also made to director penalties, including the ‘lock-down rule’. Read more...

Small businesses won’t get $100 for Single Touch Payroll software

Small businesses won’t be receiving $100 towards payroll software as part of Single Touch Payroll, the Government has announced.

In late 2015 Minster Kelly O’Dwyer announced that small businesses would receive a tax offset to help pay for the cost of Standard Business Reporting software, which is required for Single Touch Payroll reporting.

“To assist with the transition the Government will provide businesses, with a turnover of less than $2 million, a $100 non-refundable tax offset for SBR enabled software,”said Minister O’Dwyer at the time. Read more...

Government should justify small business Single Touch Payroll cost

The Government has been called on to release a cost benefit analysis to support its announcement that small businesses will have to use Single Touch Payroll.

The Government announced this week that small businesses (with 19 or fewer employees) would have to use Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2019, as part of a crackdown on Superannuation Guarantee non-compliance.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) was previously only going to be compulsory for large employers from 1 July 2018. STP will involve reporting PAYGW and superannuation data to the ATO as part of payroll processing. Read more...

Employers should report & pay superannuation at same time as wages

Employers should be required to report and pay Superannuation Guarantee at the same time as salary and wages, says the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST).

The Government recently announced that Single Touch Payroll, which involves reporting SG and PAYGW to the ATO when wages are paid, will be compulsory for employers with 19 or fewer employees from 1 July 2019. In addition super funds will have to report contributions to the ATO at least monthly.

AIST supports the measure, but is also calling for employers to be required to pay superannuation contributions at least monthly, and preferably at the same time as wages. AIST also wants payslips to show the amount of super actually paid, not just accrued. Read more...

Small employers to have to use Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2019

The Government has announced that from 1 July 2019 small employers will have to be using Single Touch Payroll.

Single Touch Payroll will involve reporting salary and wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation guarantee information to the ATO as part of the payroll process. This was to apply to large employers (20 or more employees) from 1 July 2018, with it being optional for small employers (19 or fewer employees).

However Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, has now announced that small employers will have to use Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2019, as part of an effort to combat Superannuation Guarantee non-compliance. Read more...

Force small employers to use Single Touch Payroll to fight black economy

The Government should extend Single Touch Payroll to small employers to help combat superannuation non-payment in the black economy, says a superannuation industry body.

One aspect of Single Touch Payroll is the electronic reporting of payroll information to the ATO. The reporting of payment of salary and wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation through Single Touch Payroll will be mandatory from 1 July 2018 for employers with 20 or more employees. For employers with 19 or fewer employees it will be optional. Read more...

Single Touch Payroll may push employees to choose sub-standard fund

Single Touch Payroll could pressure employees to choose a super fund without information about investment returns or fees, Industry Super Australia has argued.

Part of the Single Touch Payroll initiative is a digital superannuation standard choice form, currently being developed by the ATO.

Industry Super Australia says that employees may be pressured to use the Single Touch Payroll to choose a super fund without access to investment return or fee information and could be prompted to choose a fund over the employer default fund – which may be an industry fund. Read more...

Design of Single Touch Payroll risks unintended consequences

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has criticised the development of Single Touch Payroll, warning the ATO and Government of unintended consequences.

One aspect of Single Touch Payroll, currently under development by the ATO, would allow employees commencing new employment to complete their superannuation standard choice form and TFN declaration using ATO Online or through the business management software of their employer.

ASFA has raised a number of concerns about this part of Single Touch Payroll, in a submission. In particular the organisation is concerned that the ATO online process will lead to people simply selecting their current super fund instead of taking the opportunity to consider their options. Read more...