Are you ready for Single Touch Payroll?

If you’re a business with 20 or more employees, then you are already familiar with the the government’s Single Touch Payroll (STP) scheme that came into effect for you on 1 July 2018. A new legislation was passed in February this year to extend this to employers with 19 or fewer employees as of 1 July 2019. This means from that date, all employers will be subject to STP reporting. The change will help ensure all Australians get their full superannuation entitlements, give greater transparency and help ensure a level playing field for small business. The initiative is also an important step in streamlining business reporting and keeping pace with the digital age. This is the most significant change to reporting systems for businesses since the introduction of the GST on 1 July 2000.

Are you ready for Single Touch Payroll? Do you know what will you need to do to prepare, so that you will be compliant?

What is Single Touch Payroll?

STP is a new way of reporting tax and super information to the ATO directly from your payroll or accounting software every time you pay your employees or through a third party – such as a sending service provider.

How to prepare your small business for STP and ensure compliance

Most popular payroll software companies (such as Xero and MYOB) will already have the correct facilities ready to go. If you are unsure, talk to us and we can help.  There are also a number of options available for employers who do not use payroll software, such as no-cost and low-cost STP solutions – you can find more information about this and if you are eligible on ATO’s website.

There are a few things to be aware of you as you get ready to use STP reporting:

  1. Check your software – you may need a software update or an additional step added to your process
  2. Ensure you have factored STP into your payroll process
  3. Ensure your payroll compliance is up-to-date generally, including employee benefit, wage and super entitlements

The first year of using STP reporting is a transition year and you will have assistance from the ATO, so penalties for mistakes, missed or late reports will not generally apply. If you don’t think you will be ready by the 1st of July, you can apply for a deferral through the ATO. The ATO gives a list of possible reasons for deferring, including lack of internet coverage, or if further development of software is needed.

Have you don your preparation now to ensure you are ready by the 1st of July? If you need any help, contact ZenFind Accounting team today!