Small employers (with 19 or less employees) need to move to Single Touch Payroll (STP) by 30 September.
STP became mandatory for small employers from 1 July this year. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provided a three month transition period to employers that needed more time to get ready until 30 September. There are now two weeks until the deadline.
During this transition period, the number of small employers reporting through STP has more than tripled, going from around 100,000 to 350,000 as of 16 September.
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).
There are also concessions available for employers who don’t have access to a reliable internetconnection, as well as those that employ family members or other ‘closely held’ payees, one to four employees, and intermittent or seasonal workers.
Assistant Commissioner Jason Lucchese said it’s time to move to STP and small employers 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”, Mr Lucchese said.
To help small employers better understand their options, the ATO has developed a range of handy factsheets and other resources, which are available on ato.gov.au/stp. There’s also an interactive online quiz to help employers determine their next step.
Matthew Addison is Executive Director of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, a professional association of bookkeepers helping many businesses implement STP across Australia.
He has worked closely with the ATO and other industry representatives on the design and implementation of STP. He says, “Bookkeepers using Single Touch Payroll enabled software should easily be able to help a business to report each payday to the ATO”.
“We are finding that with a little bit of preparation and knowledge, bookkeepers and employers can implement and manage STP with minimal interruption and smoothly integrate it into their everyday business process.”
“Businesses have long been using systems to pay their employees, now that system reports the same information to the ATO.”
Mr Lucchese also highlighted the ATO’s commitment to working with each employer to ensure their needs are met.
“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”, Mr Lucchese said.
For more information about Single Touch Payroll, visit ato.gov.au/stp
Read the Commissioner’s statement about small employer’s transition to Single Touch Payroll here.