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From 1 July 2018 an increasing number of employers will begin reporting payroll to the ATO through Single Touch Payroll.
Some software is becoming available on or shortly after 1 July 2018 and therefore employers will be invited into their new system as their software turns on the system.
Substantial employers with 20 or more employees as at 1 April 2018 are required to report as at 1 July 2018. It isn’t always a simple count of active employees, click here to check who to include in your count as directed by the ATO. If you go over or below this amount since then it doesn’t change your eligibility for this financial year.
All other employers will most likely be required to report through STP at the start of the 2019-20 financial year.
The Law Said Start by 1 July 2018
Deferrals have been granted.
Eligible Employers refer above to assess, must know by 1 July 2018 what their transition to STP reporting plan is:
If the software is not ready then you should know the Deferral Reference Number from the software Company as you will need to lodge this with the ATO. If the software becomes ready any time throughout the 2017-18 financial year and you are eligible, you must start reporting from the next payrun.
If the software is ready then schedule an implementation time with your Certified Bookkeeper.
Alternatively your Certified Bookkeeper (who needs to be a Registered Agent to perform STP advice services) may have a deferral for all clients of their business or be able to assist with your application for a Deferral that applies just to you.
What to do
If you are required to lodge for STP as at 1 July 2018 and your software is compliant you will need to call the ATO 1300 852 232 or your registered and certified bookkeeper.
Software Requires Changes
Most software will require time to be spent to ensure your STP reports are providing the right amounts to the ATO in the right way:
- Gross Wages properly classified and Calculated
- Tax Withheld properly reported
- Super accruals working correctly
- Allowances properly classified and taxed
- Deductions properly classified
- Employee information complete and in the right fields
Your payroll software also needs to either; connect to the ATO (information is being provided by each software company about how to do this), or provide an electronic file for you to upload through a commercial STP file lodgment service.
Each Pay Day
Your normal pay preparation changes in only one way – information is sent to the ATO.
STP does not change the time of making payments to the employees, the super funds or the payment of the BAS.
You will now only be able to adjust your last payrun processed any further back will need a special payrun processed, contact your Certified Bookkeeper for assistance.
Explaining to Employees
To prevent the unnecessary questions (and possible accusations) we believe it is wise for employers to provide introductory information to employees.
We expect that there will be a period of confusion as some employees will hear about and know about Single Touch Payroll. Some may even be accessing myGov and seeing their payroll information on the ATO Online system. However some employees will not have access to that same payroll information because STP may not have been implemented by you yet.
Speak to your Certified Bookkeeper about an information pack for employees.
Things the STP System is Still Thinking About
- Exactly how the ATO will react to the information is still being designed. They are on a program to Help & Assist employers in relation to their compliance obligations.
- If your lodging on behalf of your clients the required authority for every payrun is still being discussed with the ATO legal teams. If your lodging on behalf of your clients, as per current AS and payments summary guidelines an authority to lodge would be required each and every payrun.