Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a new reporting framework that requires employers to provide payroll and superannuation information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as and when employees are paid. STP aligns payroll functions with reporting obligations and employers who fully report will not have to comply with a number of existing obligations. STP will be mandatory for ‘substantial’ employers with 20 or more employees from 1 July 2018 and will be expanded to include employers with 19 or less employees from 1 July 2019. The framework represents a significant change for business, both in the way that employers report and the level of detail being shared with the ATO.
What will change under STP:
- Salary and wages, allowances, deductions and PAYG withholding will be reported to the ATO in ‘real time’ when payroll is periodically processed at each pay run.
- Superannuation liability will be reported at each pay
- Employers will be required to use STP enabled
- STP reports will become the approved form for reporting PAYG withholding, and from 1 July 2019 the ATO will pre-fill amounts on the
- Employers will not have to submit an annual PAYG report to the
- Employers will no longer be required to provide payment summaries as employees will be able to access their information via a myGov
What will remain the same:
- The due date for PAYG withholding and superannuation
- The requirement for employers to provide employees with
- The timing of your pay cycle – employers can continue to pay employees weekly, fortnightly or
Getting Ready for Single Touch Payroll
Step 1: Find out when you need to comply
Mandatory reporting will start from:
- 1 July 2018 for businesses that employ 20 or more people, and
- 1 July 2019 for businesses that employ less than 20 people.
Count your employees. A headcount is required as at 1 April 2018.
The table below will tell you who to include:
Check if your payroll software has a deferred start date. Some payroll software providers have asked the ATO for more time. If granted, the deferral will apply to existing customers of the specific software version.
Step 2: Connect your business systems
Employers will need to use STP enabled software.
Find out if and how your existing payroll software provider will offer STP reporting. You may need to choose a new payroll provider if you currently report on paper or your existing provider will not offer STP.
Step 3: Review your payroll processes
STP means real-time reporting of payroll, PAYG withholding and superannuation to the Government and its associated agencies:
Check your HR practices and procedures including PAYG, superannuation, leave allowances, timeliness of payments and
compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009 – visit www.fairwork.gov.au
Step 4: Start reporting your payroll
You can start reporting as soon as your software is available and before the mandatory start time, if you wish.
QBO and Single Touch Payroll:
QBO will support STP reporting. The changes are currently under development.
There is no estimate on when STP reporting will be available, however it will be ready for use before 1 July 2018.
If you need help:
If you have concerns or require assistance in relation to any aspect of Single Touch Payroll please contact our office. We also recommend the ATO website which is regularly updated with STP information: www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/