Employment Law Update
Single Touch Payroll: action required by 1 July 2019

5 March 2019

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Further to our update on 10 December 2018, Parliament has now passed legislation to extend Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting to include all employers from 1 July 2019.

In particular, from that date onwards, all employers are required to report their employees’ tax and super information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through STP.

STP is pay day reporting by employers to the ATO as it happens.  Employers with 20 or more employees have been required to report through STP since 1 July 2018.

The Commissioner of Taxation (Chris Jordan) has sought to reassure small businesses by confirming the ATO’s approach to the extension of STP to all employers will be flexible, reasonable and pragmatic.  In particular, the Commissioner has confirmed as follows:

  1. the ATO will offer micro employers (who have one (1) to four (4) employees) help to transition to STP and a number of alternative options (e.g. allowing those who rely on a registered tax or BAS agent to report quarterly for the first two years, rather than each time payroll is run);
  2. small employers can start reporting any time from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, and the ATO will grant deferrals to any small employer who requests additional time to start STP reporting;
  3. there will be no penalties for mistakes, missed or late reports for the first year for small businesses; and
  4. the ATO will provide exemptions from STP reporting for employers experiencing hardship, or in areas with intermittent or no internet connection.

Further information about STP can be found in the ATO publication Single Touch Payroll employer reporting guidelines’ which can be found by clicking on this link: https://www.ato.gov.au/misc/downloads/pdf/qc54550.pdf?=primary_button

For further information, please contact:

Seamus Burke | Director
Jess Phillips | Lawyer

This document contains information only and should not be relied upon by anyone as constituting legal advice