Are you prepared for Single Touch Payroll?

IN less than a month, many employers will start reporting to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) in real-time from their payroll software each time they pay their employees.

This change, known as Single Touch Payroll (STP), means employers will send tax and superannuation information to the ATO electronically when they run their payroll.

This includes their employees’ salaries and wages, as well as Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding.

ATO assistant commissioner John Shepherd said employers with 20 or more employees needed to plan for STP before 1 July.

“With less than a month to go our message is clear: know when and how your software will be updated, get your business STP ready or ask us for more time if you need it,” he said.

Some payroll software providers have had their start date deferred by the ATO which covers their employer clients.

“Ask your software provider if they have a deferral from the ATO and check it applies to the software version you’re using,” Mr Shepherd said.

“If they do, you’ll start reporting on or before that deferral date – not on 1 July.

“If your software will be ready by 1 July, but you need more time, apply for your own deferral using our online form.

“You’ll need to make sure you provide us with the right information.”

Mr Shepherd said a key part of getting ready was making sure payroll information was correct and up-to-date and that the right people in a business knew about STP.

“Even if you have a deferral, use our ‘Get ready for STP checklist’ to make the most of your time now before you start reporting,” he said.

Employers can visit www.ato.gov.au/stp for more information including a fact sheet, checklist, detailed technical guidance on information to report, along with helpful videos.