Monday, 04 March 2019 10:26

Single touch payroll for smaller firms to come in from 1 July Featured

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Single touch payroll for smaller firms to come in from 1 July Image by mohamed hassan on Pixabay

Companies which employ 19 or fewer people will have to report through the single touch payroll (STP) system from 1 July, the Australian Taxation Office says, adding that they can take additional time until 30 September to do so if required.

The requirement has come in following the passage of laws through Parliament on 12 February. Under STP, employers have to provide details of salaries and wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation information to the ATO from their payroll software each time payments are made.

The ATO said in a statement that since STP reporting was introduced on 1 July 2018 for companies that had 20 or more workers, more than 60,000 employers had successfully used STP to report the details of about 4.3 million employees.

At the time STP was introduced for employers with more than 20 employees, ATO assistant commissioner John Shepherd told iTWire that there were about 72,000 employers who would have to use the STP system

He said on Monday that the tax office would help employers in the move to STP.

“Single Touch Payroll is an important change that will deliver benefits for both employers and employees by streamlining payroll processes and providing greater transparency around super entitlements,” he said.

“Employers with a payroll solution already in place may be able to start reporting now by updating their software to one that is STP-ready. We encourage employers to talk to their software provider about when their product will be available."

He said the ATO was aware that the 1 July deadline would be difficult for some to meet and "we want to reassure them that the ATO is committed to providing employers with enough time to properly consider their options".

Shepherd said if small employers started using STP between 1 July and 30 September, they would be reporting on time.

"The ATO is providing small employers with this three-month transitional period to work out the best solution for their business. We encourage them to talk to their accountant or tax adviser and ensure they are aware of all their options," he said.

“We will also be generous in granting deferrals to small employers who need more time to start STP reporting, and a number of low-cost options (less than $10 per month) will also become available in the 2018-19 financial year. These options may include simple payroll solutions, portals and online apps.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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