Employers embrace payroll changes – are you on board?

Payroll tips to keep wages compliance among franchisees
Payroll tips to keep wages compliance among franchisees

Are you using Single Touch Payroll yet? The new streamlined payroll reporting system is off to a successful start, reports the Australian Taxation Office.

The Single Touch Payroll (STP) transition year for employers with 20 or more employees started on 1 July. About 40,000 employers are already sending tax and super information from their payroll software each time they pay their employees.

Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd said “Software providers and tax professionals have done a great job getting their clients’ systems and processes ready for STP reporting.

“Their collaboration with the ATO in designing and ensuring the readiness of STP has made this first step in the implementation of STP a success,” he said.

Once an employer starts reporting through STP, they will no longer have to give their employees a payment summary (what many still call a Group Certificate).

Employees will be able to access an income statement for each employer in ATO online services, accessed through myGov. STP data will be pre-filled into their tax return at the end of the financial year and made available to their registered tax agents.

“Over 2.5 million employees can already see their tax and super information being updated after every pay in myGov. This gives them a better picture of their super entitlements and more control over their retirement savings.

“As with any major transition we recognise that some payroll software providers may require additional time to transition their employer clients to STP-enabled software,” Shepherd said.

Penalties generally won’t apply in this transition year as the ATO continues to focus on providing tailored support to employers as they commence their STP reporting.

Employers who need additional time can also apply using the ATO’s online form or by asking their tax or BAS agent to make an application on their behalf.

About 73,000 employers with 20 or more employees are expected to transition to STP reporting this financial year while about 15,000 employers with 19 or fewer employees have also voluntarily started their STP reporting.