Single Touch Payroll – take action now to be ready by 1 July 2019

Single Touch Payroll – take action now to be ready by 1 July 2019

From the September 2019 quarter you will need to be ready for Single Touch Payroll if you have 19 or fewer employees. If you have 20 or more employees you should already be using Single Touch Payroll.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) requires payroll information to be reported to the Taxation Office each time you pay your employees, rather than monthly or quarterly via an Activity Statement.

The Tax Office has acknowledged that the move to STP for some small businesses may be challenging, therefore small businesses will be allowed to report start reporting any time between 1 July and 30 September 2019.

If you are using Xero currently to pay your employees and meeting your Super Stream obligations then your next step is to register for Single Touch Payroll. You should have seen the Get Started page from the Pay Run page in Xero:

Xero has provided some step by step instructions at this link:
https://central.xero.com/s/article/Set-up-Single-Touch-Payroll-STP 

If you are using another software, such as Quickbooks, Reckon or MYOB then these software providers all have a STP solution that is now ready and compliant. Please note, broadly the desktop versions of these softwares WILL NOT be STP compliant.

What if I’m not using a payroll software – how can I be STP compliant?
There will be low-cost options available for those employers that employ 19 or fewer employees and don’t currently have a payroll software solution.

It is expected that these softwares will cost approximately $10 a month.

The Tax Office has released a list of software providers that currently have solutions available, as well as those providers that will have a solution available in the near future: https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/In-detail/Low-cost-Single-Touch-Payroll-solutions/

I only employee 1 – 4 staff members – what do I need to do?
There will be a number of options available to you. Initially the Tax Office will allow your Tax or BAS agent to lodge STP information quarterly on your behalf. There will also be a number of no or low cost ($10 or less) options that will become available.

The Tax Office has released a list of software providers that currently have solutions available, as well as those providers that will have a solution available in the near future: https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/In-detail/Low-cost-Single-Touch-Payroll-solutions/

My only staff members are myself and my immediate family – what do I need to do?
If you only employee yourself and/or your immediate family (and are therefore a closely held entity) then you are exempt for STP for the 2020 financial year. From 1 July 2020 closely held entities will have quarterly reporting obligations (that is, with the quarterly Business Activity Statement). The finalisation date for STP will be aligned with the lodgement of the tax return.

Please feel free to contact our office if you would like more information in regards to your STP compliance.