Single Touch Payroll, the Next Evolution of Payroll in Australia

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a new payroll reporting requirement being introduced by the Australian government effective the 1st of July 2018. Single Touch Payroll was legislated on the 16th of September 2016, as part of the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Act 2016.

Any organisation with 20 or more Employees will need to comply with the requirements of Single Touch Payroll Reporting on the 1st of July 2018 , with a plan to expand the requirement on the 1st of July  2019  to  include  organisations with less  than 20 employees from this date onwards (subject to legislation being passed in parliament).

What Can You Do to Get Ready?

STP’s main aim is to improve transparency of information to the ATO, and increase compliance levels of Employers by simplifying and automating the reporting process. A secondary goal is to enable real-time data transfer between government agencies rather than data sharing after the fact. This real-time Cross Agency sharing of information is a key benefit to the initiative and will enable more accurate and higher levels of service from agencies that rely on the data.

What has changed?

Here are some of the things that are changing under the new requirements:

  • Ordinary Time Earnings, salary and wages, allowances, deductions, superannuation information and Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) withholding information will be reported and available to the Commissioner in ‘real time’ when payroll is periodically processed by the employer

  • Employers will need to acquire SBR-enabled software to comply with their PAYG withholding obligations

  • New employees will have the option of completing TFN declarations and Super Choice forms online

  • The STP reports for PAYG withholding will become the approved form for reporting PAYG withholding as opposed to the information being in the activity statement

  • We go into more detail on several other changes here  

What has not changed?

Here are some of the things that are not changing under the new requirements:

  • If the employer does not elect to pay their PAYG withholding liability at the same time they report under STP, there is no change to the due date for payment of the PAYG Withholding liability. The payment cycle depends on the size of the employer. Large employers need to remit weekly, medium sized employers remit monthly, and small employers remit on a quarterly basis
  • Likewise STP does not change the payment due date for superannuation guarantee, being generally on the 28th day following a financial quarter
  • Employers will continue to be able to adjust or correct data in their activity

Businesses will need to work with their payroll provider to understand when their specific payroll solution and version will be ready (or alternatively search for a solutionthat will be made compliant if the current solution is not).

Synchrony Payroll, our solution to the ever challenging environment of payroll management, is a fully scalable cloud based solution that is designed to be used for everyone, everywhere. It is localised across 41 countries around the globe and includes compliance with requirements such as taxes, social insurances, pensions and associated reporting.

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