Single Touch Payroll, or STP, is due to start 1 July 2019 for businesses with 19 or less employees. STP requires that you report salary and wages, pay as you go withholding and super information to the ATO at the same time as you pay your employees through your business’s payroll software.

It started in 2018 for businesses with 20 or more employees.

The ATO is your best source of information on STP. You’ll find checklists on their website to help with getting ready for STP and one for when reporting starts. Here’s a summary of the ‘Get ready’ checklist.

  1. First, think about how you will report through STP. Options include reporting through payroll or accounting software that offers STP reporting, or asking a tax, BAS agent or payroll service provider to report through STP for you. If you have four or less employees, you could choose from one of the No-cost and low-cost Single Touch Payroll solutions listed on the ATO website and available by 1 July 2019.
  2. If you use payroll software, talk to your provider to find out how they will offer STP reporting and check if they have a deferred start for STP reporting which covers you if you are an existing client.
  3. Talk to your staff about STP, particularly those responsible for running your payroll.
  4. If you have 19 employees or less and you won’t be ready to start reporting before 30 September 2019, you will need to apply for a deferral. Visit ato.gov.au for more information.
  5. Update your software when it is ready, and start reporting to the ATO

Remember, the ATO will help and support you through your first year of reporting and it’s ok if you make a mistake, that you’ll be able to make corrections. Also that because the first year is a transition, penalties will generally not apply.

For more on single touch payroll visit the ATO website.