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Mar 27, 2019

Single Touch Payroll, the ATO's new requirements on how an employer is to manage and report payroll obligations. How does it work? What changes are important to you?

STP works by sending tax and super information from your payroll or accounting software to the ATO as you run your payroll. You will be reporting super liability information through STP for the first time. Be mindful that Super funds will also be reporting to the ATO. They'll let the ATO know when you make the payment to your employees chosen fund.

Your employees will be able to see their year-to-date tax and super information in ATO online services, which can only be accessed through myGov. Employees data is updated every time you report a pay run.

At the end of the financial year, you will still need to finalise your payroll information however now its simply a declaration to the Commissioner to state you have completed your reporting for the financial year.

You will no longer have to give your employees a payment summary. Once you finalise your data, your employees or their registered agent will be able to lodge their income tax return using the STP information available in ATO online services.

From 2020 the ATO will pre-fill activity statement labels W1 and W2 for small and medium withholders. If you currently lodge an activity statement you will continue to do so. One thing to note, despite STP roll out you will be exempt from reporting closely held payees during this 2019/2020 financial year. These typically are individuals who are not “arms length” for example an owner acting as a director.