Author: Lehanne Bleumink, Gold Seal HR Services Manager.

Employers by now should be aware of the ATO’s Single Touch Payroll (STP) requirement that has commenced for some employers already. STP represents a change in reporting payments to the ATO (such as wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation information) from once annually, to reporting them every time you pay employees.

STP is now a requirement, enforceable by the ATO from:

  • 1 July 2018 – for businesses employing 20 or more employees.
  • 1 July 2019 – for businesses employing 19 or less employees (this may be subject to change).

The switch to STP shouldn’t represent another complication from the ATO, it could in fact be a welcome change to modernise and streamline business processes.

If you are a business owner and this is the first you are hearing about STP, you may want to speak to your payroll software provider, bookkeeper or accountant. Having the right payroll solution in place will go a long way in making the transition to this new form of payroll reporting as seamless as possible.

How to comply

When your business is required to start reporting through STP, you will need to start sending your payroll and superannuation information to the ATO from your payroll system each pay period.

You won’t have to change your pay cycle; you can still pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly. The payment due date for PAYG withholding and superannuation contributions will not change; however, you can choose to pay earlier.

Becoming STP compliant may require your business to change key payroll-related software and processes. If you haven’t already, it is recommended you seek training and advice from software providers, bookkeepers or accountants.

Once your business is set up for STP, the process should be relatively painless.

Why is the ATO implementing this change?

STP is a system the ATO hopes will streamline business tax and superannuation reporting – therefore saving time, money and reducing risk for small business. Getting the set up correct from the start is important.

For assistance on any of your HR/IR requirements – call Gold Seal on 03 9510 5100 or email