Single Touch Payroll Reporting - What's changing and what's staying the same?

Wednesday 6 September, 2017

As we mentioned in this earlier article, all businesses across Australia are required to make changes to their payroll reporting through Single Touch Payroll (STPR) from 1 July 2018. Today we will get into some more detail about what is changing and what will stay the same.

Depending on your business, some things may change drastically and others less so, as you are required to update how you report on your payroll systems. For business with more than 20 staff (headcount, not full-time equivalent) there will be some significant changes you need to be aware of that will take place from 1 July 2018. For businesses with less than 20 staff, similar changes will impact your business from 1 July 2019.

Register for the upcoming webinar to find out more.

What has changed?

The main changes you will notice when adopting the STPR are:

  • Ordinary Time Earnings, salary or wages 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. 
  • Superannuation contributions will be reported to the Commissioner at the time the contributions are paid. 
  • Employers must 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 STPR reports for PAYG withholding will become the approved form for reporting PAYG withholding (currently this is the Business Activity Statements (‘BAS’)). A failure to lodge in the approved form attracting an administrative penalty.   
  • Employers that have reported their PAYG withholding obligations via STPR will have their PAYG withholding prefilled by the ATO on their BAS.
  • However, the ATO envisages that employers will be provided with the option to pay their PAYG withholding at the same time they lodge their STP reports to further align the reporting and payment of PAYG withholding through the payroll system. That is, the amounts will be remitted earlier than is necessary under the legislation. 
  • Employers will no longer be required to submit an annual PAYG report to the ATO.
  • Employers may no longer need to provide payment summaries to employees, as the employees will have access to their payroll information via their myGov account. It is recommended that employees whose employers are changing to STPR set up a MyGov account before the change takes place, in order to access to their salary information at year end.

What has remained the same?

  • If the employer does not elect to pay at the same time they report under the STPR 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 remitters monthly, small remitters on a quarterly basis.
  • Likewise the STPR does not change the payment due date for superannuation guarantee, being generally on the 28th day following a financial quarter.

If you're a member, click here to speak to an expert about Single Touch Payroll Reporting through our Experts on Demand Service.

Jason Daniels 100x100

About the contributor:

Jason Daniels is a partner of Business Services at BDO in Brisbane. He is a qualified accountant, financial manager and business leader with more than 20 years’ experience. His expertise lies in all areas of financial management, especially mergers and acquisitions, business planning, forecasting, restructures, systems as well as process and operational improvement and software development. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, is a Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.



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