It’s time for all Australian businesses to get ready for when the Australian Taxation Office pushes the button on the new Single Touch Payroll system on the 1st of July 2019.
Single Touch Payroll introduces a whole new era for payroll processing in this country and promises to make preparing and submitting payroll information to the ATO simpler, faster and easier all around.
Here we answer some of the most common questions we’ve received about Single Touch Payroll and how it directly affects your business in a clear, simple and concise way.
In essence, it’s important to remember that these changes do affect your business. If anything is not clear, or you’re just not sure where to begin with your Single Touch Payroll preparation, please feel free to talk to your regular Queensland Accounting Group representative, or contact us via one of the methods at the end of this guide. Our team is ready to help.
STP – Frequetly Asked Questions
Single Touch Payroll is a new way of reporting tax and super information to the ATO. It enables your business to send your employees’ tax and super information to the ATO each time you pay them automatically via your payroll or accounting software.
By law, all Australian businesses are required to use the Single Touch Payroll system via the method they choose.
Single Touch Payroll begins on 1 July 2019, though there is a little wriggle room to get started for smaller employers.
Businesses with one to four employees – you can start reporting any time from 1 July to 30 September 2019.
Businesses with 19 or fewer employees – you will need to report through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2019. However, it’s a gradual transition, and the ATO offers some flexible options.
Business with 20 or more employees – you should now be reporting through Single Touch Payroll, or have applied to the ATO for a later start date.
Absolutely. This is certainly good news if you do much of your payroll work manually, such as calculating it using a spreadsheet and typing out payslips, because it ultimately will save you a lot of time and hassle. If you’re looking for ideas on how to better automate your payroll systems, our team is happy to help.
If you don’t already, you’ll need to be generating your payslips digitally to be ready to use Single Touch Payroll. Talk to one of our team about a suitable option for your business.
At its simplest, Single Touch Payroll works by sending tax and super information from your payroll or accounting software to the ATO when you do your payroll. You pay your employees and give them a payslip as usual. There’s no need to change your pay cycle, no matter whether that’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly. A report that includes salaries, wages, PAYG and super information will be sent to the ATO automatically.
In other good news for small employers with one to four staff members, you won’t have fork out big money for Single Touch Payroll systems. The ATO has worked with software providers to put together a wide variety of no-cost or low-cost solutions for Single Touch Payroll, including many popular payroll and accounting systems, such as Xero, Reckon and MYOB.
The ATO required that these solutions be affordable – costing less than $10 per month – and are easy to use, taking only minutes to complete each pay period and does not require the employer to maintain the software.
Our team can help if you have questions about your existing systems or implementing a new system. You’ll also find a link to a list of providers from the ATO at the end of this guide.
The good news is that the ATO will offer what they call micro employers (businesses with one to four employees) help to transition to Single Touch Payroll. If you use a registered tax or BAS agent, such as Queensland Accounting Group, you can report quarterly for the first two years, rather than each time payroll is run.
All Australian businesses will need to do it. However, the ATO has made it a little easier initially. There will be no penalties for mistakes, missed or late reports for the first year. That said, we highly recommend getting on top of it and into the flow as soon as you can.
The ATO also offers reporting exemptions for employers experiencing hardship, or in areas with intermittent or no Internet connection.
We all know that time rolls on quickly, so we recommend getting your Single Touch Payroll plan in place as soon as you can. Much of it depends on what type of payroll system you’re using now, manual or one of a variety of automated systems. Our team is ready to advise you on your particular situation.
Get in touch with us
If you’re looking for help in getting the right Single Touch Payroll system in place for your business, or you simply want to find out more about the details and how they affect your business, contact us now by phone, email or via the contact form on our website. Our team is ready to help.
Here’s where you can find more information from the ATO: