Your STP questions answered by the ATO


ePayroll released answers to the most common Single Touch Payroll questions, straight from the ATO themselves. STP will become mandatory for all businesses in July 2019.

Download the full interview here

Key points:

Can an employer with <20 employees implement STP prior to 1 July 2019?

Yes, absolutely. If you have an STP-enabled product, you can start at any time. We already have approximately 15,000 employers reporting voluntarily.

If we decided to opt-in in March 2019 - would we still prepare a payment summary for the full financial year?

There are 5 transition options to start reporting which you can see in detail here.

Will there be a free program/software for STP use?

The ATO has released an Expression of Interest (EOI) for providers in the market to create a no or low cost simple STP solution for small, but specifically micro employers. The micro solution must be $10 or less per month. So far, we have had a number of providers nominate to provide these types of products.

Will STP be applied to closely held entities (e.g. single director companies, Mum & Dad operated companies, etc.) whereas payrolls are not run regularly?

The ATO recognises that employers of closely held payees don't necessarily have regular payroll runs for those payees. As such there will be generous transition options as well the option to report quarterly for those closely held payees. The ATO will be publishing more guidance on this soon.

What are the criteria for being eligible for the quarterly STP reporting?

Micro employers who use a tax or BAS agent to lodge their BAS will have the ability to lodge their STP reports quarterly at the same time. There will be eligibility criteria (such as being up to date with lodgements and payments (it's ok if a payment plan or deferral is in place). We will be publishing more guidance on this soon.

Will there still be a requirement to provide employees with payslips through each pay cycle?
Yes, payslips are a Fair Work obligation and must still be provided to employees in accordance with existing requirements.

Can Tax Agent lodge STP on behalf of employer clients using tax agent portal? Will there be exactly tool/software/reporting application for tax agents to use in that case?

Tax professionals are able to lodge on behalf of their clients using one of these solutions. The ATO will not be providing a portal or product. The STP pay event report needs to be lodged through an STP enabled solution. Alternatively, the ATO has released an Expression of Interest (EOI) for providers in the market to create a no or low cost simple STP solution for small, but specifically micro employers. The micro solution must be $10 or less per month, so the client may choose this option.

Do we lodge SGC forms per normal process in light of STP?

The employer obligations for reporting and paying superannuation guarantee via SuperStream will not change under STP.

Was super guarantee reported by the ATO via STP?
Yes, the pay event file requires that either the superannuation liability (akin to the payslip YTD) or OTE is reported per pay event. The funds are gradually started to report to the ATO the amounts of super that an employer pays through the new Member Account Transaction Summary (MATS) reporting program.

Will the ATO require the employer pay over the tax and Super liabilities at the same time as paying the payroll?

Initially STP was drafted to include both pay-day reporting and pay-day payment of PAYG withholding. After extensive industry, business and community feedback, Government removed the requirement for PAYG withholding to be paid per pay day. However, the employer does have the option of paying PAYG withholding on a per pay day basis if they so choose.

Will there be options to lodge amendments for previously submitted STP?

There is no requirement to go back and adjust previous STP reports. More about corrections and adjustments can be found here: Will every employee need to have a myGov account? Employers have fulfilled their end of year obligations if they have reported and finalised STP information via the Finalisation Declaration process. Employees who do not have or do not wish to register for a myGov account are encouraged to do so but can also request their Income Statement from the ATO.

Is there going to be any change to reporting the wage information on BAS's as a result of STP?

STP information will be prefilled into W1 and W2 labels on the BAS commencing Dec 2019.

W1 box is not available for large entities who started STP. How do we see the data they have lodged at the end of the year to reconcile their wages?

Employers can view their STP lodgements in the business portal.

Find out more about ePayroll here.
Read more about Single Touch Payroll here.