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  • Writer's pictureLockwood & Ward

Frequently Asked Questions about Single Touch Payroll

Updated: Feb 7, 2020

What STP enabled software is available for small organisations?

With the roll out of Single Touch Payroll (STP) to smaller organisations later this year the ATO have released an Expression of Interest for providers to release a free or low cost Single Touch Payroll (STP) solution for micro to small employers.

How will Micro Businesses comply with STP?

The ATO understands that small businesses such as single director companies and Mum and Dad companies etc may not have regular payroll runs. Therefore the ATO will provide these small business’ generous transition options as well as the option to report quarterly. The ATO will release more details on the transitions options soon.

What is the latest update on STP rollout?

STP legislation has been passed for employers with 19 or less employees. This means that all Australian business must comply with STP reporting from July 1 2019.

Can Tax Agents lodge STP on behalf of their business clients? If so how will they lodge the STP pay event?

Tax agents will be able to lodge their clients STP pay event on their behalf. The ATO will not be providing a portal or product to do this. The Pay Event report will need to be uploaded onto a STP enabled product.

If the tax agent is going to lodge the STP pay event on their client’s behalf in order to ensure that the STP Pay event is accurate and correct, the client will need to sign that the information in the STP pay event is true and correct and also sign that the tax agent is authorised to lodge the STP on their behalf.

What STP information is accessible to Tax Agents through the Tax Agent Portal?

Through the Tax Agent Portal, tax agents will be able to view their clients:

  • STP Submissions – This includes information such as Submission date and ID as well as the W1 and W2 totals for each file

  • The agent for the individual or employee will also be able to view their clients income reported. The tax agent will also receive a pre-fill report once the individual’s employer finalises their STP data for the financial year

What types of businesses are eligible to lodge their STP pay events quarterly?

Micro Employers who lodge their quarterly BAS through a tax agent will also be able to simultaneously lodge their STP quarterly with their tax agent. There are certain criteria’s that a Micro Employer must meet in order to do so.

  1. All lodgements should be up to date

  2. All payments should be up to date

Having a payment plan or a deferral in place is acceptable.

Will quarterly submissions continue for Micro employers after the transition period?

After the 2 year transition period the Commissioner will make a decision if quarterly STP lodgements will continue or not.

Will employers still need to provide their employees with payslips? Does STP influence when I issue my employees their payslips?

Payslips will still need to be issued to employees as it is a Fair Work Obligation and is separate from STP. STP lodgement is due on or before an employee’s pay day. Payslips are issued to an employee based on an employer’s current processes and Fair Work regulations.

How will STP influence the payment dates for things such as SGC and wages?

STP is a separate reporting system the ATO have put in place. STP has no influence or affect on due dates and processes of things such as when wages will be paid, Superannuation Guarantee contributions or PAYG withholding.

Have the process for SGC forms changed since the implementation of STP?

Although STP will not affect Superannuation Guarantee contributions (SGC), SGC data will be reported to the ATO through the STP pay event.

Is super guarantee reported to the ATO through STP?


How will STP influence the reporting of wage information on BAS’S?

Commencing December 2019 the STP data collected will assist with the BAS process, by pre-filling the data in W1 and W2 labels for the associated period

How can employers view the data they have lodged through STP?

Employers can view their STP lodgements through the business portal. Registered tax agents will also be able to view their client’s lodgements through the Tax and BAS agent portals.

Will the employer need to pay the ATO tax and Super liabilities at the same time as payroll?

As a result of feedback from businesses, the community and the industry, the Government has removed the need for PAYG withholding to be paid per pay day. The employer still has the option to do so if they wish.

How can an employer amend a STP pay event they have already submitted?

Options for amending an STP Pay Event can be found on the ATO’S website:

Will an amendment for wrongly reported super, be reflected in my employees MyGov account?

If a Tax Agent lodges an amendment on their client’s behalf using the SGC forms, the update will also reflect on the individual’s MyGov account accordingly as the correction will appear in a future Pay Event submission.

Is it compulsory for all employees to have a MyGov account?

STP and MyGov – Employees/individuals are not obligated to set up a MyGov account. The government however encourages us to have a MyGov account so they can access things such as Notices from the ATO, request income statements etc. An employer has fulfilled their STP obligations once they have reported, finalised and submitted the employee’s STP data via the Finalisation Declaration Process.

I have forgotten to lodge a STP pay event, what will happen if I lodge a STP pay event late?

It is important that the STP Pay event is lodged correctly and on time, the ATO will support employers to ensure this happens. The ATO will not be penalising employers for the late lodgement of an STP pay event during the first year of reporting.

What is the deadline for lodging annual reconciliation?

Information for finalising your annual finalisation declaration and due dates can be found on the ATO’s website:

Who is offering STP enabled software?

Low cost STP solutions can be found on the ATO’s website:

Please contact us on 02 9299 7044 if you have any further questions about STP.

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