ATO encourages employers to update to real-time payroll reporting now

STP: ATO Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd is encouraging small business owners to report through Single Touch Payroll (STP).

STP: ATO Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd is encouraging small business owners to report through Single Touch Payroll (STP).

The Australian Taxation Office is encouraging small employers in New England, Tamworth and North West regions to follow the lead of nearly 45,000 Australian employers who have successfully reported through Single Touch Payroll (STP) since July 1, 2018.

These employers are now reporting their employees’ salaries and wages, pay as you go withholding, and super information to the ATO from their payroll solution each time they pay their employees.

“STP is a win, win for employers and employees because it streamlines business reporting, and allows employees to see – in real-time – that their super has been paid,” ATO Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd said .

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Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Australian economy. In the New England, Tamworth, and North West regions, small employers account for 92 per cent of all businesses.

More than 97 percent of the 2.2 million actively trading businesses in Australia are small employers, making STP an important change in payroll reporting for a large number of Australians.

ATO Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd said while small employers don’t have to report through STP, they can choose to get on board when their software is ready.

“If you use online or cloud-based payroll software,” Mr Shepherd said, “you may be able to start reporting now by updating your software to one that is STP-ready. You should talk to your software provider about when your  product will be available.”

Mr Shepherd also reassured smaller employers that different STP reporting options will be made available to them, including low-cost and simple STP reporting solutions.

“The ATO works closely with small businesses,” Mr Shepherd said, “and we are aware of the many competing pressures they face. We will work with all stakeholders on alternative options for those businesses who do not use payroll software."

As a result of businesses transitioning to STP reporting, the ATO now has access to employee superannuation data, allowing it to better protect employee entitlements. Employees can also see their year-to-date tax and superannuation information online in real-time via MyGov.

”Tens of thousands of employers across Australia have already taken the next step in payroll reporting and adopted STP,” Mr Shepherd said. “We’re encouraging small employers to follow this lead when their product is available.”

STP is a big change for employers, so the ATO is focused on educating and supporting tax professionals and employers to make the transition easier.

Local small businesses and others seeking additional information should:

- Review the ATO checklist and other useful content about Single Touch Payroll at www.ato.gov.au/stp 

- Speak with their local BAS or tax agent, or their payroll software provider

This story ATO encourages employers to update to real-time payroll reporting now first appeared on The Armidale Express.