Are you ready for the 1 April employee headcount?
If you haven’t already, mark 1 April 2018 in your diary. This is the date stipulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to count the employees on your payroll.
If you have 20 or more employees on 1 April, you need to start Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting from 1 July 2018. If you have 19 or less employees, your deadline is 1 July 2019.
The headcount is a bit like the census. You can do it after 1 April but you need to count the employees who were on your payroll on 1 April. Remember:
- Count each employee, not the full-time equivalent
- If you do have 20 or more employees, you will need to continue reporting through STP even if your employee numbers drop to 19 or less – unless you apply for and are granted an exemption
- The headcount is a self-assessment. You do not need to notify the ATO of your employee numbers
- If you are part of a company group, you must include the total number of employees employed by all member companies of the wholly-owned group.
Include in your employee headcount
- Full-time employees
- Part-time employees
- Casual employees who are on the payroll on 1 April and worked at any time in March
- Employees based overseas
- Any employee who is absent or on leave (paid or unpaid)
- Seasonal employees (staff who are engaged short term to meet a regular peak workload, for example, harvest workers).
Do not include in your employee headcount
- Any employees who ceased work before 1 April
- Casual employees who did not work in March
- Independent contractors
- Staff provided by a third-party labour hire organisation
- Company directors
- Office holders
- Religious practitioners.
Directors, office holders and religious practitioners are not included in the headcount. They are not considered employees within the common law meaning of the term. However, when you start reporting through STP you will need to report their payment information. This is because the payments are subject to withholding and are currently reported in the Individual non-business payment summary.
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Download the STP Checklist
Single Touch Payroll involves more than getting your payroll software updated. You can prepare your business by following this checklist.
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