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Mandatory Single Touch Payroll compliance date announced for small business

The government announced on 29 August that small businesses will need to transition to Single Touch Payroll (STP) on or before 1 July 2019, subject to legislation being passed in parliament. The medium and large business compliance date remains unchanged at on or before 1 July 2018.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP, said in the news release:

“This will reduce the regulatory burden on business and transform compliance by aligning payroll functions with regular reporting of taxation and superannuation obligations.”

Previously smaller employers could choose to opt in to STP to streamline their ATO reporting and access new online forms. Those that chose not to were faced with upgrading their payroll software to accommodate other planned or recently introduced compliance obligations, including changes to:

  • Payment summary from v11 to v12 (includes Fringe Benefits Tax exemption and reporting for Working Holiday Makers tax)
  • Tax file declaration from v2.0 to v3.0 (for Working Holiday Makers reporting)
  • Contractors' taxable payments annual report (TPAR), if this impacts their suppliers

According to Mike Rich, co-founder of Attaché Software:

“This latest announcement means that those affected by Single Touch Payroll grows from 100,000 to all Australian employers regardless of size. That is 800,000 businesses all needing to upgrade or replace their payroll systems in a relatively short window. We recommend getting in early to ensure resources are available to meet your compliance obligations.”

Learn about your STP reporting obligations and subscribe to news alerts for important announcements.