Single Touch Payroll

Single Touch Payroll

Attaché is Single Touch Payroll ready

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has confirmed Attaché Payroll is now “STP-compliant” and ready for client rollout. This is an exciting development for us, as both a payroll software provider and as an Australian substantial employer impacted by Single Touch Payroll (STP).

Read our news article.

What you can do now

Single Touch Payroll involves more than getting your payroll software upgraded. It impacts many parts of your business including IT, payroll and HR. Your employees are impacted too. The 1 July 2018 compliance deadline is tight. You can start preparing your business by following our Single Touch Payroll Checklist now. Key highlights include:

Appoint a Single Touch Payroll Champion

We recommend appointing a Single Touch Payroll Champion. Someone within your organisation that is your Single Touch Payroll subject matter expert. They should be business-process driven rather than an IT expert.

Review your payroll software

As Single Touch Payroll will require either an upgrade or replacement of your existing payroll system, the time to review your requirements is now. Starting well ahead of the deadline gives you time to properly review the options and implement your decision before the inevitable last-minute rush. Remember that payroll is just one module in your suite of business software. The introduction of Single Touch Payroll presents the perfect time to reflect on whether your business systems meet your current requirements and whether there are other time-consuming manual processes that could be automated with a new system.

Get your employees registered on myGov

To access end-of-year payment summaries your employees need to be registered on myGov and linked to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Getting your employees correctly set up can take months. We recommend starting this now.

Download your Single Touch Payroll Checklist now. You can tick the items off as you go to be sure you are ready before the 1 July 2018 deadline.


What is Single Touch Payroll?

Single Touch Payroll is an Australian government initiative that changes the way businesses report on employee payments such as salary or wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation. It is the biggest payroll reporting change in Australia’s history.

Under Single Touch Payroll, employers will need to report employee payments electronically to the ATO with every pay run. It is this direct digital connection to the ATO that is new and requires all payroll systems to be upgraded to accommodate.

Employers with 20 or more employees on 1 April 2018 will be required to conform to these new regulations by 1 July 2018.

Download your Single Touch Payroll Guide now. It is great for sharing with business owners, key staff and trading partners.

How is Single Touch Payroll different to what you do now?

Pay day: Employers must report a “payroll event” to the ATO from their payroll software at the same time as they pay their employees various types of payments including salary or wages.

Business Activity Statements (BAS): Salary or wage information (W1) and PAYG withholding amounts (W2) reported through Single Touch Payroll will be pre-filled to the employer's BAS. Employers (or their tax practitioner) will retain the ability to adjust or correct information in their BAS.

End of year: Employers who report through Single Touch Payroll will no longer need to provide employees with an end-of-year payment summary or send the ATO a PAYG withholding annual report. Instead they will need to send a “final event indicator” to the ATO with their final pay or at year end.

Employees: Using their myGov account, employees will be able to interact securely with the ATO to view their year-to-date salary or wage amounts, PAYG withholding and employer superannuation contributions. End-of-year payment summaries will also be available in myGov.

Employee onboarding: Start date and tax file number (TFN) declaration can be reported in payroll events. There may also be an option to use a new streamlined, pre-filled employee commencement process through myGov.

Employee cessation: Cessation date can be reported in payroll events. Employers will need to send a final event indicator to the ATO with the affected employee’s final pay or at year end.

These items are all covered in the Single Touch Payroll Checklist. Download your copy now.

Less than 20 employees

Single Touch Payroll is mandatory for employers with less than 20 employees from 1 July 2019. That is an additional 700,000 businesses all needing to upgrade or replace their payroll systems in a relatively short window.

Businesses with less than 20 employees on 1 April 2018 can choose to opt in to Single Touch Payroll earlier to streamline their ATO reporting and access new online forms.

Smaller employers that don't opt in to STP before 1 July 2018 will still require a payroll software upgrade 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 your suppliers

Given the ATO is introducing change at a greater rate than seen in the past, smart businesses of all sizes should stay close to updates affecting their payroll processes. We recommend signing up for our Single Touch Payroll news alertssigning up for our Single Touch Payroll news alerts to ensure you stay informed.

Single Touch Payroll news and guides