• Simpler reporting with Single Touch Payroll

    Single Touch Payroll is a government initiative to simplify business reporting obligations.

    Employers will be able to report salary or wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information to us from their payroll solution, at the same time they pay their employees. This will mean simpler reporting obligations and more options for completing tax and super forms electronically.

    Single Touch Payroll reporting will be available to all employers from 1 July 2017.

    However, only employers with 20 or more employees will have to report this way under the law. They must start reporting through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018.

    Find out about:

    Employers

    All employers can benefit from simpler reporting.

    We are working with payroll solution providers to ensure their products are upgraded for Single Touch Payroll reporting from 1 July 2017.

    Here are some of the changes:

    • When you complete your normal payroll process, your employee's salary or wages, PAYG withholding and super guarantee information will be sent to us.
    • When you pay your employees superannuation contributions to the funds, the information will be sent to us.
    • You can choose to pay your PAYG withholding more regularly, such as when you pay your employees.
    • You will not have to give your employees a payment summary at the end of the year:
      • this information will be available to your employees through their myGov account.
      • if your employees do not have a myGovExternal Link account, they can easily set one up.
       
    • You will have the option to provide new employees with tax file number (TFN) declaration and superannuation standard choice forms online.

    Single Touch Payroll is an important part of our commitment to provide better online services to our clients. We want to reduce red tape, make it easier for employers to meet their tax obligations, and cut down on unnecessary paperwork.

    We are currently running a pilot with smaller employers. This will help us understand their needs and explore the benefits of Single Touch Payroll for them.  If you would like to take part in future pilots, please email us at SingleTouchPayroll@ato.gov.au.

    Tax agents and BAS agents

    You can start using Single Touch Payroll reporting from 1 July 2017.

    If you have clients with 20 or more employees, and you manage their tax information, you will be required to use Single Touch Payroll reporting by 1 July 2018.

    We understand this will mean some changes for you and your clients. We will work with you to help you transition to Single Touch Payroll.

    Our focus will be on providing help and support to you as an important part of this change to more efficient reporting.

    Employees

    If your employer reports to us through Single Touch Payroll, you will be able to see more of your tax and super information online after 1 July 2017.

    If your employer has 20 or more employees, they will have until 1 July 2018 to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll. It may take some time before you see all the information that will be available.

    Here are some of the benefits you may be able to see after 1 July 2017:

    • You will be able to see your year-to-date salary or wage income and the tax you have paid through your myGov account.
    • Your payment summary information will also be available through myGov.
    • When you start a new job, there may be an option for you to complete a pre-filled tax file number declaration (NAT 3092)and superannuation (super) standard choice form (NAT 13080) electronically.
    • If you complete your tax return online through myTax, more of your information will be pre-filled.

    You can use ATO online services any time to access a range of tax and super services, lodge your tax return and keep track of your super.

    It’s easy to set up a myGov accountExternal Link and link it to ATO online services.

    Payroll solutions

    A payroll solution is your accounting software, business management solution or payroll software. It is the product or service you use to generate payslips and manage your tax and business information.

    A range of payroll solution providers are working with us to upgrade their products so they can provide Single Touch Payroll reporting from 1 July 2017.

    If you use a payroll solution

    If you have 20 or more employees and you are using a payroll solution, it will need to be upgraded for Single Touch Payroll reporting by 1 July 2018.

    We will continue to provide more information on how to get ready for Single Touch Payroll reporting.

    If you don’t use a payroll solution

    If you have 20 or more employees and you do not use a payroll solution, you will need to do so by 1 July 2018.

    If you have 19 or less employees, you can continue to report payroll and super information the same way you do now. However, you may choose to start using a payroll solution to take advantage of the benefits of Single Touch Payroll reporting.

    If you use a third party to lodge, such as a tax agent or BAS agent

    If you have 20 or more employees, you will need to make sure your information is being reported through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018. We will be working closely with tax and BAS agents and other third party providers to make sure they are aware of these obligations under the law.

    If you have 19 or less employees, you will not be required to make any changes to the way your employees’ tax and super information is reported.

    Where Single Touch Payroll is at right now

    Right now, we are working closely with payroll providers to deliver Single Touch Payroll reporting from 1 July 2017.

    We will be providing regular information on the progress of Single Touch Payroll. We will make sure employers are aware of their obligations, and provide plenty of support to help you to transition to Single Touch Payroll reporting.

    More information

    If you have any questions about Single Touch Payroll, you can email us at SingleTouchPayroll@ato.gov.au.

    See also:

      Last modified: 01 Dec 2016QC 50662