• Streamlined reporting with Single Touch Payroll

    Single Touch Payroll is a government initiative to streamline 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. There will also be more options for completing tax and super forms online.

    Employers with 20 or more employees must start reporting through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018.

    Find out what it means for:

    Employers

    You will need to do a headcount on 1 April 2018. If you have 20 or more employees on that date, you will need to report through a payroll solution that enables Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018.

    Reporting through Single Touch Payroll means that when you complete your normal payroll process, your employees' PAYG withholding and super guarantee information will be sent to us directly from your payroll solution.

    When you pay your employees' super guarantee contributions to the funds, you will send us the same details that you send to your super fund.

    When you report through Single Touch Payroll you won’t be required to provide employees with a payment summary covering the same information at the end of financial year:

    • You will need to finalise your Single Touch Payroll reporting and notify us by 14 July each year.
    • We will make information available to employees and their tax agents through ATO Online and will pre-fill each employee's tax return.
    • We will provide assistance to employees who have difficulty accessing information online.

    You will have the option to invite your employees to complete their tax file number (TFN) declaration and superannuation standard choice forms online.

    Key dates to remember

    1 April 2018

    If you have a headcount of 20 or more employees, you will need to report through Single Touch Payroll.

    1 July 2018

    Employers with 20 or more employees as at 1 April 2018 will need to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll.

    Payroll solutions

    This is the accounting software, business management solution or payroll software you use to run your payroll.

    We are working with payroll solution providers to ensure their products are ready for Single Touch Payroll reporting.

    If you use a payroll solution

    If you have 20 or more employees on 1 April 2018 and you are using a payroll solution, it will need to be updated for Single Touch Payroll reporting from 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 on 1 April 2018, you will need to implement a payroll solution by 1 July 2018 that enables Single Touch Payroll reporting.

    If you have 19 or less employees on 1 April 2018, your reporting obligations will not change: you will not need to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018. 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 on 1 April 2018 and use an agent to report information to us, you will need to make sure your agent is reporting through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018.

    We are working with tax and BAS agents and other third party providers to make sure they are aware of their clients' obligations and can support their clients to transition.

    If you have 19 or less employees on 1 April 2018, your reporting obligations will not change. You will not need to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018.

    Tax agents and BAS agents

    Tax and BAS agents who report payroll and super information to us on behalf of clients should support those clients required to report through Single Touch Payroll to do so from 1 July 2018.

    We will provide information and support tools to assist you and your clients to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll.

    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 through myGov.

    It may take some time before you see all the information that will be available. Only employers with 20 or more employees on 1 April 2018 are required to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018.

    Here are some of the changes you may be able to see:

    • You will be able to see your year-to-date pay, the tax that has been withheld from your pay as well as your super entitlements throughout the year.
    • When you start a new job, there may be a new option for you to electronically complete a pre-filled tax file number declaration and super standard choice form using our online services.

    You can use our 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.

    Current status of Single Touch Payroll

    Right now, we are working closely with Solution providers to begin implementing Single Touch Payroll.

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

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

    See also:

      Last modified: 04 Apr 2017QC 50662