PAYGW pre-fill in activity statements
With the introduction of Single Touch Payroll (STP), employers electronically report their PAYG withholding information to us each time they pay their employees.
Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding pre-fill will be available in electronic activity statements for small and medium PAYG withholders who have a quarterly or monthly PAYG withholding cycle.
We will use the amounts reported in your STP reports to pre-fill labels W1 and W2:
- Label W1: Total salary, wages and other payments
- Label W2: Amount withheld from payments shown at W1
It is important that you check the pre-filled amounts match your records. Correct the pre-filled amounts if required, complete any remaining labels, lodge and pay your activity statement, as you do now.
On this page:
When pre-fill will be available in your activity statement
We are rolling out PAYG withholding pre-fill in stages. The first rollout will start from February 2020. We will be limiting it to approximately 3,000 clients who lodge their activity statement through ATO online services.
If you’re in the initial rollout, we’ll make direct contact with you and your agent (where applicable). All you will need to do is check the pre-filled amounts match your records and correct them if they don’t.
If you’re not in the initial rollout, we’ll let you know at a later time when pre-fill is available.
Why you need to lodge an activity statement if you report through STP
You can report most employer PAYG withholding obligations through STP, but some cannot. For example, if no Australian business number (ABN) is quoted, you can't report amounts withheld. Continue to report these amounts on your activity statement. For more information, see Single Touch Payroll employer reporting guidelines.
Since we won’t know if you withheld amounts that you can't report through STP, you still need to check the pre-filled amounts match your records. Correct them if they don't match, and complete labels W3 and W4 if they apply to you.
How we determine PAYG withholding pre-fill amounts
When you report through STP, you notify us of:
- the total salary, wages and other payments made in a specific payroll event
- the amount withheld from the total salary, wages and other payments made in that payroll event.
These employer obligations map directly to labels W1 and W2 on your activity statement.
To determine the amounts we should pre-fill, we identify the PAYG withholding periods (month or quarter) applicable to your activity statement. We identify any payments you reported through STP. If you made the payment in that month or quarter:
- W1 pre-fill = the sum of 'Payer Total Gross Payments'
- W2 pre-fill = the sum of 'Payer Total PAYG withholding Amount'
Which STP reports we include in the pre-filled amounts
When you are lodging your activity statement through ATO online services, you will see an STP reporting hyperlink. This shows you the list of STP reports used to determine the pre-filled amounts. You can also access this list through:
- The Business Portal – view the list of STP reports you have lodged and we have processed, under Manage employees
- Online services for agents – agents can view a list of STP reports under Client reports.
Why the pre-fill information is available before a reporting period ends
Electronic activity statements become available before the end of each activity statement reporting period.
We’ll show you the date of the latest pay event included in the pre-fill calculation. Then you can determine if it is up-to-date or complete for the period.
Any further pay events processed prior to lodgment for the activity statement period, will update the pre-filled amount.
If you report quarterly
If we grant you a quarterly reporting concession, you can report your payroll events on a quarterly basis through an STP reporting solution. This is due the same day as the quarterly activity statement.
We cannot pre-fill your activity statement until we have received and processed your STP report. If you report via your STP solution and lodge your activity statement at the same time, you may need to complete labels W1 and W2 in your activity statement.
If your records don't match pre-filled information
Some common reasons why your records don't match the pre-filled amounts are:
- you did not submit all of your pay events through STP
- you started reporting through STP part way through a period
- an STP report you’ve submitted for the period has not processed yet
- an STP report you submitted for the period was not able to be successfully processed
- you have reported a correction in a subsequent period
- you submitted an STP pay event late, after lodging the activity statement for the period.
See STP troubleshooting page for further information about why pre-fill may not match your records and how to manage retrospective STP corrections.
Correcting W1 and W2 pre-filled amounts
You should correct the pre-fill amounts if they do not match your records.
As your payroll records are the source of truth, you must always check the pre-fill amounts match your records.
If you need to correct the pre-filled amount, replace the pre-filled amount with the total amount for the period. You will receive a message when you change the amount.
You will still need to complete labels W3 and W4 (if applicable). You can't report amounts at these labels through STP.
Revising your activity statement
You can revise your activity statement as you do now.
If you choose to revise your PAYG withholding, the activity statement will show the values lodged and you can replace these with the correct amounts.
PAYG withholding pre-fill will be available from February 2020 in electronic activity statements for small and medium PAYG withholders who have quarterly or monthly PAYG withholding cycles.