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  • Micro employers

    If you are a micro employer and need more time and support to move to real-time pay day reporting, you can choose to report through your registered tax or BAS agent on a quarterly basis until 30 June 2021.

    Your registered agent will need to lodge the Single Touch Payroll (STP) report on your behalf through an STP-enabled solution.

    Your registered agent must apply for the concession on your behalf by 30 September 2019.

    Determining if you are a micro employer

    To be eligible for the small employer quarterly reporting concession, you need to be considered a micro employer at the time of application.

    Micro employers are those who have between 1–4 employees.

    Counting your employees

    Each of the following count as one employee.

    • Full-time employees
    • Part-time employees
    • Casual employees
    • Employees based overseas
    • Any employee absent or on leave (paid or unpaid)

    Don't include the following in your headcount.

    • Employees who have ceased working for you
    • Independent contractors
    • Staff provided by a third-party labour hire organisation
    • Office holders
    • Religious practitioners
    • Closely held payees such family members of a family business, directors or shareholders of a company and beneficiaries of a trust

    If you have a mixture of employees (those who are included in your headcount) and closely held payees (such as family members or directors) which results in your numbers being greater than four, you are still considered a micro employer and eligible for the small business quarterly reporting concession.

    Example

    If you have three full-time employees, one part-time employee and also pay two directors, you are considered to have four employees and are eligible for quarterly reporting.

    End of example

    Eligibility

    To be eligible for this quarterly reporting concession, you must:

    • have between 1–4 employees on the day of application
    • lodge your activity statements electronically through a registered tax or BAS agent
    • have non-computerised payroll - this could include running your payroll manually and keeping records on a spreadsheet or paper.

    You must also meet both of the following:

    • all amounts owing to us are either not yet due or subject to a payment plan
    • all lodgment obligations are either not yet due or subject to a deferral.

    Increase in employee numbers

    If your application for this concession is accepted and your employee numbers increase, you are still eligible to report quarterly until 30 June 2021.

    Quarterly STP report due date

    If you report quarterly, your registered agent will need to send your STP report once per quarter at the same time you lodge your activity statement.

    The due date for lodgment will be the due date of your activity statement.

    Speak with your registered agent about your due date.

    Payments included in your quarterly report

    You will need to report your employees’ year to date amounts up to and including the last pay day of the quarter.

    Example

    For the July to September period you need to report your employees’ year to date amount up to and including 30 September.

    End of example

    This could be by way of lodging every pay event for the quarter individually or one pay event which reports the year to date information for the quarter. Speak to your registered agent to see how they will manage your quarterly reporting.

    Reporting more frequently

    If you are approved to report quarterly but would like to report more frequently (such as monthly) you can do so. You should report this monthly pay event on the 21st day of the following month (this is the same due date as monthly activity statements).

    Finalisation declaration due dates

    You will need to finalise your STP information at the end of the financial year – that way we know all the data reported is complete, and we can provide this to employees to complete their tax return.

    Registered agents need to submit a finalisation declaration through an STP-enabled solution.

    For the final quarter of 2020 (April to June), you will need to report and finalise your STP data before 31 July 2020.

    For the final quarter of 2021 (April to June) you will need to report and finalise your STP data before 14 July 2021.

    Note: these due dates are earlier than the due date of your June activity statement. This may mean you need to visit your registered agent earlier than normal, but should align to the natural business process you previously had to ensure that payment summaries were issued to employees by 14 July each year.

    See also:

    How to lodge the quarterly STP report

    The STP report must be lodged by your registered agent though an STP-enabled solution.

    Applying for the concession

    Your registered agent must apply for this concession and lodge the STP report on your behalf.

    Registered agents offering quarterly reporting

    Applying for the concession on behalf of your clients

    You will need to apply for this concession on behalf of your clients.

    For single client requests you can do this through:

    • Tax or BAS Agent Portal – select Client's employer obligations then STP deferrals or exemptions
    • Online services for agents – select Business then STP deferrals and exemptions.

    For multiple clients you can lodge a bulk request using the Registered agent bulk request form (NAT 75015) and attaching it to a mail message:

    • select General questions / problems / help as the message topic
    • enter Single Touch Payroll enquiries as the message subject.

    Electronic lodgment concessional due date

    Registered agents who lodge eligible quarterly business activity statements receive a lodgment concession. This concessional due date also applies to the quarterly STP report.

    See also:

    How to lodge the quarterly STP report

    You will need to lodge the STP report through an STP-enabled solution on behalf of your client.

    The STP pay event report is a separate obligation to the activity statement and can only be lodged through STP-enabled software. There is no ability for agents to lodge the STP pay event report via the ATO portals.

    Note: The activity statement is not a replacement for the STP pay event. You must lodge it separately.

    See also:

    Last modified: 19 Jun 2019QC 59383