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  • Single Touch Payroll deferrals

    Under Single Touch Payroll (STP) there are deferrals for:

    • commencing your STP reporting
    • submitting particular STP reports.

    On this page:

    Transitional deferrals

    A transitional deferral should be used if you need more time to get ready to report through STP. This includes being unable to report by your software provider's deferred start date or needing more time to transition.

    Deferral criteria

    Deferrals will be considered if you:

    • are unable to get ready by your software provider's deferred start date
    • are transitioning to a new STP-enabled solution
    • are using customised payroll software and you need time to configure and test your updated product
    • have complex payroll arrangements and need additional time to transition to STP
    • have entered administration or liquidation
    • have been impacted by a natural disaster
    • are affected by other circumstances which are out of your control.

    Employers with 20 or more employees

    Your software provider may have applied to us for a later start date for STP reporting which covers you as an existing client.

    If you are covered by your software provider's deferral, you will need to start reporting on or before the deferral date. Your provider will give you this date and a deferral reference number (DRN). This verifies they have a deferral for you. You don't need to give this to us – just keep it for your own records.

    If you're not able to start reporting by your software provider's deferral date, you will need to apply for your own deferral. To do this:

    • log in to the Business Portal
    • select Manage employees then STP deferrals and exemptions.

    You need to provide supporting evidence to help us understand your circumstances through a portal mail message:

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

    If we need more information, we will let you know.

    You can also ask your registered agent to lodge a request on your behalf.

    Employers with 19 or less employees

    If you currently use payroll software which offers STP reporting, you can update your product and start reporting any time up to 30 September 2019.

    If you know you won't be able to start before 30 September 2019, you or your registered agent can ask us for a deferral. To do this:

    • log in to the Business Portal
    • select Manage employees then STP deferrals and exemptions.

    In many cases we'll approve your deferral straight away. If we need more information, we will let you know.

    Your registered agent can also apply for a deferral on your behalf.

    Registered agents

    You must be a registered tax or BAS agentExternal Link to report through STP for your clients.

    Payroll services include processing payroll on behalf of the employer, or performing any payroll related functions that involve interpreting legislation and helping employers to calculate their PAYG withholding and super guarantee liability.

    For deferral requests where one of your employer client's will not be ready to report you can apply 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 your employer clients with 19 or fewer employees, in most cases you will receive a response in real-time. If we need more information, we will let you know.

    For your employer clients with 20 or more employees, you will need to provide supporting evidence to help us understand their circumstances through a portal mail message:

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

    If you are a registered tax or BAS agent and you will not be ready to report, or you need to submit a request on behalf of multiple clients (bulk request) you can use the Registered agent bulk client request form (NAT 75015) if:

    • the payroll software you use has a deferred start date from us and you need additional time to implement STP beyond that date
    • the payroll software you use is STP-enabled but you need additional time to implement STP
    • the payroll software you use is discontinued, and you need additional time to implement new STP-enabled payroll software
    • the software used by your clients is STP-enabled but you need additional time to implement the solution across all relevant clients
    • there are other extenuating circumstances where you or your clients require additional time to implement STP.

    When you apply for a deferral, list all the clients who need to be covered by the deferral. If granted, you or your employer clients will need to start reporting through STP on or before the deferral date granted.

    If we need more information, we will let you know.

    See also:

    Unreliable or no internet service

    If you live in an area where there is no internet connection, or the connection or service is intermittent or unstable, this will impact your ability to report through STP.

    You or your registered tax or BAS agent can apply for a deferral or exemption through:

    • Business Portal (employers) – select Manage employees then STP deferrals or exemptions
    • 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.

    You can also phone us on 13 28 66 if you are unable to lodge a portal request.

    We understand you may experience:

    • an inability to connect to the internet
    • a connection that requires multiple attempts
    • dropouts or disconnections
    • exceedingly slow data transfer.

    When you lodge your request or contact us, we will discuss your individual circumstances and may offer more time to lodge your STP report each time you run your payroll. You will need to provide evidence and meet our requirements.

    Other types of deferrals

    Operational deferral

    If you have already started reporting through STP and you won't be able to report for a period of time due to extenuating circumstances; you or your registered agent can apply for an operational deferral.

    Recurring deferral

    If there are extenuating circumstances which will impact your ability to regularly report on or before pay day (for example if you regularly experience intermittent internet connectivity issues which means we might receive your report a couple of days after pay day) you can apply for a recurring deferral.

    No requirement to report

    If you cease to have a withholding obligation for a portion of the year, you can let us know that you have no requirement to report. This means we won't expect STP reports from you for that period.

    Small business reporting concession

    Eligible micro employers (1–4 employees) can choose to report quarterly at the same time they lodge their activity statement through their registered agents. Only registered agents can apply for this concession on behalf of their clients.

    Finalisation declaration deferral

    At the end of the financial year, you need to finalise the information you've reported through STP for each of your employees by 31 July 2019, then 14 July each following year. If you are unable to do this by the due date, you can apply for additional time.

    You or your registered tax or BAS agent can apply for these deferral types through:

    • Business Portal (employers) – select Manage employees then STP deferrals or exemptions
    • 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.
    Last modified: 01 Jul 2019QC 56186