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  • Single Touch Payroll Phase 1 employer reporting guidelines

    Single Touch Payroll (STP) is the way you report your employee's tax and super information to the ATO.

    These guidelines aim to help you understand what is required for STP Phase 1 reporting through your STP Phase 1 enabled software.

    Employers with 20 or more employees were required to start reporting from 1 July 2018.

    Employers with 19 or fewer employees were required to start reporting from 1 July 2019 unless an exemption applied to them.

    You will need to start reporting if you have not transitioned yet unless you:

    • have an exemption
    • have a deferral.

    STP is part of the government's commitment to streamlining employer reporting obligations. It was legislated on 16 September 2016 as part of the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Act 2016External Link.

    From 1 January 2022, the information you report using STP will change.

    See also:

    Single Touch Payroll Phase 2 Employer Reporting Guidelines

    In this content:

    Definition of terms

    These terms are referenced throughout the Single Touch Payroll employer reporting guidelines:

    • Digital service provider (DSP) – those who develop or deliver digital services that help the community (and business) meet their tax and super obligations.
    • Pay event – the file generated by an STP-enabled software or solution. This file must be lodged to us on, or before, the payment date when an employer makes a payment to an employee or payee that is subject to withholding.
    • Update event – the service that allows an employer to transition to STP and correct or finalise STP data to us. This does not include employees that are paid payments subject to withholding (pay event).
    • STP report or reporting – used for reporting either:
      • a pay event (upon payments subject to withholding), or
      • an update event (upon transition, correction or finalisation).
    • BMS ID – a business management software identifier that uniquely identifies the source of employee data sent to us as a specific instance of payroll software.
    • Payee payroll ID – a key identifier that represents each employee in the payroll that, in conjunction with payee details and the tax file number (TFN), enables us to uniquely identify the taxpayer.
    • Income statement – the ATO equivalent of an employer-issued payment summary. It contains the latest year to date (YTD) STP data reported by employers. It is made available by the ATO through ATO online services accessed through myGov. If an employee does not have a myGov account they can create one and link it to the ATO.
    • Finalise – when an employer must make a declaration to us that they have provided all the information for each employee for a financial year. This is done by providing the finalisation indicator as a part of an employee’s STP report.
    Last modified: 22 Jul 2021QC 54550