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  • STP checklists

    We've developed two checklists to help you prepare for STP reporting.

    On this page:

    Get ready checklist

    Follow the steps below to get ready for STP.

    1. Work out how you will report through STP

    The first step is to work out how you will report through STP. This may depend on the size of your business and if you currently use payroll or accounting software.

    You can submit your payroll data through your STP-enabled software yourself or use a service provider to do it for you.

    Do it yourself

    You can use STP-enabled software to submit your payroll data – you may already be using software that's STP-enabled.

    You can find software solutions on the STP product register (see Software solutions for STP). If you’re an employer with 1–4 employees, you can choose a no-cost or low-cost STP solution. There are also concessional reporting options available to you.

    • If you currently use STP-enabled software, go to step 2 below.
    • If you don't use STP-enabled software, talk to your tax or BAS agent for advice on choosing the right product to suit your business needs.

    Use a service provider

    You can ask a third party, such as a registered tax or BAS agent or a payroll service provider, to report through STP for you.

    2. If you use payroll software, talk to your provider

    Find out how your payroll software will will offer STP reporting. This may be through an update to your existing software, or an additional service.

    Older software products, such as those purchased off-the-shelf, may not be updated to offer STP reporting. Your provider will tell you which of their products offer STP.

    Remember to:

    • find out what support they will give you to help your transition to STP
    • upgrade or install your software when ready
    • subscribe to any communications they provide – for example, email, newsletter or social media updates.

    3. Talk to your staff about STP

    Check that the right people in your business know about STP – especially the person or people responsible for running your payroll.

    Ensure you are:

    • paying your employees correctly
    • calculating your employees’ super entitlements correctly
    • addressing overpayments correctly
    • maintaining accurate information, including names, addresses and date of birth records.

    Fixing any errors in your payroll now will help you report successfully.

    At the end of the financial year, you won't need to provide your employees with a payment summary (or send a payment summary annual report to us) for information you've reported and finalised through STP.

    You should tell your employees not to expect a payment summary and that instead their information is available via myGov or through their tax professional.

    4. Start reporting

    Once you're ready, you should start reporting. Read our start reporting checklist before you send your first STP report to us. This will help you send your report successfully.

    We'll help and support you through your first year of reporting. If you make a mistake, you will be able to make corrections.

    See also:

    Small employers with closely held payees

    If you're an employer with 19 or fewer employees, you don't need to start reporting for closely held (related) payees until 1 July 2021. However, you can start reporting now if you are ready and able to. There is no need to apply for a deferral. If you have arms length employees, you should have started reporting these employees from 1 July 2019.

    See also:

    Employers with 20 or more employees

    You should already be reporting through STP, the mandatory start date was 1 July 2018.

    5. If you need more support

    If you need more support, you can:

    • speak to your registered tax or BAS agent
    • subscribe to receive business updates from us
    • follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
    • phone us on 13 28 66.

    Start reporting checklist

    Following these steps before sending your first STP pay event report will help you report successfully.

    Ask your provider how your software will connect to the ATO

    Before you start STP reporting, you'll need to ensure your software is connected to the ATO. We won't be able to receive your STP reports unless we're connected to your STP-enabled software.

    Your software can connect directly to the ATO in one of three ways:

    • a software ID
    • a sending service provider (SSP)
    • a machine credential.

    A software ID is usually displayed by your software during the STP set-up. You or your registered agent must provide the ATO with your unique software service ID (SSID) by:    

    • completing a one-off notification through Access Manager
    • phoning 1300 852 232.

    Remember, we will not be able to receive your STP report without the correct SSID.

    If your software is connected to the ATO by an SSP, your SSP will set up the connection to us for you. There is no need for you to contact us.

    Alternatively, you can use a machine credentialExternal Link installed on your device.

    If you're not sure how your solution connects to us, speak with your provider.

    Work out who will authorise your STP reports

    If you are the business owner or public officer, you're already authorised to send reports.

    If someone else in your business (such as the payroll manager) will authorise reports, you'll need to give them authority to do so. You may need to record this authorisation in your payroll software. Your software provider should provide instructions. You don't need to contact us to set up this authorisation.

    If you're getting a third party (registered tax or BAS agent or payroll service provider) to report for you, they need to be linked to your account at the ATO. They will also need to be authorised for each pay event they lodge. Talk to them to work out how this will be set up.

    Work out who will send your STP report

    You can choose to submit your own reports.

    If you are one entity in an economic group and you appoint another entity (for example, a head office) to report for you, you will need to sign a Cross entity authorisation nomination form (XEA). This form will appoint the entity that will send your STP reports. To complete this form log into Access Manager and find the form under ’Who has access to my business’.

    If a third party will be sending your STP reports, they need to be linked to your account at the ATO.

    Choose a contact person

    Decide who you want us to contact if we have any questions about STP matters. This contact needs to be listed in the STP pay event report. It should be someone who understands your payroll amounts and how they are calculated.

    Start STP reporting and check your data was sent correctly

    After sending your report, check your software for a 'successful' status. This indicates we have received the file.

    Ask your software provider:

    • how they will alert you to any reporting errors
    • where in the software you can find and fix errors.

    If there were errors in your report follow the steps to correct a pay event report.

    You can login into the Business Portal to view your lodged STP reports. Allow up to 72 hours processing time after lodgment.

    If your report hasn’t been lodged successfully, read our troubleshooting information.

    Speak to your payroll solution provider if you need further assistance.

    Last modified: 28 Jul 2020QC 54703