Show download pdf controls
  • STP checklists

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

    On this page:

    Get ready checklist

    You can download and print a copy of the Single Touch Payroll Get ready checklist.

    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 choose one of the following options:

    • report using STP-enabled software – Find STP softwareExternal Link on the STP product register    
      • if you currently use STP-enabled software, go to step 2
      • if you don't, talk to your tax or BAS agent for advice on choosing the right product to suit your business needs
    • ask a third party, such as a registered tax or BAS agent or a payroll service provider, to report through STP for you.

    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.

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

    Find out how your payroll software provider 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.

    Also 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.

    This is also a good time to 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 up any errors in your payroll now will help you report successfully.

    4. Start reporting

    Once you are 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 will help and support you through your first year of reporting. If you make a mistake, you will be able to make corrections. The first year is a transitional year and penalties won't generally apply.

    For more details about what you need to report, how to make corrections and how to finalise your STP data, see our Single Touch Payroll employer reporting guidelines.

    5. Apply for more time if you need it

    Employers with 19 or less employees

    If you're not ready to start reporting, you will need to apply for a deferral.

    If you have closely held payees

    You don't need to start reporting for these payees until 1 July 2020. There is no need to apply for a deferral.

    Employers with 20 or more employees

    You should be reporting through STP from 1 July 2018, or have a deferral in place.

    6. 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 the ATO on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
    • phone us on 13 28 66.

    Start reporting checklist

    You can download and print a copy of the Single Touch Payroll Start reporting checklist (PDF 630KB)This link will download a file

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

    1. Work out who will authorise your STP reports

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

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

    If you are 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.

    2. 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 which 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.

    3. Ask your software provider how your software will connect to the ATO

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

    1. a software ID – usually displayed by your software during the STP set-up. You or your registered agent will need to provide the ATO with your software ID by:
      • completing a one-off notification through Access Manager (you need an AUSkey or myGovID to use Access Manager)
      • phoning 1300 852 232
      • we will not be able to receive your STP report without the correct software ID
    2. by a sending service provider (SSP). Your SSP will set up the connection to us for you, there is no requirement for you to contact us
    3. by using a device AUSkey is more common for larger employers.

    If you aren’t sure how your solution connects to us, speak with your provider.

    4. 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.

    5. 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: 22 Nov 2019QC 54703