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  • Troubleshooting STP reporting

    This list includes some of the common errors we've seen with Single Touch Payroll (STP) reports.

    Table: STP troubleshooting information for employers and intermediaries

    Reporting issue

    What you need to do

    You have started reporting and your software is not connecting to the ATO.

    See our Start reporting checklist and make sure you have taken those steps before you submit your first report.

    There are different methods for connecting your software to the ATO. In most cases, your digital service provider will tell you how to do this as part of your STP setup.

    You have submitted your first STP report and you want to know if we have received it.

    There is no need to phone us to confirm your report has been received.

    We will send you a confirmation message once we receive your STP report. The message will generally be displayed in your software.

    You can also check in the Business Portal to view your lodged STP reports.

    We will also send a welcome letter to you when you start reporting through STP.

    You use multiple payroll solutions and you are unsure which Business Management Software (BMS) ID to use.


    If you use the wrong BMS ID, your employees may not see the right information in ATO online services through myGov, and this could affect their pre-filling at tax time.

    You can report separately from each payroll solution. Most products will allocate the BMS ID for you. Talk to your digital service provider to find out about the BMS ID you should use.

    Find out more in the rules of reporting through Single Touch Payroll.

    You submitted an STP report when you didn't mean to, or your report contained a significant amount of incorrect data.

    You can submit a full file replacement within 24 hours.

    A full file replacement gives you the ability to completely replace the latest STP report you sent us.

    You have submitted several full file replacements for the same pay period and they have failed.

    A full file replacement can only be submitted once within a 24-hour period.

    You should wait 24 hours before attempting to submit again.

    If this fails again, talk to your digital service provider.

    You have submitted your STP report several days after paying your employees.

    The law requires you to submit your STP report on or before the day you pay your employees.

    If you make an out-of-cycle payment, this can be reported in your next regular pay cycle.

    We will not be issuing penalties for late reporting in the first year of STP reporting.

    However, if you are consistently late submitting your reports:

    • we will issue reminders
    • we may apply penalties after the first year of STP reporting.


    You have used a substitute tax file number (TFN) for an employee who has not provided you their TFN (for example, you used 000000000).

    You can temporarily use a substitute TFN. However, you need to update your employee's information with the correct TFN as soon as it's available.

    When you use a substitute TFN, the STP information you report can't be matched to your employee. This means they will not be able to see their year-to-date tax and super information in ATO online services.

    Continuing to use a substitute TFN will affect your employee's ability to use pre-filled data at tax time.

    You have entered an incorrect Australian business number (ABN) in your STP report.

    You must report your own ABN.

    If you use an incorrect ABN, we will not be able to match the information you report to the records of your business entity, or your employees' myGov account.

    You can make a correction to update the ABN.

    You are unsure if you need to report superannuation.

    You must report superannuation amounts through STP.

    For each employee, make sure you report the following each pay period:

    • year-to-date employer super liability
    • ordinary time earnings (OTE) amounts.

    If you pay above the minimum super guarantee liability, you should report that amount.

    If the year-to-date super liability for an employee is zero, report zero – do not leave the field blank.

    See the rules of reporting through Single Touch Payroll for more information.

    You have deleted unused or legacy pay codes (such as overtime allowances) from your payroll software.

    Deleting pay codes may affect the accuracy of your STP data. While your software may allow you to do this, you should check if the pay code you are deleting has been used in a previous STP report in the same financial year.

    If you delete a pay code, check your data is correct before submitting your report.

    You are a related entity and you need to submit STP reports on behalf of other ABNs in the group.

    A related entity that submits STP reports on behalf of other ABNs within a group needs to have a business authority to lodge on their behalf.

    You can create this authority. The way you do this depends on whether the entity has been linked in Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM):

    The entity can choose the type of permission they want to give you. This tells us what they want you to be able to do or see on their behalf. The STP permission is called 'Payroll event form'.

    Your software is requesting an email address for each employee.

    Although it's not compulsory, including employee email addresses will help us identify the employee if the TFN provided doesn't match our records.

    If your software requires you to enter an email address for an employee, and they don't have one, ask your digital service provider what to do. Do not enter a fake or invalid email address.

    You missed sending an STP report.

    Your employees will not see the correct year-to-date amounts in ATO online services.

    There are a number of options available if you realise you have missed sending an STP report:

    • You can lodge the missed report, if you are able to do so.
    • If all employees in the missed report will be paid again in the next regular pay run, make sure the year-to-date values in the next pay run are up-to-date.
    • If some employees are not being paid again, lodge an update event within 14 days to update their year-to-date balance.

    If you continue to miss reports, you may be subject to failure to lodge penalties after the first year of reporting.

    Your last STP report employee‘s year-to-date information does not match the information in your payroll software.

    If you are unsure how to correct this in your payroll software, contact your digital service provider.

    Lodging an Update Event or correction is different across payroll software, so they will let you know what you need to do.

    Your employees income statement is showing as 'not tax ready' after you have completed your end of financial year declaration.

    Check the finalisation declaration has been correctly added, and successfully processed in your payroll software.

    If processed and you have changed your payroll software or updated the payroll IDs for the employee during the year, check if you have duplicated their data in your payroll software.

    If you have access to those records, correct the duplication and submit the finalisation declaration.

    Phone us if you need to confirm duplicated data.

    Last modified: 12 Oct 2020QC 54704