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  • Single Touch Payroll Employer Transition Working Group key messages 17 May 2022

    Welcome

    Chair, Chontelle Weyman welcomed members and attendees to the Single Touch Payroll (STP) Employer Transition Working Group meeting.

    Digital service provider update

    Travis Wright from the ATO provided an update on digital service provider (DSP) readiness and testing, noting the following:

    • As of May 2022, 124 products have been whitelisted for production, 100 of which have clients, employers, reporting STP Phase 2 data.
    • From the submitted DSP plans and testing progress, we anticipate 23 additional products will be whitelisted by the end of May 2022.
    • We are anticipating a significant peak period over the next 2–3 months. As such we are encouraging DSPs to commence testing as early as possible to allow for issues resolution and customer transition.
    • We are continuing to work with DPSs to address common themes that have been identified.
    • Majority of DSPs are on track to meet their deferral dates, we are continuing to reach out to providers when their due date is nearing.

    Employer transition and engagement

    Chontelle provided the group an update on the Phase 2 employer transition and engagement activities, noting:

    • As of 11 May 2022, over 108,000 employers covering more than 1.2 million individuals were reporting through Phase 2.
    • We continue to support external events and are now preparing to support a number of financial year end events, where ‘getting ready for STP Phase 2 reporting’ is the primary key message from the ATO.
    • The ATO hosted an industry roundtable on 27 April 2022, which focused on opportunities for raising Phase 2 awareness amongst small employers. Attendees included nominees from the Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group, Private Groups Stewardship Group, Small Business Stewardship Group and BAS Agent Association Group. At a high level, the session confirmed the ATO’s communication and guidance is working well and we are now exploring additional opportunities and ideas raised by the group.

    Member updates

    Members were asked to provide insights on the awareness and readiness of employers to transition to STP Phase 2 reporting, noting:

    • Many DSPs are doing roadshows and engagement activities with their clients to assist them in their transition.
    • One member mentioned that some small to medium enterprise employers who have deferrals until December 2022 are not following messaging to start preparing now as they believe they have plenty of time. Depending on the complexity of their payroll, it is important they commence reviewing what changes are needed sooner rather than later.
    • There is still a varying degree of readiness amongst employers, mostly dependant on their product readiness.
    • Awareness of Phase 2 remains lower than expected within the small employer segment. Particularly for those who are not engaged with an agent/tax professional.
    • Questions about all-purpose allowances are increasing, from tax professionals and employers.
    • The ATO has messaging about employers not being penalised during the transitional year for genuine mistakes. Some employers who have deferrals that don’t expire until later in the year are concerned they will be penalised if a mistake is made and, about the flow on effect of mistakes to Services Australia.
    • Many employers are seeing Phase 2 as an opportunity to review their obligations under fair work.

    Other business

    Chontelle thanked members for their attendance and closed the meeting.

      Last modified: 15 Jun 2022QC 69811