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  • Single Touch Payroll Employer Transition Working Group key messages 30 November 2021


    New Chair Chontelle Weyman welcomed everyone to the meeting and acknowledged the work, previous director Tracy Littlewood has done in the employer transition space.

    Chontelle introduced Travis Wright as the director of digital service provider (DSP) Readiness & Assurance. Travis will be managing the readiness, DPS deferrals as well as Extended Conformance Testing (ECT) prior to products being approved, whitelisted for single touch payroll (STP) Phase 2 reporting.

    Member updates

    There is good messaging going out around Phase 2, however there is still some confusion around DSP readiness and the 1 January start date.

    The importance of messaging focusing on employers starting as soon as they can and not waiting until the end of their deferral period.

    Some employers just do not understand how big this change might be for them. Updating allowance codes etcetera may be bigger than they expect, and they need to allow time to do this preparation work.

    Digital service provider update

    ATO provided an update of DSP readiness as of 29 November 2021.

    Extended conformance testing (ECT)

    Based on forecasts, a further 21 DSPs will be whitelisted by the end of December 2021 with a steady stream of DSPs releasing products through to June 2022.

    Additional assurance checks on real-time data are proving advantageous in picking up nuances in reporting that cannot be picked up in an ECT test environment.

    Where software allows, the new functionality in the 2020 service is working well to enable employers to link current records with previous reporting and reduce duplication issues.

    DSP deferrals

    ATO has processed most DSP deferrals and expects DSPs to be communicating with their customers.

    The Digital Partnership Office (DPO) are making phone calls to DSPs who are currently not engaged with the ATO, to get an understanding of their plans for STP Phase 2.

    Employer engagement

    The Chair informed the Group there had been an increase in requests for ATO participation at external events, with events continuing into December.

    The webinar series is now complete. Four live webinars were held with good attendance. The final webinar has been recorded, not held live and will be available via the News and resources web page.

    The ATO will break up the webinar videos into smaller videos on specific topics to make the content easier for employers and intermediaries to navigate and digest.

    It was suggested the ATO explore using the Tax InVoice podcast, as podcasts are very popular. Assistant Commissioner, Jason Lucchese, recorded an STP Phase 2 Tax InVoice podcastExternal Link in November 2021.

    The Chair advised that a small practitioner focus group will be held the week commencing 6 December 2021, to explore additional engagement and support for tax professionals.

    Other business

    The Group discussed the increase in data and Services Australia’s use of the data. Such as, ‘when employers make a mistake who do they tell?’

    ATO confirmed that the existing STP corrections framework still applies for STP fixes and corrections.

    Users of the data, Services Australia will allow customers to check, confirm, change amounts displayed to them before they are used.

    The ATO will be monitoring the data coming in and will continue to work with DSPs and provide feedback on identified improvement/corrections that may be required.

    The next meeting is planned for February 2022.

    The Chair thanked everyone for their attendance and participation.

      Last modified: 16 Mar 2022QC 68160