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  • Single Touch Payroll Employer Transition Working Group key messages 5 August 2021


    The Chair provided an acknowledgement of country and thanked everyone for making time to attend the meeting, acknowledging that it is a busy and important period with tax time and the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

    Member updates

    The group provided updates on what they are seeing around single touch payroll (STP) Phase 2 including:

    • some micro employers have commenced STP Phase 2 reporting
    • members had reviewed the employer guide and appreciated the level of detail included
    • a concern that was raised about a ‘data amnesty’ for employers as part of the transition to Phase 2.

    Digital service provider readiness update

    The ATO presented a summary of the process for digital service providers (DSPs) to be whitelisted including an overview of DSP transition to date, noting:

    • ATO have started receiving DSP deferrals and are currently reviewing the applications.
    • ATO will run a DSP readiness webinar on 26 August 2021.

    Employer and employee benefits messaging

    The ATO talked through the paper issued to members around employer and employees benefits messaging. Feedback from members included:

    • A discussion on the benefits of STP Phase 2 is a good start.
    • Phase 2 is a trade-off; it removes some burdens but adds others.
    • The ‘level playing field’ for employers is a good message to share, by also being transparent about the benefits the government is getting from STP Phase 2, which in turns benefits the community.

    Transition messaging

    The ATO asked for group feedback on transition messaging and the following was discussed:

    • The small business world does not start thinking about it until it needs to be done.
    • Small business needs to be triggered when they need to do something. The start date of 1 January will be impossible.
    • Messaging around the 1 January start date and Christmas holidays will need to be handled well.

    Deferral messaging

    The ATO provided some highlights of the deferrals messaging paper which was sent out with the agenda. The ATO confirmed:

    • the bulk agent deferral option was still being explored
    • there is no deadline for a DSP to get a deferral, however they need to apply for a deferral by 31 October to ensure it can be put in place by 1 January 2022.

    Other business

    An updated webinar plan was shared with the group.

      Last modified: 16 Mar 2022QC 68157