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  • Single Touch Payroll

    Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a new way of reporting tax and superannuation information to us.

    Using STP-enabled software you'll send your employees’ salary and wage, tax withheld and super information to us each time you pay your employees.

    This means:

    • you'll report to us each time you pay your employees
    • you'll report super information to us
    • you won’t need to give your employees a payment summary for the information you've already reported and finalised through STP.

    When to start

    STP reporting began on 1 July 2019 for all employers.

    If you are not yet reporting, you will need to apply for more time.

    Once you start STP reporting, you need to keep reporting each time you pay your employees.

    Start reporting through STP

    Start reporting in one of the following ways by:

    • using your current payroll or accounting software (if it's STP-enabled)
    • choosing payroll or accounting software that offers STP reporting
    • asking your registered tax or BAS agent to report through an STP solution on your behalf (this option is available until 28 February 2020).

    Your solution provider or tax professional may give you advice on how to transition to STP reporting.

    STP reporting options

    Employers with 1–4 employees (micro employers)

    If you have 1–4 employees, you can report using a no-cost or low-cost STP solution. See Software solutions for Single Touch Payroll for a list of providers.

    If you have limited digital capability you may be eligible to report quarterly (every three months) until June 2021. Your registered tax or BAS agent must apply for this on your behalf before 28 February 2020.

    Employers with 5–19 employees (small employers)

    Start reporting now – If you use payroll software which offers STP, you can update your product and start reporting any time. Talk to your software provider, or visit their website, to find out what you need to do.

    If you are not ready right now, your solution provider or tax professional may give you advice on how to transition to STP reporting. You can also view or download our Start reporting checklist.

    Apply for more time to get ready – If you aren't reporting through STP you will need to use our online form to apply for a later start date. See Single Touch Payroll deferrals.

    Ask us for an exemption if you meet the criteria – If you live in an area with intermittent or no internet connection, you or your agent can apply online for an exemption.

    How to report

    You can report through your current payroll solution or service if it's updated to offer STP reporting. Talk to your provider to find out if they offer STP.

    If you don’t currently have a payroll solution, talk to a tax professional or service provider for advice. They can help you look at options.

    There are also products designed for STP reporting that do not require use of full payroll reporting requirements.

    Products information is available at the STP product register. If you have four employees or less, see Software solutions for Single Touch Payroll. Here you can find easy to use, low-cost and no-cost solutions that cost $10 or less.

    You can also ask a payroll service provider or your registered tax or BAS agent to report through an STP solution on your behalf each payday.

    Payments made to people directly related to the business (closely-held employees)

    If you pay employees directly related to the business, such as a family member, director, shareholder or a beneficiary of a trust, you don't have to report payments to them through STP until 1 July 2020. You don't have to apply for this extra time.

    You still need to report their salary and wage, tax withheld and super information using your existing processes.

    Quarterly reporting until 2021

    If you have between one and four employees and have non-computerised payroll (for example, keeping records on a spreadsheet or paper), then you may be eligible to report quarterly until June 2021. You can report through your registered tax or BAS agent. Talk to them before 28 February 2020 to find out how they can support you.

    You may be eligible for a quarterly reporting concession if your business has irregular employment patterns, such as large seasonal increases. You can report on your own behalf.

    Apply for a quarterly reporting concession by lodging with us. You or your tax professional can find more information at Single Touch Payroll deferrals.

    If you need more time

    You can apply to delay your start date for STP (a deferral). You or your tax professional can find more information at Single Touch Payroll deferrals.

    You need to provide a reason for the deferral and a specific date no later than 30 June 2020. We will confirm the new date with you. You still need to find a solution and start reporting by that date. We won't grant further deferrals unless there are special circumstances.

    Available exemptions

    Employers with only closely held payees or non-business employers, such as carers holding a Withholding Payer Number (WPN), don't need to start reporting for them until 1 July 2021. This exemption is automatic, you don't need to apply. However, you should keep records that support your decision.

    Other exemptions may be available in special circumstances, on a case-by-case basis. For example, having no internet connection or having a business in administration. Check with your registered tax professional if you think you may qualify.

    Any exemptions are for an agreed period of time. We'll review them at the expiry of each exemption.

    Support and more information

    Support is available for employers transitioning to STP reporting (including those who are not currently using software) by:

    • talking to your registered tax professional
    • phoning our translating and interpreting service for people from non-English speaking backgrounds on 13 14 50.

    Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra.

      Last modified: 20 Jan 2020QC 59836