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Micro employers

Information on STP reporting concession for micro employers and their registered tax or BAS agent.

Last updated 20 September 2021

If you are a micro employer and need more time to move to real-time digital reporting, you can apply for the quarterly reporting concession. The concession approves you to report quarterly for two years through your registered tax or BAS agent.

From 1 July 2021, the quarterly reporting concession will change. It will only be considered for micro employers experiencing exceptional circumstances.

Eligibility for the concession

To be eligible for this quarterly reporting concession, you must meet all of the following:

  • be a micro employer on the day you apply (work out how to count your employees)
  • lodge your activity statements electronically through a registered tax or BAS agent
  • have a non-computerised payroll. This could include running your payroll manually and keeping records on a spreadsheet or paper
  • all amounts owing to us are either not yet due or subject to a payment plan
  • all lodgment obligations are either not yet due or subject to a deferral
  • for applications for a period commencing after 1 July 2021, you must also meet the guidelines for exceptional circumstances.

Note: If your circumstances change, we may review your quarterly concession.

Find out about:

Exceptional circumstances

Law Administration Practice Statement 2011/15 Lodgment obligations, due dates and deferrals (PS LA 2011/15) explains when it would generally be fair and reasonable to grant a deferral due to exceptional or unforeseen circumstances.

In addition to the circumstances set out in PSLA 2011/15, the following circumstances may be considered exceptional when considering an application for the quarterly reporting concession from 1 July 2021:

  • Seasonal or intermittent workers – for micro employers who generally have either no or between one and four employees for most of the year and then increase their workforce for less than three months of a financial year.
  • No or unreliable internet connection – we would consider the following    
    • an inability to connect to the internet
    • a connection that consistently requires multiple attempts
    • consistent dropouts or disconnections
    • exceedingly slow data transfer.

Note: employers with no or intermittent internet connection may also apply for an:

  • exemption via your registered tax or BAS agent
  • operational deferral – allowing up to an additional three days to lodge.

We will consider any other unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Applying for the concession

Speak with your registered agent if you think quarterly reporting might be right for your business.

Your registered agent will need to apply online for this concession and lodge your STP reports on your behalf. Registered agents can apply through Online services for agents using the online STP deferrals and exemptions tool.

When to report

Your registered agent will need to lodge your STP report once per quarter. The due date for the STP lodgment will be the same as the due date of your activity statement. If you lodge your STP report quarterly, it is due the same day as your quarterly activity statement.

If you lodge activity statements monthly, the due date for your quarterly STP report is the same day as your last monthly activity statement for that particular quarter.

Speak with your registered agent about your activity statement due date.

If you are approved to report quarterly but want to report monthly, you can. Your registered agent must lodge the monthly STP pay event on or before the 21st day of the following month. This is the same due date as monthly activity statements.

Notifying us if you won’t be paying employees again for the year

If you will not be paying any employees for the rest of the financial year, you should lodge a 'No requirement to report' notification.

To notify us:

  • log in to the Business Portal
  • select Manage employees
  • select STP deferrals and exemptions
  • select No requirement to report.

Payments included in the quarterly report

The quarterly report needs to include your:

  • employees’ year-to-date amounts – up to and including the last pay day of the quarter
  • total gross wages – same as the W1 label on your activity statement
  • total pay as you go (PAYG) withholding – same as the W2 label on your activity statement.

This quarterly report could be in two formats, either:

  • every individual pay event for the quarter
  • a single combined pay event which reports all the information for the quarter.

Speak to your registered agent about how they offer quarterly reporting and what they need to lodge on your behalf.

How to lodge the quarterly STP report

You will need to lodge the STP report through your STP-enabled software. You can't lodge the STP pay event report in Online services for agents.

Speak to your STP solution provider to see how they offer quarterly reporting.

The STP pay event report is a separate obligation to the activity statement. You must lodge the activity statement separately.

See also:

Finalisation declaration due dates

You will need to finalise your STP information at the end of the financial year. This tells us your data is complete and we can change your employees' income statement to 'Tax ready'.

If your registered agent reports your STP information to us for you, they need to submit a finalisation declaration on your behalf by 14 July each year.

These due dates are earlier than the due date of your June activity statement. This may mean you need to visit your registered agent earlier than before. However, the timeframe should align to the business processes you previously had to ensure that payment summaries were issued to employees by 14 July each year.

See also: