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Definition of terms

Last updated 15 November 2023

These terms are referenced throughout the Single Touch Payroll employer reporting guidelines:

  • Digital service provider (DSP) – those who develop or deliver digital services that help the community (and business) meet their tax and super obligations.
  • Pay event – the file generated by an STP-enabled software or solution. This file must be lodged to us on, or before, the payment date when an employer makes a payment to an employee or payee that is subject to withholding.
  • Update event – the service that allows an employer to transition to STP and correct or finalise STP data to us. This does not include employees that are paid payments subject to withholding (pay event).
  • STP report or reporting – used for reporting either:  
    • a pay event (upon payments subject to withholding), or
    • an update event (upon transition, correction or finalisation).
  • BMS ID – a business management software identifier that uniquely identifies the source of employee data sent to us as a specific instance of payroll software.
  • Payee payroll ID – a key identifier that represents each employee in the payroll that, in conjunction with payee details and the tax file number (TFN), enables us to uniquely identify the taxpayer.
  • Income statement – the ATO equivalent of an employer-issued payment summary. It contains the latest year to date (YTD) STP data reported by employers. It is made available by the ATO through ATO online services accessed through myGov. If an employee does not have a myGov account they can create one and link it to the ATO.
  • Finalise – when an employer must make a declaration to us that they have provided all the information for each employee for a financial year. This is done by providing the finalisation indicator as a part of an employee’s STP report.

How STP works

STP works by sending tax and super information from your STP-enabled payroll or accounting software to us when you pay your employees.

This includes the information we need from you, such as:

  • salaries and wages
  • pay as you go (PAYG) withholding
  • super liability information.

See the detailed tables outlining mandatory reporting, voluntary reporting, and payments that are out of scope and cannot be reported through STP.

There are rules about what is reported in each pay event. You can also make corrections to your employees' YTD amounts in your next pay event, or through an update event. This is explained in Correcting a pay report.

How you send STP information to us depends on the software you use.

See also:

QC54550