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Definition of terms

Explains the terms used in these guidelines.

Last updated 12 November 2023

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is the way you report your employees' tax and super information to the ATO.

The following terms are used in these 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).
  • Adjustment event - optional action that allows the employer to report corrections to employer (payer) period totals previously reported. An adjustment event will increase or decrease the employer-level gross payments amount (W1) and withholding figures (W2) for a PAYG withholding period. It does not adjust payee records.
  • STP report or reporting – used for reporting either  
    • a pay event (upon payments subject to withholding)
    • 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 equivalent of an employer-issued payment summary. It contains the latest year to date (YTD) STP data reported by employers. It's available through ATO online services accessed through myGov. If an employee does not have a myGov account they can create a myGov account 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.

For more information about STP and Phase 1, see: