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Exemptions from STP reporting

Certain employers may be exempt from Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting.

Last updated 15 August 2023

STP exemptions and PAYG withholding obligations

If you are exempt from STP reporting, you must continue to comply with your existing pay as you go (PAYG) withholding obligations, including:

  • reporting and paying your PAYG withholding and super guarantee liabilities
  • giving payment summaries to your employees
  • giving a payment summary annual report to us.

Employers with a withholding payer number

Employers with a withholding payer number (WPN) are exempt from STP reporting until 30 June 2033.

If you decide to make use of this exemption, you don't need to apply to us or advise us. However, you should keep records that support your decision.

All other employers

Employers can apply for an exemption from reporting through STP for a particular financial year if the applicant meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • small employers (with 19 or fewer employees) who have low digital capability or unreliable internet service employers who have been impacted (for one or more financial years) by exceptional or unforeseen circumstances as outlined in PS LA 2011/15.

Employers who run their business in an area with no internet service can seek an exemption for 1 or more financial years.

A registered tax or BAS agent can apply for an exemption on an employer's behalf.

How to apply

You or your registered agent can submit an exemption request online. If you are unable to access online services, you can phone us on 13 28 66.

To submit a request for an exemption online:

  • In Online services for business – select Employees then STP deferrals and exemptions.
  • In Online services for agents – select the client then Business then STP deferrals and exemptions.

In each case, include the following information:

  • the number of employees on your payroll – this will help us understand the size and complexity of your business
  • the reasons why you are unable to report through STP
  • any steps you have taken to attempt to get ready for STP
  • any supporting evidence that may help us understand your circumstances.

We may contact you for further information about your request.

If you don't qualify for an exemption, you may be eligible for a deferral.

Previous exemptions

These exemptions were offered in previous financial years but are no longer available:

  • Small employers (19 or fewer employees) with closely held payees were exempt from reporting those closely held payees through STP until 1 July 2021.
  • Employers in certain industries such as building, construction or cleaning may make regular contributions to a long service leave or redundancy scheme for their employees, administrators of such schemes were exempt from reporting these payments through STP until 1 July 2021.
  • Insolvency practitioners weren't required to report through STP on their employer clients' behalf in 2018–19. They are required to start reporting through STP from 1 July 2019.
  • Inbound assignees are now covered by a concession.