With the 1 July 2019 deadline for smaller employees to start reporting via Single Touch Payroll (STP) looming large on the horizon, Tax & Super Australia speaks with Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd, the ATO’s STP program lead, about the STP essentials, and the finer points, that your clients need to know.

STP has already been a reality for “substantial” employers and those with more than 20 employees from 1 July 2018, and since then has been voluntarily adopted by many thousands of smaller businesses ahead of the 1 July 2019 deadline for employers with 19 or fewer staff.

Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd says that on most business days over May, the ATO saw about 800 to 900 employers starting on STP. “And that includes a couple of hundred substantial employers,” he says. “So those transaction numbers are quite staggering. I’d say every Wednesday, which seemed to be the biggest reporting day at the time, we we’re getting over 1.1 million employee records being reported to us. That’s more than 3 million a week, and those numbers are growing at a healthy rate.”

Noticeable changes
He says that practitioners with business clients should make sure they are aware that their employees will be noticing some changes in the way payroll is reported this year. “The upshot of STP is that payroll data will start to show up in pre-fill fields, which replaces the payment summaries that employees were used to getting,” Shepherd says.

“I would hope that employers will inform their staff of this change, but certainly tax agents need to make sure their clients know that whereas previously a payment summary was supplied, that will no longer be the case — myGov records will now be provided with payroll information pre-filled.” He says the same information will be available to individuals, but will be downloadable on their myGov account through ATO online. Readmore