Single Touch Payroll (STP), is an Australian Government initiative to reduce employers’ reporting burdens to government agencies.
With STP, you report employees’ payroll information to us each time you pay them through STP-enabled software. Payroll information includes:
- Salaries and wages
- Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding
STP started on 1 July 2018 for employers with 20 or more employees and 1 July 2019 for employers with 19 or fewer employees and is a mandatory obligation.
If you haven’t started already started reporting your wages under STP, you need to start doing so from 1 July 2021. If you’re a small employer you can report these amounts on or before each payday, or can choose to report this information quarterly.
There are a number of concessional reporting options available to help you transition to STP reporting. Eligibility depends on your particular circumstances.
Find out about:
- Micro employers
- Micro employers in the agriculture, fishing and forestry industry
- Micro employers who are not-for-profit clubs and associations
- Closely held payees
- Seasonal and intermittent employers
- Employers of inbound assignees.
For the purposes of this article we have only provided detail for both Closely held payees and Micro employees, however should you require any assistance with any of the other circumstances listed above please feel free to contact your BKM Representative for assistance.
CLOSELY HELD PAYEES
From 1 July 2021, amounts paid to Closely held payees can be reported through STP. Closely held payees are individuals in a business directly related to the business entity such as family members in a business or directors/shareholders of a company.
Closely held payees can report in any of the following ways:
- Report actual payments on or before the date of payment – whenever you make a payment to a closely held payee, report the information on or before each pay event.
- Report actual payments quarterly – report your actual payments to closely held payees quarterly. Each quarter, when your activity statement is due, report all payments made in that quarter.
- Report a reasonable estimate quarterly – report amounts equal to or greater than a percentage of gross payments and tax withheld from the latest year, across each quarter.
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 allows you to report yours wages 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 criteria:
- 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 lodgement 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.
Written by Darren Williams