ATO shares tax tips for small employers

As many are settling into the new calendar year, the ATO is encouraging employers to take some simple steps to make it easier to meet their tax and super obligations in 2019.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a new way of sending tax and super information to us from your payroll or accounting software each time you pay your employees. If you use payroll software, it may need to be updated to enable STP reporting.

While employers with 20 or more employees are now required to report through STP, smaller employers (those with 19 or fewer employees) can also start reporting when their software is ready. Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd reassured employers that the ATO will be supporting businesses as they transition to STP reporting.

“We have already seen around 58,000 employers take the next step in streamlining their payroll reporting through STP, and we are now helping smaller employers get ready to do the same,” Shepherd said.

While owners are preparing their business for STP, they should also review employees’ superannuation entitlements to make sure you are paying the right amount and keeping accurate records throughout the year. Once business owners start reporting through STP, employees will be able to view their year-to-date tax and super information online in myGov.

To help manage super guarantee obligations the ATO offers the SG contributions calculator and Super guarantee eligibility decision tool – both available at ato.gov.au. Additionally, if a business has 19 or fewer employees it may be able to use the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House to process super payments to the employees’ funds. This is a free service provided by the ATO.

In addition, the ATO is encouraging businesses to avail of the different tools and services, such as the Business Assistance Program, which gives one-on-one tax and super support to new businesses, webinars designed to provide information to those starting, or thinking about starting, a new business, and the Small Business Newsroom which delivers all of the latest tax and super news straight to subscribers’ inboxes.

“Making sure your business processes are top of mind throughout the year will not only ensure your business is on the right track, it will help ease pressures when it comes time for end of financial year reporting,” Shepherd said.

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