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From 1 July 2018, the introduction of a new reporting system will change how organisations with 20 or more employees need to report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Single-touch payroll – STP – involves the reporting of payroll payments, PAYG, and superannuation directly to the ATO for every pay run that is made.
Peter Saccasan, national head of business advisory at RSM Australia, said, “Employers need to conduct a headcount immediately to see if they’re subject to new STP reporting requirements. Employers must count each employee on their payroll and keep a copy for their records. If employers have 20 employees or more as at 1 April 2018, they will remain in the STP reporting system even if their employee numbers fall below 19.”
Full-time, part-time, and casual employees who are on the payroll on 1 April and have worked any time during March must be included in the headcount, along with employees based overseas, any employees absent or on leave (paid or unpaid), and seasonal employees. Any employees who ceased work before 1 April, casual employees who didn’t work in March, independent contractors, staff provided by a third-party labour-hire organisation, company directors, office holders, and religious practitioners do not need to be included.
Saccasan added, “Employers with 19 employees or fewer at 1 April 2018 don’t need to take any action at this stage. However, there is currently legislation in parliament to introduce STP for these employers from 1 July 2019. Employers with 20 or more employees will need to make sure their accounting and payroll software is STP compatible so they can start reporting to the ATO through an STP-enabled solution from 1 July 2018. ”
Most payroll software packages are expected to let employers meet these new ATO compliance requirements. Payroll software providers are currently working with the ATO to be ready for the changes.
Businesses can find additional information on the new system con the ATO’s website or through contacting their respective accounting or payroll advisors.