Single Touch Payroll has now been introduced for all small business owners with 1-19 employees, and payroll compliance is required from 1 July 2019. Essentially, Single Touch Payroll (STP) means employers are required to streamline their payroll reporting.
Using payroll software like QuickBooks, employers have to report their employees’ tax and super information to the ATO each time there is a ‘payroll event’ – instead of only monthly or quarterly.
Top 10 most asked questions
We recently held 2 webinars about Single Touch Payroll and ensuring you are ready for the changes. In case you missed it, you can access the full recording here. All up, we had over 100 questions asked from our attendees. See below for the 10 most asked questions from the webinar, answered by our STP expert, Diane Lucas.
As one of the first registered BAS agents in Victoria, Diane is now one of the most influential bookkeepers in the nation. Diane was an early adopter of cloud accounting software when it came to Australia in 2012, contributing to the development of the QuickBooks Online technology, the world’s biggest cloud-based accounting program.
After receiving the 2016 International ProAdvisor of the Year award, Diane is acknowledged as an international industry leader of QuickBooks Online, out of over 180,000 advisors worldwide.
1. We normally do 3 pay runs every month. Does this mean we need to lodge STP 3 times a month too?
Yes. STP should be lodged every time a pay run is completed and processed.
2. What do I do with seasonal employees? I have a staff member that only works 2 months in the year. Do I need to do STP reporting for them?
You will need to apply for a deferral via the ATO Portal in this circumstance. To do this, log in with your AusKey or seek assistance from your Registered Agent.
3. If no employees have been terminated and you start lodging your STP from August 2019, do you need to update an event or can you just lodge normally?
Lodge from when you commence STP reporting (between 1 July – 30 September 2019). There will be no need for an updated event.
4. When does the payment for PAYG withholding go to the tax office?
PAYG withholding is not associated with Single Touch Payroll and should be processed as per usual, following either a BAS or IAS lodgement.
5. I normally prepare pay runs the day before payday, and leave payments to go to the bank the next morning. Can I submit STP one day early?
Yes. Single Touch Payroll can be submitted prior to the payment of your employee’s wages.
6. Is there an STP Engagement Authority form template?
Your registered agent needs to provide you as the employer with an STP authority form should you wish to apply for this. For more information read here.
7. I did some pay runs under STP in July 2019 then stopped being a small employer. Do I need to finalise anything or just recommence this July?
You will be in the STP system so you should finalise the FY 2018-19 for STP.
8. Do we pay super through STP?
Payment of super is not associated with STP. Payment of STP is made through the usual methods such as a clearing house or directly from within KeyPay via Beam. You can read more here.
9. Do we need to lodge tax once we use STP?
Yes. You still need to lodge your business tax return as per the usual process. STP has no association with payroll tax.
10. Is it okay to lodge to the ATO early (for example when on holidays or over Christmas)? Or should we wait and lodge manually?
Yes. STP can be submitted prior to the payment of wages.