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Single touch payroll

Section: 1.4

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a government initiative to streamline business reporting obligations. It is available through payroll, accounting and business management software. STP works by sending tax and super information from an employer's payroll or accounting software to the ATO as the employer runs their payroll.

Legislation25 to implement STP became law on 16 September 2016, effective 1 July 2018.

From 1 July 2018, employers with 20 or more employees must use STP to report to the ATO:

  • superannuation contributions (made before 1 July 2018)
  • withholding payments and amounts withheld from them
  • ordinary time earnings (OTE), and
  • salary or wages.

From 1 July 2019, all employers, regardless of size must report to the ATO via STP . This will be a gradual start, and not all employers will start reporting at the same time. See the ATO web page 'About Single Touch Payroll'26 for more information.

Sacrificed amounts

The previously proposed expansion of STP reporting to include sacrificed ordinary time earnings amounts and sacrificed salary or wages paid to employees' superannuation funds is not proceeding. Although this expansion was included in the legislation27 that became law on 1 March 2019, this particular measure was reliant on other legislation passing28, which has now lapsed.

Superannuation contributions

Legislation was made on 1 March 2019 to remove the requirement for employers to report to the ATO any contributions paid to superannuation funds by the employer as part of STP.

This change is the result of increased reporting by APRA regulated super funds, under the events-based reporting framework from 1 July 2018. Therefore the requirement for employers to separately report superannuation contributions is no longer required.

The removal of the requirement for employers to report superannuation guarantee contributions applies to contributions paid on or after 1 July 2018.

Last modified: Wednesday, July 24, 2019