15,000 SMBs move to single touch payroll

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15,000 SMBs move to single touch payroll

Small employers are beginning to report employees' tax and superannuation information each pay cycle.

Australian small employers are beginning to move to Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting, despite the expectation they won’t have to do so till July 1, 2019.

Around 15,000 small Australian employers are using online or cloud-based accounting tools for STP – which involves reporting their employees' tax and superannuation information to the ATO every time they pay them.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is encouraging other small employers to follow their lead – even though it’s not yet compulsory.

“We understand there is nervousness from the small business sector about Single Touch Payroll and we are working hard to assist small businesses to transition to Single Touch Payroll reporting,” said ATO Deputy Commissioner Deborah Jenkins earlier this month.

“We know it isn’t going to be easy for everyone and we are working on low-cost solutions for micro small businesses that aren’t that digitally engaged,” she added.

By the end of this month the ATO expected to publish a list of those low cost solutions, which Jenkins said will cost $10 or less. They will include simple payroll software, mobile phone apps and portals, and will be available from July 2019.

There is another option for businesses with up to four employees – from April 2019, they or their tax agents will be able to apply to report their employees’ tax and superannuation details on a quarterly basis.

Companies with 20 or more employers have had to use STP since July 1 this year, unless they were granted more time to prepare. In total, nearly 50,000 employers are now using STP, according to the ATO.

We’ve previously covered work by accounting software companies to upgrade their products for STP - including adding two-factor authentication to increase security.

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