Small businesses won't be penalised for STP mistakes in first year, says ATO

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Small businesses won't be penalised for STP mistakes in first year, says ATO

Employers experiencing hardship, or located in areas with intermittent Internet could also be granted Single Touch Payroll (STP) exemptions.

Small businesses won’t be penalised for missing Single Touch Payroll (STP) reports, or submitting them late, or with mistakes during the first year of STP reporting.

Parliament passed legislation this week to extend STP reporting to businesses with less than 20 people. From 1 July 2019, they must submit payrolls to the ATO on each pay day.

Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan stated that the ATO will be “flexible, reasonable and pragmatic” about the introduction of STP. In addition to reassuring them about penalties, he explained that:

  • Companies with one to four employees will be offered help moving to STP. Those that rely on registered tax or BAS agents can report quarterly for the first two years, instead of at each pay run.
  • The ATO will grant deferrals to small employers who request additional time to begin STP reporting.
  • Employers experiencing hardship or in areas with intermittent or no internet connection will be provided exemptions.

The ATO asks businesses with concerns about STP to contact them on 13 28 61 or here.

MYOB planning another low-cost STP product

As we reported recently, MYOB is one of many software vendors planning to release STP products priced at $10 a month for businesses with four employees or less.

MYOB's low cost STP product will automatically populate information about payment and superannuation, reducing the likelihood of data entry errors. It will also log attempts to submit payroll data to the ATO and automatically re-process the data if the ATO doesn’t receive the file.

MYOB has also announced plans to offer an STP-compliant Connected Ledger and payroll package for accountants, bookkeepers and businesses with one to four employees. It will be priced at $30 per month.

The ATO lists various software vendors planning $10-a-month STP products. 

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