Single Touch Payroll is upon us – if you’re an employer, here’s what you need to know

Posted on February 19th, 2019 by WLF

It was announced on 12 February 2019 that the legislation for Single Touch Payroll (STP) for employers with 19 or less employees has now passed Parliament. Reporting will be required from 1 July 2019, with a buffer period to 30 September (limited exemptions available).

Businesses with 20 or more employees began reporting on 1 July 2018, and will not be affected by this new legislation.

STP is a change to the way employers report their employees’ wages and superannuation information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Employers will be required to electronically report wages, PAYG withholding and super information to the ATO as part of their weekly, fortnightly or monthly payroll processing.

Super funds will also be reporting to the ATO more frequently which means the ATO will be able to ensure employers are paying their employees’ super entitlements correctly and on time.  

As part of this process it will mean as an employer you will no longer need to provide PAYG payment summaries to your employees (although you can choose to) or lodge the annual report with the ATO. Instead employees will be able to access their year to date information from their myGov account and once each financial year is complete you will electronically lodge a finalisation declaration with the ATO to advise them the payroll year is compete for your business.  

How to report

  • For employers that currently use online/cloud payroll/accounting software you will need to ensure you have the latest version of the software. Then you will need to connect the software to the ATO. From here on, each pay day after processing the pay run there will be a few extra steps in the software (depending on the software being used) to lodge the information directly with the ATO.
  • Question: Are you happy with the performance of your current software?  Now would be a good time for a software ‘health check’ to ensure you are getting the most out of your software and it is supporting your business needs. Contact us today to arrange your software ‘health check’.
  • For employers that have payroll/accounting software that is not online, these versions are not likely to be STP compliant. Therefore, a move to a software option that is STP compliant might be required. Transitioning to a secure online/cloud accounting software that you can access from anywhere can provide you with many benefits including the STP reporting. Please contact us today to discuss your options.
  • For employers who calculate their payroll manually, the ATO has been working with software providers to offer a low-cost online payroll solution that will be STP compliant, although this will only be available for micro businesses (1 to 4 employees). Currently Xero and MYOB have announced their low-cost solutions. If this is you, please contact us immediately to discuss your options.

Below is a list of the software providers that allow you to meet the requirements of the new legislation. Discounts apply on some programs if you sign up through WLF.

Number of Employees

Software Options

5 to 20

Premium cloud level accounting and payroll package.


Xero – $65 to $90 p/m

MYOB – $55 to $100 p/m

QBO – $35 to $75 p/m

1 to 4

Above packages are available; or

Xero, MYOB and QBO are currently designing standalone payroll options for $10 per month


Not Applicable

Prices above include GST.

With 1 July 2019 fast approaching it is time to get things organised to avoid any last minute stress. If you need assistance with software set up or training, let us know as soon as possible so we can help ensure everything is ready in time for the reporting date.  

Need ongoing help keeping on top of your payroll requirements and compliance?

If you are finding the increasing level of payroll requirements a burden, we can offer you a full payroll service to take care of your weekly, fortnightly, or monthly payroll needs using STP compliant software. This service is beneficial for business owners as it frees up time for you to focus more on growing your business, with the peace of mind of knowing our experts have things under control. If you’re interested in finding out more, let us know and we can discuss options and put together a competitive quote.

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Single Touch Payroll is upon us – if you’re an employer, here’s what you need to know

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