It means employers will report payments such as salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information directly to the ATO from your payroll solution at the same time as you pay your employees.
Employers may need to update their payroll solution to report through Single Touch Payroll.For employers with 20 or more employees, Single Touch Payroll reporting starts from 1 July 2018.
The Australian Government has announced it will expand Single Touch Payroll to include employers with 19 or less employees from 1 July 2019. This will be subject to legislation being passed in parliament.
Payroll event reporting
You must be registered for pay as you go (PAYG) withholding before you can withhold from certain payments (for example, a payment to an employee) and before you submit your first payroll event.
You must submit a payroll event on or before the pay day of any of the following payments:
- salary, wages to an employee
- remuneration to the director of a company
- salary, wages to an office holder
- a payment to a religious practitioner
- return to work to an individual
- termination of employment
- unused leave
- parental leave pay
- dad and partner pay
- salary, wages to an employee under the Seasonal Labour Program.
You must submit a payroll event even if the amount you were required to withhold from any of these payments was nil.
You can submit multiple payroll events for the same day. If you pay an employee more than once on the same day, you can submit one report containing the latest year-to-date figures for that employee (including all payments made to that employee that day).
If you include the same employee in more than one report lodged on the same day the ATO will use each report's timestamp to identify the latest record for the employee. This ensures the most up-to-date information is displayed to your employee.
The ATO is working on guidelines which will provide you with a period of time to make corrections to your Single Touch Payroll report without being liable to a penalty for making a false or misleading statement.
This grace period is designed to allow employers to conduct an assurance process on the information reported to us and correct the statement within specified timeframes. These have not yet been published.
If the employer has not corrected an error within the grace period, they may be liable to a penalty.
You can be exempt from giving payment summaries and a payment summary annual report covering the amounts you reported through Single Touch Payroll. To be exempt, you will need to make a declaration that you have provided all required information for the financial year in your Single Touch Payroll reporting.
You make a finalisation declaration by providing a finalisation indicator for an employee (including directors, contractors, and so on) as part of your Single Touch Payroll reporting.
Once you have provided the finalisation indicator for the employee, we will pre-fill their income tax return and display the information as 'final' in ATO online services accessed through the myGov website .
You can declare any time during the financial year or after the end of the financial year up to 14 July.
You may be penalised if you have not made a finalisation declaration or provided payment summaries by 14 July.
Please contact our office for more information.