Single Touch Payroll is the new way of reporting tax and superannuation information to the ATO. STP will change business bookkeeping processes. Businesses can use a payroll software or payroll outsourcing solution to send their employees’ salary and wages, PAYG withholding and super information to the ATO each time they pay their employees.
Businesses: What you need to do
Because of STP, you will no longer be required to provide payment summaries to your employees or lodge a payment summary annual report to the ATO for information reported through STP. What you need to do is make a finalisation declaration that declares you’ve provided all required information for the financial year. The ATO will then display the information as tax ready for your employees in myGov.
Your employees may start lodging their tax return once their information is tax ready. Registered agents will have access to any information they need. Finalisation declaration is normally due by 14 July each year but if you started reporting in the 2018-19 financial year, you will have until 31 July 2019.
You can inform your employees that you are no longer required to give them a payment summary for information reported through STP and that they can access their year-to-date and end of year payment summary info called income statement in myGov. Your employees should check if their details are up to date with you and in myGov before tax time as incorrect details may prevent them from seeing their information online. STP offers many benefits but business bookkeeping can still be complex.
If you need to amend details after you’ve made a finalisation declaration, you can do it via your STP solution and submit it as soon as possible. If you amend STP data before the employee has lodged his tax return, the tax ready income statement will be updated online and in myTax pre-fill. Amendments submitted after the employee has lodged his tax return which results in a refund will result in the ATO amending the return and issuing an amended assessment and refund. If the tax return results in additional tax payable, the employee may need to take action. The ATO will contact the employee concerned.
Those who are unable to make a finalisation declaration by the due date would need to apply for more time. If your employee’s tax return has information that is not tax ready, they should wait to lodge their tax return until it is tax ready. If they use data that is not tax ready to lodge their tax return, the ATO acknowledges that you may finalise the income statement with different amounts and the employee may need to amend their tax return and more tax may be payable.
If your employee has more than one employer, they may receive a payment summary from employers that haven’t started reporting through STP yet. If your employee doesn’t have a myGov account yet, tell them that they can create one at my.gov.au or ask their registered agent to do it for them.
Because of business bookkeeping complexities, businesses commit several common STP errors including classifying allowances, lodgement, incorrect employee information and ATO authority settings. There are plenty of STP advantages and you can further benefit from them by choosing your advisor wisely. They will set up your STP for you so it is important to get it right early on.
As you look for different ways to grow and improve your business, seeking professional advice from a business accountant and consultant could prove to be an important and helpful decision.
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