The Australian Taxation Office expects various low-cost Single Touch Payment (STP) reporting software to be available for small businesses early in 2019, ahead of the 1 July 2019 STP start date. STP is currently required for companies with 20 or more employees but the Government has expressed its intent of extending it to smaller employers as well.
Using STP could be costly for small businesses though, that’s why the ATO is keen on finding software for them that would take only a few minutes per pay period, cost less than $10 a month and does not require the employer to maintain it.
Employers with less than 19 employees are not forced to purchase a payroll software if they aren’t currently using it. Employers with only one to four employees will have several alternatives that are not available to larger employers, such as allowing your registered tax or BAS agent to report quarterly, instead of every payroll run. STP reporting exemptions are also available to those who do not have (or have unreliable) internet connection.
The Bill that would extend STP requirements to businesses with less than 19 employees almost passed the Parliament in 2018 and will return to the House of Representatives on 12 February. The ATO will soon write to smaller businesses to inform them about STP and advise that they don’t need to wait for legislation to pass should they wish to commence reporting through STP immediately.
It is expected, with the help of STP, that the tax system would become smarter, more efficient and more automated, meaning that employers need not have to provide annual pay (PAYG) summaries to their employees or perform reconciliation to the ATO every year; and there will be less admin and compliance overheads. The ATO will be able to pre-fill the BAS PAYG amount accurately on behalf of the employer as well.
Find out if your business systems meet the requirements and if you could automate some of your time-consuming processes.
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