Taking Payroll into the Future with Single Touch Payroll

The payroll industry in Australia is getting a digital upgrade with greater automation in the reporting of payroll events to the ATO.

Melbourne, 28 March 2017 – As part of the federal government’s initiative to streamline payroll reporting, organisations of all sizes and in all industries are expected to adopt Single Touch Payroll (STP), which begins its roll out in mid-2017.

Single Touch Payroll leverages naturally occurring payroll events to report information to the ATO through Standard Business Reporting (SBR) software.

While this spells significant changes for payroll software providers and payroll practitioners, the impact on employees is minimal.

What are these changes?

For starters, employers currently manually report Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholdings to the ATO. Under the new STP, this information will be automatically sent to the ATO each time an employer pays its staff.

Second, reporting of superannuation contributions will also be automatically sent to the ATO every time payments are made to super funds. This not only gives employees full visibility of super contributions on myGov, but also allows superfunds to be consolidated easily.

And third, individuals will have the option of completing their Tax File Number (TFN) declaration and Superannuation Standard Choice forms using myGov or through their employer’s business management software.

On the whole, the implementation of STP will reduce administration and information duplication. The change in reporting requirements also acts as a fail-safe for the ATO to ensure that employers are meeting their compliance obligations.

We are ready for Single Touch Payroll. Are you?

Affinity is part of the ATO payroll developers group, allowing us to keep abreast of the latest industry requirements and trends.

“The ATO Single Touch initiative has been underway for several years,” Affinity CEO, Mr. Bruce Sullivan said.

“As details have been drafted by the ATO, we have been progressively updating and including in our product roadmap.”

As a result, Affinity already has most of the required features in our self-service, onboarding, Clever Forms and workflow products, giving users a seamless transition experience.

Even better news: Affinity is ready to fully support early adopters of STP looking to start in April 2017.

April 2014
  • Early adopters of STP
  • Pilot testing phase
  • Eligible for a tax offset
July 2017
  • Employers with 20 or more employers to start reporting throught STP
  • Pilot testing for employers with 19 or less employees
July 2018
  • All employers with 20 or more employers are required to use STP reporting by this date

More changes to come

While the proper roll out of the upcoming changes is the focus of the ATO at present, expect more changes to come in the following years.

“We are also fully aware of and scoping the planned enhancements beyond this first phase,” Mr. Sullivan added.

While the implementation of Single Touch Payroll may get some getting used to, especially in larger organisations, this ATO initiative is certainly a boon. Both employers and employees can look forward to greater accuracy, efficiency, compliance and convenience in the cloud.

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