Good news on Single Touch Payroll for “micro” employers

The ATO has recently confirmed that micro employers (i.e. those with less than 5 employees) will not need to purchase payroll software to enable them to comply with the Single Touch Payroll reporting obligations, which are due to commence on 1st July 2019 for employers with less than 20 employees.

Assistant Commissioner and STP lead, John Shepherd is quoted as saying that such employers “… won’t need to buy payroll software, that’s why we’re looking for those alternate solutions – some of which might be an app, something that’s fit for purpose to get the STP information in but is easy to use, doesn’t take much time and doesn’t cost that business money to do so.” He also stated that “there are obviously lots of other benefits from using payroll software but we’re not saying for STP that you need to go out and buy a product to do STP.”

The ATO has been seeking expressions of interest from software providers to develop a no cost or low cost solutions for these smaller employers that will enable them to carry out their STP reporting within no more than 5 minutes. The ATO has received responses from over 20 software providers, and it expects to publish a list of “tailored micro solutions” by 10th November.

The legislation to extend the STP regime to employers with less than 20 staff is currently before the Senate.

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