Are you ready for single touch payroll reporting?

From 1 July, Australia is beginning the move to single touch payroll reporting. Here’s your go-to guide to get your business up to speed.

What is single touch payroll reporting?

When you complete your payroll, payments such as salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information will be sent to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) directly from your payroll solution.

This is a more streamlined way of reporting to the ATO.

Will it affect me?

If you have an Australian business with 20 employees or more, this is classified as a ‘substantial employer’ and you’ll need to be ready to implement the solution on 1 July this year.

If your business has 19 employees or less, single touch payroll reporting is optional until 1 July 2019. From that date it will be mandatory for all employers, subject to legislation passing parliament.

What are the benefits for my business?

  • Your obligation to give payment summaries to your employees and/or the ATO will be fulfilled via the new reporting.
  • You’ll no longer need to lodge a separate tax file number declaration with the ATO.
  • Your activity statement compliance efficiencies will increase, such as the removal of statistical labels for large withholders, and pre-fill of withholding related labels on monthly and/or quarterly activity statements.
  • As single touch payroll reporting will be reported as year-to-date balances, you’ll be able to make adjustments (even for a prior payroll period) in future period reports, giving you flexibility to correct errors and omissions in subsequent pay runs.
  • The ATO will be able to quickly recognise and help you if you’re struggling to meet your obligations.

What are the benefits for my employees?

Single touch payroll reporting will enable your employees to see more up-to-date tax and super information online through myGov. If they link their myGov account to the ATO, they can manage their tax and super in one place.

What do I need to do?

You’ll need to update your payroll software solution to enable single touch payroll reporting.

To see which payroll solutions are single touch payroll-enabled, visit the Australian Business Software Industry Association, or contact your current payroll software provider.

If you don’t have a payroll software solution, you’ll need to choose one that is single touch payroll-enabled and suits your business needs, or you can use a registered agent or payroll service provider to report to the ATO on your behalf.

Your payroll cycle won’t change, and your employees can continue to be paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

For more help

Here’s a checklist to help you with the transition to single touch payroll reporting:

  1. Do a headcount of your employees on 1 April 2018. Be sure to include:
    • full-time employees
    • part-time employees
    • casual employees (who are on your payroll on 1 April and worked any time during March)
    • seasonal employees
    • employees based overseas, and
    • any employee absent or on paid or unpaid leave.
  2. Update your payroll solution when it’s ready.
  3. Start reporting through single touch payroll.

To find out more about how single touch payroll will affect your superannuation obligations, speak to your AMP Account Manager or read more at the ATO website.

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