Many Australian businesses have been receiving updates from the ATO lately about the roll-out of Single Touch Payroll. We’ve had lots of questions from customers about its support in our online accounting app. Saasu will handle most payroll situations in our offering. This article is to help answer some of the most common questions.
What is Single Touch Payroll?
Single Touch Payroll changes the way employers will report their salary and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation information. Employers will now be required to report PAYG and super after each payroll has been processed from their online accounting software, rather than reporting monthly or quarterly as it was previously.
When does Single Touch Payroll reporting start?
The mandatory start date will depend on how many employees you have:
- For employers with 20 or more employees, single touch reporting will be mandatory from July 1, 2018
- For employers with 19 or less employees, single touch reporting will be mandatory from July 1, 2019
The ATO is recommending that you need to do a “headcount” on April 1, 2018, to determine if you have 20 or more employees that qualify based on the criteria specified by the ATO.
Is Saasu online accounting supporting Single Touch Payroll?
We have already started work on Single Touch Payroll reporting within Saasu. We don’t have a fixed date on when it will be ready to use, but we will definitely be completed before July 1, 2018. We’ll make sure you know when the STP reporting functionality gets rolled out. STP will be included in your file automatically, without you needing to update, and without additional upgrade costs.
We are building a solution which will allow employers to select the pays to include in a pay event for reporting to the ATO.
The Saasu STP reporting will be supporting most withholding amounts that are currently reported as part of individual non business payment summaries.
Unfortunately we will not be supporting the following withheld amounts* via STP:
- Business and personal services income amounts including Voluntary Agreements, Labor Hire Arrangements and other specified payments
- Foreign Employment income amounts including JPDA (Joint Petroleum Development Area)
- Seniors and pensioners tax offsets
* Please refer to the ATO website for more details on each of these withholding categories.
What impact will this have on my regular payroll operations?
Nothing will change in how you do your regular payroll processing. The main change is after a pay run has been approved or a payroll entry has been created in Saasu, you can choose to report it to the ATO via STP from Saasu. The pays to include in the report and when these pays are reported to the ATO, is entirely your (the employer’s) responsibility. In a small number of cases, some pay items may require updating before you start reporting via STP. More details on which pay items may need changing will be available in the coming weeks.
Can I use Single Touch Payroll as soon as it’s available even if don’t have 20+ employees?
Yes – if you want to use Single Touch Payroll and it’s reporting options, even though it’s not mandatory for less than 20 employees yet, then you should be able to do so.
Will I still need to submit the annual payment summary report or generate payment summaries for my employees?
If you use Single Touch Payroll reporting, you may not need to submit a payment summary report and provide payment summaries to your employees. The ATO should be able to provide more information about your specific requirements regarding payment summaries.
Can I make PAYG or SGC payments through Single Touch Payroll?
Unfortunately no. At the moment Single Touch Payroll is only a reporting solution and doesn’t handle payments. You will still need to make PAYG and superannuation payments separately.
What do I do if I have more questions on Single Touch Payroll?
The ATO website has lots of helpful information. You can also contact the Saasu Customer Experience Team via email@example.com if you have any questions about how this affects your particular Saasu payroll setup.
You can expect more updates from us closer to 1st July. As always you can drop us an email before then if you have any questions.
Image by Stokkete