Staying on top of payroll compliance is a must for businesses of all sizes. With this, the Single Touch Payroll (STP) is an initiative by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) that revolutionizes how employers report their payroll information. Let’s dive into what STP is, how it works, and why it’s beneficial for your business.

What is Single Touch Payroll? 

STP is a streamlined reporting approach that allows employers to send payroll information, including salaries, wages, PAYG withholdings, and superannuation, directly to the ATO at the same time they pay their employees. This system aims to simplify reporting obligations and improve the accuracy of payroll information.

The Benefits of STP

  • Real-Time Reporting: STP enables the ATO to receive up-to-date information, reducing the likelihood of errors and discrepancies.
  • Efficiency: It eliminates the need for end-of-year payment summaries, as employees can access their tax and superannuation information through myGov.
  • Compliance: STP helps businesses stay compliant with their reporting obligations effortlessly.

STP Reporting Options

Single Touch Payroll (STP) offers a range of reporting options to accommodate the diverse needs of Australian businesses, ensuring flexibility and accessibility regardless of size or structure. Here’s a breakdown of the STP reporting pathways to help you find the best fit for your business:

  • STP Phase 1
    Introduced as the foundation of STP reporting, this phase requires employers to report salaries, wages, PAYG withholding, and superannuation information each time they pay their employees. It’s designed for businesses of all sizes and has been mandatory since 1 July 2018 for large employers and 1 July 2019 for small employers.
  • STP Phase 2
    Expanding on the initial phase, STP Phase 2, which commenced on 1 January 2022, includes additional payroll information to streamline reporting further and reduce the reporting burden on employers.

This phase aims to consolidate various reports into a single, more comprehensive STP report, covering more detailed income types and deductions, thereby enhancing the quality of data reported to the ATO.

Choosing the Right STP Solution

Selecting an STP-enabled payroll solution that aligns with your business’s specific needs is crucial. The ATO’s website offers a list of approved STP solutions, ranging from comprehensive payroll software for larger businesses with complex payroll needs to simpler, low-cost options for small employers or those with straightforward payroll processes.

Transitioning to STP Reporting

For businesses not yet reporting through STP, transitioning involves several key steps:

  1. Select an STP-enabled payroll software such as Xero that suits your business requirements.
  2. Ensure your payroll data is accurate and up-to-date, including employee details and pay rates.
  3. Start reporting to the ATO each time you run your payroll, using your STP-enabled software.

The ATO provides resources and guidance to support businesses through this transition, ensuring a smooth adoption of STP reporting practices.

Support for Your STP Reporting with Accounts All Sorted

Navigating the STP reporting options and ensuring compliance can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Accounts All Sorted offers expert bookkeeping services tailored to support your business through the STP reporting process. We are also a proud Xero Platinum Partner, helping you leverage Xero for filing, lodging, and finalising Xero at the end of the financial year.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) represents a significant advancement in payroll reporting, offering businesses a streamlined and efficient way to meet their reporting obligations. If you’re looking for support with your STP reporting, Accounts All Sorted is ready to assist, ensuring your business remains compliant and focused on growth.

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