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Single Touch Payroll

Single Touch Payroll is a government initiative to streamline how employers report their tax and superannuation information. Employers will be able to report salary or wages, PAYG withholding and super information directly to the ATO at the same time as they pay their employees.

If you have 20 or more employees, you should start thinking about Single Touch Payroll. You’ll be required to report payroll and super information to the ATO using a Single Touch Payroll enabled payroll solution from 1 July 2018.

The ATO is currently working with Payroll software vendors to ensure their systems will be ready to support Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018 – if you have 20 or more employees you should be reaching out to your software provider now to determine their timeline for becoming compliant to allow you to plan for this transition.

For businesses with less than 20 employees, Single Touch Payroll will be optional, however the below are some of the benefits to moving to a compliant payroll system:

Direct payroll reporting

  • Single Touch Payroll will streamline business reporting obligations and make it easy for tax practitioners and employers to report payroll and super information electronically to the ATO.

Superannuation reporting

  • Information will be sent to the ATO when an employer pays an employee’s super guarantee contributions to their nominated fund.

Streamlined reporting

  • Single Touch Payroll will align an employer’s reporting with their natural business cycle process for example, when they run their payroll. Salary or wage information and PAYG withholding amounts reported through Single Touch Payroll will be pre-filled into the employer’s BAS. Employers or their tax practitioner will still have the ability to adjust or correct information in their BAS.

Online forms for new employees

  • New employees may have the option to complete TFN declaration and super standard choice forms online and most information will be pre-filled and validated. This will reduce data entry and reverse work flows caused by incorrect information.

Employee end-of-year pay information

  • Employers who report an employee’s details through Single Touch Payroll will not have to provide that employee with a payment summary at the end of financial year. They won’t be required to provide the ATO with a payment summary annual report for those employee’s details also.

From our point of view this new process will streamline business processes freeing up valuable time by automatically reporting information to the ATO, and will be especially useful at the end of financial year by removing the need to produce Payment Summaries and report this information to the ATO.

Edit: Single Touch Payroll has been fully implemented by the ATO and as mentioned, the online forms have reduced data entry and incorrect information.

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