Single touch payroll reporting is now in effect for most employers with 20 or more employees. For those with less than 20 employees, this will come into effect for you come 1 July 2019.

Each time you pay your employees, you will report the tax and super information to the ATO from your Single Touch Payroll (STP) enabled payroll solution.

Prefilling of activity statements

The ATO has said that from July 2019, activity statement labels W1 (wages) and W2 (tax withheld) will be pre-filled with the information received.

However, we have noticed pre-filling of activity statements on certain clients already commencing from July 2018 and in some instances the ATO automatically lodging Instalment activity statements.

Payment summaries

There will also be a change to requirements of issuing payment summaries come June 2019. For payments you report through STP, the idea is that you will no longer need to provide payment summaries to your employees. The ATO intends to have this take effect for the 2019 financial year.

Employees will be able to view their payment information in ATO online services, which they will access through their myGov account. Your employees can also request a copy of this information from the ATO.

These are exciting times as we are beginning to see how the ATO is extracting information directly from your accounting software and attending to your lodgement obligations automatically. This is clearly geared towards reducing errors and omissions but also at reducing the time and resources business owners spend in meeting their lodgement obligations.