Changes to the STP exemptions

For some two and a half years, the ATO has progressively introduced the expectation that employers add their staff onto a real-time payroll system, the STP, so that salaries, wages, PAYG withholding tax and superannuation information can be reported clearly and efficiently.

Up until now, some small businesses have remained exempt from these expectations. However, at the end of this financial year, nearly all companies will need to opt into the Single Touch Payroll system or declare payees that were previously not required to be declared.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are a little overwhelmed with the process of including staff or opting into the STP system, then the team here at Accounting Tax Solutions can support you. We can bring you up to speed on STP compliance for your business so that you can confidently continue managing and growing your business.

How do I know if I need to change how I report wages on the STP?

Those affected by changes will be small businesses with closely held payees, micro-businesses that employ very small numbers of staff and those with seasonal employees. These businesses now need to declare the wages of all employees on or before the payment date, not quarterly as was previously expected, and they need to do so by July 1st 2021.

The second phase of this rollout has been deferred until January 2022, which is designed to amalgamate reporting duties for those businesses that need to correspond with different governmental agencies. We will help you through this should this apply to you, closer to the time.

There may be a slim chance that specific micro employers can remain reporting to the STP every quarter. However, we recommend that business owners who suspect they might be eligible for this check-in with us, to be sure.

We know that many smaller businesses (those with 19 or fewer employees) are prone to erratic payroll behaviour, with some staff working seasonally or some closely held payees, such as family members and friends, working sporadically. With our support, we can make reporting with the STP suit your business and create an experience that is less cumbersome and more streamlined.

Never hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes by the ATO this year or any other queries that can benefit the health and prosperity of your business.