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You have heard the term Single Touch Payroll, you may have started to sweat and are curious as to WHAT THE HECK IS IT? We unpack it for you.


You have heard the term Single Touch Payroll, you may have started to sweat and are curious as to WHAT THE HECK IS IT? We unpack it for you. 

Single Touch Payroll was mandatory from 1 July 2018 for businesses with 20 or more employees. It is now mandatory for employers with 19 or less employees who need to report through STP any time before 30 September 2019.


STP is changing the way employers report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by providing a platform to report information like salary and wages, pay-as-you-go PAYG withholding and superannuation information when you pay your employees.

What is STP?

The ‘Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 – Single Touch Payroll reporting was introduced into Parliament on 31 August 2016 and received Royal Assent on 16 September 2016. 

STP will enable employers to report salary or wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information directly to the ATO at the same time they pay their employees.


Who does it apply to?


Small employers with 19 or less employees – need to report through STP any time before 30 September 2019.

  • Micro employers with less than four employees: have additional options including using low cost or no cost products, or quarterly reporting through their registered tax or BAS agent.
  • Large employers with 20 or more employees – should already be reporting through STP.

If you are reporting for the first time you will be reporting super liability information through STP for the first time.

Super funds will also be reporting to us. They’ll let us know when you make the payment to your employees’ chosen or default fund. This is an important step toward making sure employees are paid their correct entitlements.

The way STP information is sent will depend on the software you use. STP reporting will be offered in one of the following ways with:

  • an end-to-end solution, which allows you to run your payroll and send the STP information directly to the ATO from your software
  • a solution which allows you to run your payroll and send the STP information through a third party sending service provider (SSP) which is integrated into your software
  • a solution that allows you to run your payroll and requires you to send the STP information through a third party sending service provider (SSP) outside your software.

At GTS we specialise in recovery, rescue packages and assistance with Single Touch. We encourage you not to get overwhelmed and to seek help getting the set up accurate and seamless. 

More info can be found at: 

https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/About-Single-Touch-Payroll/

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