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What is Single Touch Payroll?

By Matt De largie

Single Touch Payroll is a new ATO initiative to allow employers to streamline the way you report your employees’ payroll information to the ATO. As an employer, this means that payments such as salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG), and super information will be reported to the ATO directly from your payroll solution.

It also means your employees will be able to view this information online through their myGov account and you may no longer need to provide payment summaries or Payment Summary Annual Reports (PSAR).

Single Touch Payroll won’t affect your payroll cycle or your due dates for PAYG withholding payments and super contributions, so you can still pay your employees, the ATO, and super funds as you normally would.

When do you need to start, and how do you get ready?

To know when you need to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll, you’ll need to do a headcount of the number of employees who were on your payroll on 1 April 2018. Instructions on which employees to include in your headcount are available from the ATO’s Get ready for Single Touch Payroll.  

If you had 20 or more employees on 1 April 2018

You’ll need to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018, unless your payroll provider has a deferred start date, or you apply for more time.

The ATO recommends you contact your payroll provider to find out how they will offer Single Touch Payroll and if they have a deferred start date. If your payroll provider has a deferred start date, this extension also applies to you and you won’t need to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll until the deferred date. 

If you don’t have a payroll solution, you’ll need to choose one that offers Single Touch Payroll and the ATO suggests you talk to your registered tax or BAS agent about the best product to suit your needs. If you’re unable to get ready for Single Touch Payroll by the required dates, you may be able to apply for an employer deferral.

To find out more about getting ready for Single Touch Payroll, check out the ATO’s Get ready for Single Touch Payroll.

If you had 19 or less employees on 1 April 2018

You won’t need to report through Single Touch Payroll until 1 July 2019.

But why wait? You can choose to report through Single Touch Payroll earlier if your payroll software is ready. So why not contact your payroll provider to find out when they will offer Single Touch Payroll and if you can start using Single Touch Payroll early.

Where can you find more information?

To find out how and when your payroll provider will offer Single Touch Payroll, contact your payroll provider.

To find about more about Single Touch Payroll, including getting ready, how to count your employees, and deferrals, visit the ATO’s Get ready for Single Touch Payroll.


By Matt De largie, Manager of Digital Distribution, Sunsuper

> Next - read Five simple steps to get Single Touch Payroll ready


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