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Single Touch Payroll quarterly reporting concession for micro-employer changing from 1 July 2021

If you employ 4 or less employees and are using the quarterly reporting concession to meet your Single Touch Payroll obligations, be aware from 1 July 2021 the concession is only available for micro employers experiencing exceptional circumstances.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting was introduced by the ATO to streamline the way employers report their employees’ payroll information to the ATO.

STP reporting commenced on 1 July 2019 for businesses with 19 or less employees, however quarterly reporting concessions were given to eligible micro employers (4 or less employees) to report STP quarterly through their registered tax or BAS agent.

In the past, to be eligible for the quarterly reporting concession micro employers had to:

  • be a micro employer on the day they applied for the concession;
  • lodge their activity statements electronically through a registered tax or BAS agent;
  • have a non-computerised payroll, i.e. be running payroll manually and keeping records on a spreadsheet or paper;
  • have all amounts owing to the ATO either not yet due or subject to a payment plan; and
  • have all lodgement obligations either not yet due or subject to a deferral.

However, from 1 July 2021 micro employers must also meet the guidelines for exceptional circumstances to be eligible for quarterly reporting concessions. The ATO considers a number of matters when determining if an employer has exceptional circumstances, and has outlined the following additional circumstances that may be considered exceptional for applications from 1 July 2021:

  • seasonal or intermittent workers, and/or
  • no or unreliable internet connection.

To find out more about the changes to the quarterly reporting concession visit the ATO’s Single Touch Payroll for Micro Employers.

If you’re no longer eligible for the concession and/or would like to switch to STP reporting, there are several options available to you.

  • If you use payroll software, you may be able to complete your STP reporting directly in your payroll software.
  • If you use a bookkeeper or accountant, they may already have a solution in place and can help your business transition to STP reporting.
  • If you manage your own payroll, this could be a good time to consider whether using one of the services mentioned above will benefit you.

If none of the above are for you, there’s a range of low-cost STP solutions for employers who need to report through STP, but don’t have payroll software.

The ATO maintains a list of companies offering, or intending to offer, low-cost STP solutions. These solutions would cost less than $10 per month, take only minutes to complete each pay period, and would not require you to maintain software.

To find out more visit the ATO’s How to report, or view a list of no-cost and low-cost solutions for STP on the ATO’s STP product register.


This article has been prepared and issued by Sunsuper Pty Ltd, (ABN 88 010 720 840, AFSL No. 228975) the trustee and issuer of the Sunsuper Superannuation Fund (ABN 98 503 137 921, USI 98 503 137 921 001). It contains general advice and does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. You should consider if the advice is appropriate to your own circumstances before acting on it. Outcomes are not guaranteed. Sunsuper employees provide advice as representatives of Sunsuper Financial Services Pty Ltd (ABN 50 087 154 818 AFSL No. 227867) which is wholly owned by the Sunsuper Superannuation Fund. Visit or call 13 11 84 for a copy of the PDS.