Large employers have had to comply with this new reporting regime since July last year. However, the regime is extended to cover ALL employers from 1st July 2019. The bill passed the Senate in December 2018, but it is being bounced back and forth in the parliament while they consider some amendments (which have nothing to do with the payroll part of it). So, we are stuck with it from 1st July, whether we like it or not. If you are using a cloud-based accounting program (like Xero) you don’t have to do anything, the software already handles it. However, if you are using an older desktop version of MYOB, Agrimaster etc, you will need to upgrade the payroll side of things.
If are running a micro-business (with only 1-4 employees) or you aren’t using any software at all – the ATO plan to release some phone apps, portals or low-cost software options (below $10 per month) – see here: https://www.ato.gov.au/business/single-touch-payroll/in-detail/low-cost-single-touch-payroll-solutions/ Note: you can apply for exemptions if you have unreliable internet in your area.
Basically, Single Touch Payroll means that the employer sends their employees’ tax and super information to the ATO each time they run their payroll and pay their employees. The information is sent via the payroll software, direct to the ATO and that also includes superannuation. Previously, the ATO had to wait until you got your group certificates done, and reconciled everything, and if you’ve stuffed something up…it was almost too late (or too big) for you to handle. Now that the workforce is more mobile, things need to be done more quickly – and the new software being designed can handle it. So the ATO thought, why not?
Want to know more? Try this link: https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/