The ATO has released a statement in relation to transitioning to Single Touch Payroll (STP) for small businesses. Parliament has passed legislation to extend STP to include employers with fewer than 20 employees from 1 July 2019. STP is payday reporting by employers to the ATO as it happens. Previously available for larger companies, this address was to help clarify STP accessibility for small businesses.
The initiative is designed to help keep up with advances in technology and firmly establish business reporting. As some small employers do not currently use commercial payroll software, the ATO is working with software providers to develop low and no-cost reporting solutions including simplifying payroll systems.
It has been highlighted that to further assist in the transition, the ATO will now be offering:
- micro employers (1 to 4 employees) help to transition to STP and a number of alternative options.
- Small employers can start reporting any time from the 1 July start date to 30 September 2019. Deferrals will be granted to small employers who request additional time to start STP reporting.
- No penalties for mistakes, missed or late reports for the first year.
- Exemptions can be provided from STP reporting for employers experiencing hardship, or in areas with intermittent or no internet connection.