Table of content
What is single touch payroll phase 2?
Single Touch Payroll (STP) was introduced in Australia as a digital reporting framework that streamlined the way employers report payroll information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
STP Phase 2 builds upon this foundation by extending the scope of reporting and enhancing the transparency and accuracy of employee payroll data. From 1 January 2022, the data collected through STP was expanded (known as STP Phase 2) to collect additional payroll information. All employers should now be STP reporting and transitioned to STP Phase 2 reporting unless covered by a deferral or exemption.
Flexible approach to STP Phase 2
Recognising the diversity of businesses in terms of size, industry, and structure, STP Phase 2 is designed with flexibility in mind. This flexibility allows businesses to report information in a way that best suits their needs while still adhering to the ATO’s guidelines. This means that businesses can continue to use their existing payroll systems, provided they have the capacity to meet the new reporting standards.
Digital service providers (DSPs) who need more time to make the changes and update their solutions to support STP 2 can apply for a deferral for their customers. If your DSP has a deferral, they will let you know.
Benefits of STP Phase 2
STP Phase 2 brings several benefits to businesses and employees alike:
STP Phase 2 enables quicker identification of discrepancies and potential issues, allowing businesses to address them promptly. The real-time nature of STP Phase 2 reporting ensures that payroll data is accurate and consistent, reducing the chances of errors and minimising the need for corrections, such as:
- No need to send employees’ tax file number (TFN) declarations to ATO.
- Report income types to
- No need to provide Lump sum E letters to employees.
- Direct report If changing software or the employee’s payroll ID.
- Real-time report with Services Australia.
- No need to provide separation certificates when employees terminate.
- Direct report child support deductions or garnishees (or both) through STP.
By automating the reporting process, businesses can significantly reduce the administrative burden of compliance, freeing up resources for more strategic tasks.
With more detailed reporting requirements, employees can gain greater visibility into their tax and superannuation contributions, making it easier at tax time, fostering transparency and trust between employers and employees.
What isn’t changing?
While STP Phase 2 brings about significant changes, the core principles of STP remain unchanged such as:
- the way you lodge
- the due date
- the types of payments that are needed
- tax and super obligations
- end-of-year finalisation requirements
Real-time reporting, automation, and a digital approach to payroll reporting still constitute the foundation of the system.
STP Phase 2 introduces several key changes, including:
- Disaggregation of gross
- Employment and taxation conditions
- Income types
- Country codes
- Child support
- Business Management Software IDs and Payroll IDs
Employers will be required to report additional information, such as more detailed salary breakdowns, allowances, deductions, and more. And employers will need to report payment events on or before the payday, providing even more real-time data to the ATO.
Read More: Guide To Single Touch Payroll (STP)
How can Workstem assist you?
We help maintain accurate employee data, calculate PAYG withholding and superannuation contributions, and generate STP2 reports, reducing the risk of errors and non-compliance, allowing you to focus on what truly matters – running your business effectively while staying compliant with regulations.