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In the ever-evolving landscape of payroll and taxation, staying compliant with regulations and embracing technological advancements is crucial for businesses. One such development that has significantly transformed the way businesses report their payroll information is the Single Touch Payroll (STP) system.
In this blog, Workstem will help you delve into the world of STP, including STP Phase 2, and provide you with a comprehensive guide to it.
What is Single Touch Payroll (STP)?
Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a reporting mechanism introduced by the Australian government to streamline the way employers report payroll information to government agencies, such as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Department of Human Services.
Under the STP system, employers are required to send payroll-related information, including salaries, wages, PAYG withholding, and superannuation liability information, to these agencies every time a pay run is processed.
STP aims to improve the accuracy and transparency of payroll reporting, enhance compliance with tax and superannuation obligations, and reduce the administrative burden on employers by eliminating the need for separate reports.
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.
Read More: Guide to Singe Touch Payroll Phase 2 (TBC)
How to report through STP?
You can send STP data in one of the following ways:
- Report through existing payroll or accounting solution
- Choose STP-enabled payroll software
- Choose a no-cost or low-cost solution (for employers with 1–4 employees)
- Ask a third party to report for you.
Reporting involves a few key steps:
- Choose a payroll software
To begin reporting through STP, you need to choose a compatible payroll software or engage a third-party service provider. This software should be STP-enabled and capable of sending real-time payroll data to the ATO.
- Update employee information
Ensure that your employee information is accurate and up-to-date within your payroll system. This includes tax file numbers, names, addresses, and other relevant details.
- Process pay runs
As you process each pay run, your STP-enabled software will automatically send the payroll data to the ATO. This data includes salary and wage information, PAYG withholding amounts, superannuation contributions, and other required details.
- STP reporting
Your STP-enabled software will generate an STP report, which is sent to the ATO electronically. This report should be submitted on or before each payday.
- Provide employee payment summaries
With STP in place, you won’t need to provide employee payment summaries at the end of the financial year. Instead, employees can access their income statements through myGov.
When can STP reporting cease?
STP reporting can cease under certain circumstances, such as:
- No longer employing staff
- Closing your business
- Changes to your business structure
- No payments to employees for the rest of the year
- Pausing your business due to COVID-19
For the complete explanation, please refer to ATO.
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.
Take control of your payroll issues today and experience the convenience of Workstem now! Click to get a 14-day free trial.