Single Touch Payroll – what it means for your business

10 June 2019

Key points

  • What is STP?
  • What are my options as a micro-employer?
  • How is STP going to affect how I do my payroll?

The Federal government in February passed legislation to extend Single Touch Payroll to all employers. This means that as of July 1, 2019, STP will be mandatory for employers with 19 or fewer employees. If you haven’t already moved to STP, here are some tips to help you understand how it works and prepare to switch over for a more seamless payroll reporting process.

Photo of Brooke Arnott from The Small Business Lounge

What is STP?

It is a new way of reporting your payroll activity to the Australian Taxation Office. Rather than reporting your activity to the ATO once a year, you’ll now be required to send a digital report after each pay day in a specific format.

Under STP, you no longer need to provide payment summaries to your employees. This new system of digital reporting could save you hours of time spent on your payroll each week.

You’ll need to register with the ATO that you are moving onto STP. Once registered, you have to start reporting, even before July 1, 2019.

What are my options as a micro-employer?

So, you employ between one and four employees and don’t use payroll software? Thankfully, there are a range of low-cost STP solutions available developed specifically for you. A number of options are available now, which you can find on the ATO website, with more products in development at affordable prices (less than $10 a month).

How is STP going to affect how I do my payroll?

In order to use STP, you need to be using an online payroll software solution that supports STP. If you’re using one, check to see if it supports STP.

However, if your business has been handling its payroll through spreadsheets, on paper or through a desktop payroll software, you’ll need to find software that can convert your data into the required format for STP or look at switching to an online solution.

If you’re not sure how to get started with the transition or are not sure what options are available for you as a small business, it might be time to get in contact with a BAS agent who can assess your business and provide you with specific solutions.

The other option is to ask a third party to handle your STP reporting on your behalf.

The Small Business Lounge ( can offer help on switching to the right STP-supported solution for you or take the whole process off your hands so that you can focus on growing other important aspects of your business.

Brooke Arnott,
Managing Director, The Small Business Lounge

As published: Wednesday, 22 May 2019
The West Australian - Tax Toolkit
Read in full: Business Tax Toolkit (PDF)

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