Single Touch Payroll Extended to Small Businesses in 2019

The Senate has passed the Bill to extend Single Touch Payroll (STP) to employers with 19 or less employees, commencing 1 July 2019. This follows months of uncertainty for the small businesses, after STP was officially rolled out for employers with 20 or more employees from 1 July 2018.

In preparation for this shift, the ATO began seeking clarity from digital services providers on how they would develop and offer low-cost STP software to small businesses. The ATO has now published a list of service providers who offer software solutions that are affordable and, easy to use and maintain.  It is stated that the software providers will charge no more than $10 per month, the process will take no more than minutes to complete and, the software does not require on-going maintenance by the user. ATO Commissioner, Chris Jordan, pledged that that the regime would not be an impost on small business owners and further, they will not be forced to purchase software to meet the requirements, with a number of alternate options to be available. Alternatives include allowing the registered tax or BAS agent to report quarterly, rather than reporting every pay run. Exemptions to STP reporting will also be available to businesses that have no internet or an unreliable connection.

“We’re not going to force people to put in a business, accounting system and payroll software.  A lot of people will have basic accounting software but not the component that does the payroll.  Some of the software providers might be looking at that as an opportunity to get people in to maybe a more upgraded sort of accounting system,” said Mr Jordan.

“With some of these low cost payroll solutions added on, they have to realize everyone is going digital – with e-invoicing, the way people order and dispatch.”

“It is the way it happens. We’re not forcing people to go digital to get the accounting software and payroll.”

You can listen to ATO STP Lead, John Shepherd speak about what small businesses can expect ahead of the 1 July 2019 deadline and the range of alternative options available.

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Mark Semmens

Mark is a Chartered Accountant with a wealth of experience in accounting and taxation. Mark is a Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, the Tax Practitioners Board and the National Tax and Accountants Association.

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Daniela Semmens

Daniela Semmens is a Co-Director of Semmens & Co. and joined the company as General Manager in 2017. Daniela is an Affiliate Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and also a Member of the Australian Institute of Project Management.

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