The roll out of Single Touch Payroll (STP) on 1 July 2019 for all Australian businesses saw some teething errors and a lot of confusion. Four months on, it seems that this initial roller coaster has calmed down, allowing the ATO to begin to utilise information to keep employers and employees on track with their obligations.

In recent media, ATO deputy commissioner James O'Halloran confirmed that the ATO is using STP information to identify in real time what superannuation is being paid late, or not at all. Although in its infancy, the ATO is already in the process of contacting 6,500 employers who failed to pay some or all of their superannuation contributions on time in 2018-19. If you are concerned about incorrect SG payments in the past, we encourage you to keep an eye out for the SG Amnesty currently in Parliament.[1]

The ATO is also using STP to ensure employers are meeting their PAYG withholding obligations. While making errors here is likely to increase your chances of being audited, most software reports will give you a clear indication of what you have paid. If you are concerned you may not be meeting these obligations, we strongly recommend you call our office on (02) 4990 3775 for assistance.

If you have employees who receive Centrelink benefits, it is important you advise them that the Department of Human Services will utilise STP data to calculate their fortnightly payments. Instead of manually advising the Department of income received, employees will simply need to check that what is listed on their MyGov account is correct. This aims to minimise the risk of overpaying people who are not easily able to pay it back.[2]

While real-time review might be daunting for you, it is important to understand that the ATO's intentions are to prevent unethical employer behaviour. So long as you are aware of your obligations, there is nothing to be afraid of.

With business set-up and coaching services on offer, Palfreyman Chartered Accountants is here to help you ensure your requirements are met. Contact us today on (02) 4990 3775 or enquiries@palfreyman.com.au to organise an obligation free complimentary initial meeting with our trusted team.