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Critical payroll deadline looms for SMEs

ATO and money

The biggest changes to payroll in history are on the approach, and compulsory for businesses with 19 or fewer employees, and the Tax Office is encouraging early take-up to avoid compliance and software headaches.

By 1 July, SMEs under the threshold are required to be Single Touch Payroll (STP) compliant. The STP regime is a new tax and superannuation reporting requirement for employers.

So far, businesses with fewer than 19 people are tracking better than those with 20 or more at their deadline last year. However, a bulk of the SME population has not yet implemented their STP-compliant software, and the ATO is strongly encouraging early engagement. 

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Some of the big-name accounting software players — including MYOB, Xero, Intuit and Reckon — have all since announced that they will be providing an option at $10 or less per month, with their products slated to be available between April and June.

There are approximately 781,908 businesses with 19 or fewer employees in Australia. That’s about 36.8 per cent of Australian businesses, according to ABS data. Broken down, micro businesses with one to four employees account for 584,744 of that total, and the remaining 197,164 are businesses with five to 19 employees.

The comprehensive MyBusiness guide to STP can be accessed for free here.

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