Accountants have been urged to get their small business clients onto Single Touch Payroll earlier rather than later to avoid the tax-time rush, with one in 10 businesses failing to lodge correctly the first time around.
According to ATO STP lead assistant commissioner John Shepherd, there are around 118,000 employers now reporting through STP, with the number of small business employers reporting now surpassing substantial employers with 20 or more employees at 65,000 and 53,000, respectively.
With a trend of around 1,600 employers now coming on board each day, Mr Shepherd is advising employers to begin reporting through STP as soon as they can to rectify early errors and to reach out to the ATO ahead of the busy tax-time period.
Among some of the early findings for employers who have begun STP reporting include a 10 per cent fail rate for the first submission due to employers failing to provide software service ID (SSID) to the ATO during STP set-up.
“Particularly the cloud products, there is a one-off notification you got to do upfront before you start reporting as an employer, and that’s to let us know that solution sending through the cloud to the ATO is authorised and is you so we know [it’s] your file. That’s a key part of the process, and if you don’t do that upfront, the submissions will fail and continue to fail,” said Mr Shepherd at QuickBooks Connect 2019 in Melbourne.
“We still see a 10 per cent failure rate on first submission… don’t forget the software service ID notification, that can be done either through calling our call centre or done through access manager as an initial set-up and that can be done anytime.
“It’s a good thing to get out of the way before our call centres get very busy, which is obviously the case coming into tax time from July onwards.”
The ATO is expecting up to 9 million employees to be under the STP regime by 30 June, with Mr Shepherd urging employers to let their employees know they will not be receiving a payment summary once the business reports through STP.
“We have some good messaging for employers to give to their employees this tax time, and it basically says the way you get your payment summary is changing and it’s now got a different name called an income statement,” Mr Shepherd said.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.