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ATO announces new start date of Single Touch Payroll expansion

Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores
17 February 2021 1 minute readShare

The Australian Taxation Office has revealed when it will begin its expansion of Single Touch Payroll (STP) following its announcement in last year’s federal budget.

In an update on its website, the ATO said the Tax Commissioner has decided to proceed with a mandatory start date of 1 January 2022.

The ATO announcement is a shift from its initial proposed start date of 1 July 2021 revealed in its draft legislative instrument for consultation that ran between 8 December 2020 and 14 January 2021.

The date announcement comes after the federal government revealed that the data collected through STP would be expanded, with employers reporting additional information through STP on or before each payday.

The STP expansion aims to reduce the reporting burden for employers who need to report information about their employees to multiple government agencies and supports the administration of the social security system, the ATO said.

“We have considered the feedback we received on the proposed mandatory reporting date and the importance of this government initiative to reduce the reporting burden for employers,” the ATO said.

“There is nothing you need to do right now. More information on how to transition to STP Phase 2 will be provided soon.”

The original July 2021 start date of the second phase of STP was criticised by the head of the Association for Payroll Specialists (TAPS), Jason Low, as being “highly negligent of the work needed to carry out a smooth transition”.

“While a positive act, its severe deadline is highly negligent of the work needed to carry out a smooth transition, and is bound to cause a series of disasters to the payroll industry and Australian economy as a whole,” Mr Low said.

“Moving away from the payment summary categorisation of income, STP2 mandates employers to report data items each pay event by income type, including gross, allowances (tuple), overtime, paid leave (tuple), director fees, salary sacrifice (tuple), bonuses and commissions.

“These are further compounded by the added elements of child support deductions, parent period totals and employee YTD totals.”

ATO announces new start date of Single Touch Payroll expansion
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Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of MyBusiness. Before that, he was the deputy editor for SMSF Adviser as well as features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.

You can email Adrian at [email protected].

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