Single Touch Payroll

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a way of reporting tax and super information to the ATO, sent either directly from your accounting software, or through a third party – such as a sending service provider.

Large employers with 20 or more employees should now be reporting through STP.

Small employers with 19 or less employees will need to report through STP from 1 July 2019, with a number of transitional arrangements in place to assist small businesses.

Below is a summary of some of the key announcements that were made by the ATO regarding the new rules:

  • The ATO will offer micro employers (one to four employees) help to transition to STP and a number of alternative options — such as allowing those who rely on a registered tax or BAS agent to report quarterly for the first two years, rather than each time payroll is run.
  • Small employers can start reporting any time from 1 July to 30 September 2019. The ATO may grant deferrals on an application basis.
  • There will be no penalties for mistakes, missed or late reports for the first year.
  • The ATO will provide exemptions from STP reporting for employers experiencing hardship, or in areas with intermittent or no Internet connection.
  • Employers who do not have an Australian Business Number (ABN) but instead have a Withholding Payer Number (WPN) are exempt from reporting under Single Touch Payroll (STP) for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years.
  • Single Touch Payroll reports lodged by employers will be shared with social security agencies from 1 July 2020.

At Thorntons we have dedicated advisors available to assist employers with these new requirements.  Please call us if you are unsure if the rules apply to you, or would like some help in Opting In.

For more information regarding the following software products available to you please see:

Xero Software

MYOB Software

Agrimaster Software

Quickbooks Online



In addition the ATO have released a number of helpful tools and FAQ documents:

Single Touch Payroll – Small Employers

Single Touch Payroll – for closely held employees

Single Touch Payroll get ready checklist

Single Touch Payroll – for employees

No-cost and low-cost solutions for Single Touch Payroll