From 1 July this year employers with 20 or more employees will report to the ATO in real time from their payroll software. The changeover to Single touch payroll (STP) is a gradual change, and some employers may start reporting later.
Employers will be able to see STP information they report through the ATO’s business portal, and this is expected to give them a better picture of their tax position. The ATO will be able to offer help and support earlier to those businesses that may be struggling to meet their tax obligations, such as offering payment plans.
Changing over to STP will see the ATO pre-fill parts of the activity statements of small to medium withholders with STP data.
STP reporting will also mean changes for employees. When an employer reports through STP, their employees will see their own year-to-date tax and super information in myGov. This information will be called an “income statement” and will be updated each time their employer runs their payroll.
myGov is not compulsory, however employees will need a myGov account to see their tax and super information online.
Employers will no longer be required to give their employees physical payment summaries for the information they report through STP. Payment summary information will be available in myGov at the end of the financial year on the employee’s employment income statement (some people may still refer to it as a “group certificate”).
The ATO has stated that it will let employees know when their employment income statement is “tax ready” so that their tax agents can complete their tax return. This will generally be after 15 August when an employer has finalised their STP report. The ATO has also provided a free telephone number (13 28 61) so that after 15 August taxpayers can ask for a copy of their employment income statement if they do not have a myGov account.