Tax office urges business to streamline payroll data

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Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times

The Australian Taxation Office is urging small business owners in Bunbury to update to a new real-time payroll reporting format called Single Touch Payroll.

According to 2017 Australia Bureau of Statistics figures, small employers account for 87 per cent of all businesses in Bunbury.

Tax office assistant commissioner John Shepherd said while it was not mandatory for small employers to report through STP, they could choose to get on board when their software was ready.

“If you use online or cloud-based payroll software you may be able to start reporting now by updating your software to one that is STP-ready,” he said.

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“You should talk to your software provider about when your product will be available.”

Mr Shepherd said that as a result of businesses transitioning to STP reporting, the tax office now had access to employee superannuation data allowing it to better protect employee entitlements.

“STP is a win-win for employers and employees because it streamlines the process for employers and provides greater transparency around super entitlements for employees,” he said.

“Tens of thousands of employers across Australia have already taken the next step in payroll reporting and adopted STP and we’re encouraging small employers to follow this lead when their product is available.”

A number of STP reporting options would be made available to smaller employers.

“The ATO works closely with small businesses and we are aware of the many competing pressures they face,” Mr Shepherd said.

“We will work with all stakeholders on alternative options for those businesses who do not use payroll software.”

Mr Shepherd said more than 45,000 employers across Australia had made the switch to reporting through STP since the start of the financial year.

“These employers are now reporting their employees’ salaries and wages, pay as you go withholding and super information to the ATO from their payroll solution each time they pay their employees,” he said.

“Employees can also see their year-to-date tax and superannuation information online.”

For more information visit www.ato.gov.au/stp.

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