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Australia Implements Single Touch Payroll

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

21 December 2015


The Australian Government has said that business reporting of tax and superannuation will be simplified with the implementation of a new Single Touch Payroll (STP) system.

Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer said that under STP, Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholdings information will be automatically reported to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through Standard Business Reporting (SBR) software. This information is currently reported manually by employers. Employers will also have the option to pay their PAYG withholding at the same time they pay their staff.

Information on employers' superannuation contributions will be sent automatically to the ATO when payments are made to superannuation funds.

O'Dwyer said that the ATO will conduct a pilot in the first half of 2017 "to demonstrate the deregulation benefits for businesses, with a focus on small businesses, to make sure we get it right."

From July 1, 2017, all businesses will be able to commence STP reporting, with the option to make voluntary payments. The ATO will transition employers with 20 or more employees to STP. From July 1, 2018, these businesses will be required to use STP-enabled software for reporting to the ATO. The Government will decide when to roll out STO reporting for employers with less than 20 employers after the pilot is commenced, O'Dwyer added.

To assist with the transition, the Government will provide a AUD100 (USD71.82) non-refundable tax offset for SBR-enabled software to businesses with a turnover of less than AUD2m. The offset will apply from July 1, 2017, and will be available for software purchases or subscriptions made in the 2017-18 financial year.

TAGS: tax | small business | business | pensions | revenue guidance | employees | Australia | ministry of finance | tax authority | regulation | individual income tax

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