Legislation was recently passed to extend Single Touch Payroll (STP) Reporting to smaller employers (those with 19 or fewer employees) from 1 July 2019. Recognising the short time to this start date the ATO have granted a grace period of 3 months for these businesses to comply – so STP reporting will be mandatory by 30 September 2019.
So what have the major accounting software players got to say about this?
Xero have recently released a payroll only product designed for small businesses up to 4 employees. This will suit businesses who may not be on a cloud accounting system – but could well encourage such businesses to make the move.
MYOB have introduced a similar product at the same price point as Xero ($10 per month). AccountEdge users still have to wait for an STP compliant version to be released. Word on the streets is they are currently testing with a small group of clients, and expect to release the update in May 2019. MYOB advise they have a deferral code from the ATO available for AccountEdge users, but it is disappointing to say the least.
Rules of Reporting
The ATO have outlined their minimum reporting requirements here.
- Deadline for STP reporting is on or before payment is made to employees. This will mean that businesses will need to be more timely with recording pay runs. This especially applies those who have recurring direct debits set up from their bank accounts for salaried staff!
- Include YTD values of wages, allowances, deductions and PAYG. At the end of the year, once finalised, all employees will be able to access their wages information via myGov. Businesses will no longer be required to issue Payment Summaries (“Group Certificates”)
- Includes YTD super– the ATO validate this with super funds. Previously they have had difficulty in auditing SGC compliance, so this will go a long way towards identifying more businesses who may not be meeting their superannuation obligations.