Employers31 January 2019

Single Touch Payroll


What is it?

It’s a government initiative to streamline business reporting obligations which began on 1 July 2018.

What does it mean?

Single Touch Payroll allows employers to report salary or wages, PAYG withholding and super information to the ATO from your payroll solution at the same time you pay your employees. There are also additional options for completing tax and super forms online.

Who has to report?

Single Touch Payroll graphic LR

When do you start reporting?

Currently, if you have 20 or more employees on 1 April each year, you are required to report through Single Touch Payroll from the following 1 July.

What if you have 19 or less employees

Legislation is currently before parliament to extend Single Touch Payroll to include employers with 19 or less employees. The Bill has been passed by the Senate with a number of proposed amendments and has been referred to the House of Representatives to consider the amendments.

Although not yet compulsory, if you have 19 or fewer employees, you may choose to begin reporting through Single Touch Payroll.

Employees with 19 or fewer employees won't have to purchase payroll software if you don't currently use it. Different Single Touch Payroll reporting options will be made available 1 July 2019 to help smaller employers. You can read more on the ATO website.

What and how often do you have to report?

For salary or wages, PAYG withholding and super guarantee obligations, you report when you pay your staff on or before pay day. And for super contributions, these are reported when they’re paid to the fund.

What if you don’t use a payroll solution?

If you had 20 or more employees on 1 April 2018, you were required to implement a payroll solution by 1 July 2018 which enabled Single Touch Payroll reporting.

What are the benefits of these changes?

Single Touch Payroll allows you to report salary or wages and PAYG withholding information directly to the ATO from your payroll solution, at the same time you pay your employees.

Super contribution information can be reported to the ATO when payments are made to the fund.

For employees, they’ll be able to see their year-to-date pay, the tax that’s been withheld from their pay as well as their super payments throughout the year. When they begin a new job, there may be an option to complete an electronic pre-filled Tax file number declaration and Super standard choice form using myGov.

An employee can complete their Tax file number declaration and Super standard choice forms online using myGov or through your business management software.

Where you report through Single Touch Payroll, you won’t have to provide your employees with a payment summary anymore. 


This article is general information only. Readers should consider getting financial advice before making financial decisions.

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