For employers with 20 or more employees, we are now a couple of months down in the new Single Touch Payroll (STP) regime.
Our main observation is that it is all still very much in a transition phase! Not only are some software providers not ready but the ATO doesn’t have everything up and running either. The idea originally was that the data reported via STP would be pre-filled onto activity statements so that you only needed to confirm the amounts and pay the amounts owing. However, this is not up-and-running yet. There is also limited reporting available on the ATO portal in terms of checking what has been lodged.
Depending on your software, you may or may not have commenced reporting under the STP system. We have assisted a number of clients with getting started with STP and here are our key takeaways for organisations using STP.
Make sure your payroll setup is correct
Some software packages require mapping of internal payroll categories to the specific STP categories. Other software providers use their own internal payroll categories and automatically assign STP categories. Either way, it is critical that your payroll setup is correct. If you know you have some issues in your payroll setup (e.g. an allowance is set up as ordinary wages) and have never updated in the past, now is the time to review. If you are unsure, we can assist you in reviewing your payroll setup.
Be clear on how you will correct errors
There are a number of different types of events that may give rise to the need to correct what has been lodged. The type of error will determine how it is corrected. We recommend checking with your software provider’s help guides as they will often give specific instructions on how to correct particular issues.
It is easy once everything is set up and ready to go
One of the positives is that once things are set up, it really is as simple as clicking a button to lodge.