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62% of small employers are reporting through STP

Over 462,000 small employers with one to 19 employees are now reporting through STP, equalling some 62 per cent.

62% of small employers are reporting through STP
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • December 02, 2019
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If the figure is broken down even further, 75 per cent of all employers who have five to 19 employees are now on-board single touch payroll (STP), said the deputy commissioner of superannuation and employer obligations at the ATO, James O’Halloran.

Overall, more than 540,000 employers across the country have successfully transitioned to STP, and are reporting each pay day pay event on behalf of 11.3 million employees.

"It’s pleasing that 82 per cent of pay events lodged haven’t triggered any exceptions and that most STP reports are lodged on time, most SG obligations are paid on time and most PAYGW is paid on time," said Mr O’Halloran.

He explained that a major benefit of STP is that the ATO can now see employers who aren’t paying their SG contributions or are making late payments.

"We have earlier visibility of under-reporting of PAYGW on activity statements. We have earlier visibility of employers dropping out of the system. We can also see large withholder payment patterns.

"We have progressively started contacting employers who aren’t yet reporting their pay day information to us and who aren't covered by an approved deferral. We're specifically monitoring about 780 substantial employers not reporting and not covered by a deferral and will be taking action in due course."

For those substantial employers reporting, the Tax Office has contacted some 133 large employers and found an underpayment of $2.5 million and raised shortfall penalties of $0.5 million. It has also identified $254 million applied to the incorrect EFT code, such as using EFT 60 instead of the correct EFT 70.

The findings of this examination concluded that 59 substantial employers were paying with the incorrect EFT code (due to being new to this reporting requirement). Some substantial employers were paying monthly rather than on a required more regular cycle for withholding obligations, such as weekly. 

Earlier this month, the ATO urged small employers who have not yet made the switch to STP to get in touch if they need help to transition. It said at the time that it would continue to work with small employers to understand any barriers they may be facing and provide support to help them transition to STP reporting. 

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