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ATO releases fresh STP guidance as rollout looms

The tax office has urged accountants advising business clients to start their preparation for single touch payroll as software companies fall behind on preparation.

ATO releases fresh STP guidance as rollout looms
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STP will roll out for employers with 20 or more employees on 1 July 2018, while employers with 19 or less employees will be required to follow suit on 1 July 2019.

The ATO recently released two forms to help professionals and businesses better understand their obligations, namely the STP factsheet, and the STP ‘get ready checklist’.

Among some of the guidance steps listed by the tax office, employers have been urged to do a headcount of their employees on 1 April 2018, and talk to their software provider to see if their product will be ready.

Software providers have bemoaned a lack of ATO guidance about the specifications necessary to create an STP product, with several major providers having applied for or are mulling deferred start dates.

Businesses without software have been urged to speak to their tax practitioners for advice on choosing a product that offers STP.

“The ATO is here to make the transition as smooth as possible for employers to ensure they meet their obligations. We have developed a number of resources including factsheets, checklists, information packs and advice on how to manage headcount. These are all available to download on the ATO website.” ATO assistant commissioner John Shepherd said.

“Some payroll software providers have asked us for more time to get ready – employers should ask if their provider has been given a deferral which will cover them, and also check when their product will be updated to offer single touch payroll reporting.

“We’ve been working closely with payroll software providers, tax and BAS agents and payroll specialists from concept through to design and now deployment of solutions to ensure that single touch payroll can be successfully implemented."



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