Under the new single touch payroll regime, which kicked off on 1 July for employers with 20 or more employees, bookkeepers and payroll providers are required to seek client authorisation for each payroll run and lodged.
Feedback from the industry suggests that the current law is impractical from a business point of view, with bookkeepers having to approach clients on a weekly basis for their declaration.
Speaking to The Bookkeeper, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers executive director Matthew Addison said the issue has been acknowledged by the ATO, which is currently working with their legal and technical teams for a practical guidance on the issue.
While stating that the outcome will be positive for bookkeepers, Mr Addison has urged for patience for the solution, noting that “sometimes the wheels turn slowly” with administrative tweaks.
“The ATO [is] trying to find the right technical and legal mechanism to get a practical guidance approach from the Commissioner,” said Mr Addison.
“In some business circumstances, that's absolutely acceptable and possible and realistic and in many cases it is also appropriate that the bookkeeper who runs the payroll gets signed off by a second party like the business owner.
“In many circumstances especially in the smaller end of town that's just not possible.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.