The ATO’s project lead for STP, John Shepherd, joined a panel of professionals to discuss the practical implications of STP earlier this week. You can access the webcast here.
A common point of confusion for small business is whether an AUSkey is required as part of STP regime.
Mr Shepherd clarified that whether a business will need its own AUSkey will depend on the type of software they use.
“Some products don’t require the employer to get their own AUSkey,” he explained.
The ATO’s website states the following around the use of an AUSkey for STP:
“Your software can connect directly to the ATO using a device AUSkey (more common for larger employers).
“Alternatively, your software may connect to the ATO using a software service ID (SSID) which is usually displayed by your software during the STP setup.
“You or your registered agent will need to provide the ATO with your SSID. To do this phone 1300 852 232, or complete a one-off notification through Access Manager (you need an AUSkey to use Access Manager).
“We will not be able to receive your STP report without the correct SSID.
“Another option is your software may connect to the ATO through a sending service provider (SSP). If this is how your software connects to the ATO, you do not need to contact the ATO to set up a connection. Your SSP will do this for you.”
Small business owners will not need to open a myGov account to be STP compliant.
“myGov is a whole-of-government access to services, through one sign-in. What that allows you to do is to see that superannuation information that had been reported, as well as your STP information that’s been reported, so each individual can see that through there,” Mr Shepherd explained.
“But it won’t be mandated.”
He did, however, recommend that anyone who does not have such an account set one up, because of the availability of customised information through the portal.
“It is the way, if you want to get access to your income statement, that you will get that at the end of the year rather than from your employer anymore.
“We suggest it’s a good thing to do, because it gives you access to better services, better information about your individual circumstances ... and you also get access to all your super accounts and you can roll them over.”
Mr Shepherd also recommended that employers notify their staff ahead of the transition to STP that personal income summaries will no longer be issued, and that this information will be made available to them through their own myGov account.
Mr Shepherd also revealed the ATO has hit a new milestone with STP, with over 100,000 employers now reporting through the new system.
He also talked through the ATO’s future plans with this and similar technology, which you can access here.