As part of a package that will give the government increased funding and penalty powers with instance of non-compliance – such as not meeting superannuation guarantee (SG) obligations - the introduction of STP will now apply to employers with less than 20 employees from 1 July 2019.
“Employers who deliberately do not pay their workers’ superannuation entitlements are robbing their workers of their wages. This is illegal and won’t be tolerated,” Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer said in a statement yesterday.
Employers with more than 20 employees will transition to STP from 1 July 2018.
Institute of Public Accountants chief executive Andrew Conway, who has been vocal on the subject, has criticised the lack of consultation with stakeholders in implementing such important structural reforms.
“We have long acknowledged the need for a more efficient payroll reporting system, however such a dramatic change needs appropriate consultation on the compliance cost and regulatory impact,” Mr Conway told Accountants Daily.
“For micro businesses this will pose significant compliance pressure.
“We need to see the detail of this impact and the outcomes of the Single Touch Payroll pilot program. We are particularly interested in the incentives the government will provide small business to transition to Single Touch Payroll.”
BDO tax partner Mark Molesworth also highlighted that the introduction of STP would add yet another layer of red tape to small business owners.
“Obviously, that’s a large increase in the amount of reporting that employers need to do for the tax office because at the moment employers only report that data once a year, at the conclusion of the year,” said Mr Molesworth.
“The increased regulation is designed to provide better assurance that parties within the tax system are meeting their obligations, however it is coming at the cost of requiring participants to make sure that their systems are up-to-date, so that they produce reports that can then be provided to the tax office on a periodic basis which don’t currently have to be provided.”
However, Ms O’Dwyer said the changes are necessary to give “Australians confidence that the superannuation system is working in their best interests”.
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.