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ATO confirms changes to ‘bugbear’ reporting issue

Tax

The Tax Office’s STP boss has confirmed the ATO has moved to correct a reporting headache for tax and BAS agents.

By Katarina Taurian 8 minute read

Since STP reporting was rolled out on 1 July for employers with 20 or more employees, the ATO has heard that the need for agents to get a declaration each time they report on behalf of an employer is a “bugbear”.

“Only last week, we had the commissioner sign off on a more streamline process there. It involves an STP engagement authority, where the employer will do quite detailed authorisation upfront with their agent, in terms of what that agent can do on their behalf, including the fact that they can make those declarations on each STP report for the next 12 months,” Assistant Commissioner and Single Touch Payroll Lead at the ATO John Shepherd told Accountants Daily.

The declaration requirement is long-standing for the tax profession, but is proving to be clunky as part of the STP regime.

“If you lodge an income tax return, or an activity statement on behalf of a business, you’ve got to get that declaration each time you do that before you can submit to the ATO. For STP, we had a lot of feedback that with weekly or fortnightly frequency, if that’s how often you do your payday, that was a bit of a burden and a bit of red tape to still have that for STP,” Mr Shepherd said.

More to come.

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Katarina Taurian

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