The 30 September deadline for small businesses with 19 or fewer employees to become Single Touch Payroll compliant is now just two weeks away.
According to the ATO, there are 350,000 small businesses now reporting under STP, or just under 50 per cent of the estimated 750,000 small business population.
ATO Assistant Commissioner Jason Lucchese said it was important for employers to understand the range of concessions or deferrals available to them if they are not ready to report by 30 September.
Concessional reporting is available to micro employers, closely held payees and seasonal intermittent employers.
“More than 425,000 employers are already reporting their employees’ tax and superannuation information through STP, but we understand all employers operate in slightly different ways and can sometimes be faced with unique challenges which can affect their payroll processes,” Mr Lucchese said.
“Regardless of whether you’re ready to start reporting, or if you still need more time to get ready, there are options available to you.
“The Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan, has reassured small employers that the ATO’s approach will be flexible, reasonable and pragmatic with no penalties for mistakes, missed or late reports for the first year.”
Institute of Certified Bookkeepers executive director Matthew Addison said employers should not be overwhelmed by the transition to STP.
“Bookkeepers using Single Touch Payroll–enabled software should easily be able to help a business to report each payday to the ATO,” Mr Addison said.
“We are finding that with a little bit of preparation and knowledge, bookkeepers and employers can implement and manage STP with minimal interruption and smoothly integrate it into their everyday business process.
“Businesses have long been using systems to pay their employees; now that system reports the same information to the ATO.”
The ATO has also developed a number of fact sheets, STP material in other languages to help various employers in different communities, as well as specific industry packs to help businesses in a particular industry understand their obligations.
It has also now released an interactive online quiz to help employers determine their next step.
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.