Tag Archive: Single Touch Payroll

What’s changed from 1 July 2019?

Posted on September 1, 2019
by Michael Lamont

Do you know how many legislation changes came into effect in the 2018-19 Financial Year, or the year before? We haven’t calculated the actual number either, but it’s alot! What we have done is kept abreast of all these changes and written these blogs on the details to make sure you are aware of them. This year is no different!

In case you’ve missed seeing these, and while you still have an opportunity to plan for the year ahead, here are the three most significant changes affecting businesses that came into effect from 1 July 2019.

Single Touch Payroll

As discussed in Sonia Spaseski’s blog ‘Single Touch Payroll for Small Employers’, from 1 July 2019 small employers (those with 19 or less employees) will be required to register for Single Touch Payroll (STP).

So what does this mean for you? Well if you are currently using a commercial payroll software solution, setting up STP is relatively easy, with most software providers having a step-by-step guide on how to set it up.

The ATO have also provided some transitional arrangements for you to comply with the STP rules which are detailed in Sonia’s blog.

Instant Asset Write-off

From 2 April 2019 the instant asset write-off threshold was increased to $30,000 and was extended until 30 June 2020. As well as the increase to the threshold, the instant asset write-off is now available to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million.

A few important things to note in relation to the instant asset write-off:

  • The threshold applies to individual assets; it is not a yearly threshold.
  • If you are registered for GST the cost of the asset is the GST exclusive amount.
  • If you are trading-in an asset, the trade-in value does not reduce the cost of the asset for the threshold limit.
  • The deduction is limited to the business use percentage of the asset.

Large Proprietary Company

The financial thresholds that determine whether a company is considered a ‘large’ proprietary company have been doubled from 1 July 2019, meaning many small to medium sized companies may be relieved  of the requirement to lodge audited financial statements with ASIC.

Currently a proprietary company is considered ‘large’ if they meet at least two of the three thresholds, being:

  • $25 million or more in consolidated revenue;
  • $12.5 million or more in consolidated gross assets; or
  • 50 or more full-time equivalent employees.

The new thresholds from 1 July 2019 are:

  • $50 million or more in consolidated revenue;
  • $25 million or more in consolidated gross assets; or
  • 100 or more full-time equivalent employees.

To keep your payments and lodgments organised and arriving on time, you may find it helpful to take a look at the 2019/20 financial year due dates provided by Tim O’Brien. There is also a downloadable copy available on the page to keep on hand.

Our team is here for any queries you have regarding the changes above. Alternatively if you would like to discuss your business situation in more detail, please get in touch with our team at BLG Business Advisers online or by calling (02) 4229 2211.

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Single Touch Payroll for Small Employers

Posted on May 13, 2019
by Sonia Spaseski

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a relatively new electronic payroll reporting regime which commenced on 1 July 2018 for employers with 20 or more employees. At the beginning of 2019, parliament passed legislation to extend STP reporting to include all small employers (those with 19 or less employees) starting from 1 July 2019.

This follows on from BLG’s previous blog Single Touch Payroll In Practice written by my knowledgeable BLG colleague Adam Birrer, which provides more information about STP and details on how to implement it for your business.

Reporting Software Options

As the move to real-time digital reporting may be a big change for employers, in particular small businesses, the ATO is adopting a supportive approach to enable an easier transition across to STP.

With many small businesses not currently using commercial payroll software, the ATO has stated small employers will not be required to purchase this particular software for STP reporting. However, there will be some no-cost or low-cost reporting solutions available to use including simple payroll solutions, portals and mobile apps. You can review the list of providers on the ATO website here.

If you currently use commercial payroll software, setting it up for STP is relatively easy. Should you need assistance in setting up the system, our team at BLG is happy to assist you. Once this is up and running, it is a matter of lodging the required information to the ATO to remain compliant.

STP Implementation

There is help to transition to STP and the ATO have a number of alternative options to assist:

  • If you are a micro employer (1 to 4 employees) and rely on a registered tax or BAS agent, you will be allowed to report quarterly for the first two years, rather than each time payroll is run.
  • If you are a small employer (19 or less employees), you can start reporting at any time from the 1 July 2019 start date to 30 September 2019. The ATO will grant deferrals to any small employer who requests additional time to start STP reporting.
  • There will be no penalties for mistakes, missed or late reports for the first year.
  • The ATO will provide exemptions from STP reporting for employers experiencing hardship, or in areas with intermittent or no internet connection.

As with any new business systems or requirements it is important they are implemented correctly. If you aren’t sure how to proceed with Single Touch Payroll or have some questions, make sure you get in touch with our team at BLG Business Advisers online or by calling (02) 4229 2211.

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It’s Time To Prepare For Single Touch Payroll

Posted on March 12, 2018
by Sonia Spaseski
Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a recent government initiative that has been introduced in order to streamline business reporting obligations. Through this system employers will be required to report payments such as salaries and wages, PAYG Withholding and Superannuation information directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), at the same time that they pay their employees (ie. weekly, fortnightly or monthly).

It is important to note that the number of employees you pay will determine the start date that you will be required to start providing this information.

  • For employers with 20 or more employees, your effective start date is 1 July 2018.
  • For employers with 19 or less employees, your effective start date is 1 July 2019 (subject to legislation being passed).

How to count the number of employees

To determine the number of employees you have, all employers will need to do a headcount on the 1st April 2018.  In the headcount, you need to count all employees as follows:

  • Full-time employees
  • Part-time employees
  • Casual employee who are on your payroll on 1 April and worked any time during March
  • Employees based overseas
  • Any employee absent or on leave (paid or unpaid)
  • Seasonal employees

You don’t include in the headcount, the following employees:

  • Any employees who ceased employment before 1 April
  • Casual employees who did not work in March
  • Independent contractors
  • Staff provided by a third-party labour hire organization
  • Company directors
  • Office holders
  • Religious practitioners.

If you had 20 or more employees as at 1 April 2018, then you will need to start reporting through single touch payroll from 1 July 2018 even if your employees drop to 19 or less (unless you apply for and are granted an exemption).

How to report

There are a few ways that you can report this information through to the ATO:

  • From your current payroll program when it is STP ready
  • From a new payroll program which is STP ready
  • Through a third party, such as a registered agent, for those who don’t have a payroll program.

Mainstream payroll software providers are currently updating their software to incorporate a solution for Single Touch Payroll. The ATO are working with digital service providers to determine if deferrals are required.

Single Touch Payroll for employees

Employees will continue to be paid in the same way as prior to STP. You will be able to see the information that your employer has provided to the ATO by logging into your myGov account and accessing the ATO online services.

You will also be able to check if your super has been paid, as there has been an increase in reporting requirements on Super Funds.  This information will enable the ATO to check that your employer is paying your super entitlements.

Find out more about Single Touch Payroll, and eliminate the work involved, by speaking to one of our experienced team of business advisers today. Get in touch with BLG online or by calling (02) 4229 2211.


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