Single Touch Payroll

What is it?

Single Touch Payroll (STP) will change the way you report your employees’ payroll information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Once setup your payroll software will report payments such as salaries and wages, PAYG withholding and super information to the ATO each time you pay your employees.

When does it begin?

Reporting for businesses with 20 plus employees started from 1 July 2018 and for everyone else will it start from 1 July 2019.

The ATO has indicated that there will be no penalties for mistakes, missed or late reports for the first year and exemptions will be provided from STP reporting for employers experiencing hardship, or in areas with poor or no internet connection.

Implementing by 1 July 2019 however will reduce effort required at 30 June 2020 as a full year will have been completed using STP reporting.

What if I only pay family members or just the directors of a business (Closely held employees)?

Closely held employees will not need to be reported using STP until 1 July 2020 if the employer employs less than 20 employees. However if you have a mix of closely held employees and non closely held employees the non closely held employees need to be reported by the required dates.

From 1 July 2020 it is likely that closely held employees will be reported via STP on a quarterly basis for businesses employing less than 20 employees.

What do I have to do to comply?

If you pay employees you will need to implement a single touch payroll compliant software from the start date or apply for a deferral.

Deferring this process is merely ‘kicking the can down the road’ as digital lodgement of this information will be the only way to lodge over the coming years.

If you currently use accounting software to manage payroll:

  • If you use Xero Payroll the option to turn on STP should be available for you now.
  • If you use other accounting software talk to your current provider to find out if your version of the product will be updated to support STP.
  • If you are unsure talk with us and we will help you become compliant.

If you do not use accounting software to manage payroll:

  • There are a number of accounting software providers making software available for as little as $10/month for 1 to 4 employees.
  • Talk with us about your needs so we can help you find the best fit for your situation.

If you have any questions regarding Single Touch Payroll please contact the office via phone or email at

The ATO have detailed information on their website at the below link: