There has been a very positive start to Single Touch Payroll. Over two million employees can now see their information updated each pay day in myGov and this is also visible to their tax agents through the Tax and BAS Agent Portals.
Over the next 12 months, the ATO will focus on supporting employers through the transition to Single Touch Payroll. Checks will be conducted and treatments tailored to client behaviour.
During their first year of reporting through Single Touch Payroll employers will be exempt from an administrative penalty if they fail to report on time. A written notice will be given advising that a failure to report on time in the future may attract a penalty.
The ATO has been working with tax professionals to develop a solution that will alleviate the requirement to obtain a signed declaration from the employer at each pay event. BAS agents and bookkeepers helped the ATO to arrive at a position where a letter of engagement that provides authority from the employer to be able to report throughout the year will remove the requirement to obtain a signed declaration at each pay event.
Salary and wage and pay as you go withholding amounts reported on the activity statement will still be subject to having declarations. The ATO will be developing guidance and will shortly communicate this process to the wider community.
The ATO continues to work with Tax and BAS Agents to explore options for very micro employers (4 or less employees). The ATO has conducted a series of design workshops with tax agents, accountants, bookkeepers and small business owners to better understand the needs of small employers and confirm requirements and approaches to low cost payroll reporting solutions. This includes how to approach payroll reporting for closely held entities who don't pay regular wages. The ATO will continue to work with the software industry, banks and others who will provide these solutions to employers.