Institute of Certified Bookkeepers


you have commenced reporting your payroll through Single Touch Payroll (STP)


for whatever reason you decide or need to lodge a PSAR / Empdupe file (as you did last year)


DO NOT  attempt to zero out your STP data.


Despite what you might be advised by other advisors or by the ATO call centre.

ICB have spoken with the ATO who have confirmed there is no need to zero out data.

but  also DO NOT do both "Finalise STP" and Lodge a PSAR file.


What will happen in the ATO system and in Tax Return Prefill?

The ATO systems have a hierachy to recognise and remove duplicate data.

  • If Finalised STP data is lodged this is taken as the real data
  • Secondly if a PSAR is lodged and there is NO Finalised STP data, then that PSAR would be taken as real, but it might be duplicated if you do both PSAR & Finalise
  • Thirdly, Unfinalised data would be used

Accountants and Tax Return Prefill

It is possible that the accountant may see a payment summary twice in the prefill of a tax return (also individuals who use myGov).

Just remove one of the prefill when preparing the tax return, if it is in fact a duplicate.

When are two correct?

There may be two different Payment Summaries / Income Statements that are legitimate and correct for an employee.  Both the accountant and the taxpayer should check!

This would happen if a payment summary has been issued to report part of the year (before STP was started in a different system) or if an ETP has been reported through Payment Summaries but normal income through STP.

Why shouldn't you remove the STP data?

With most payroll systems being integrated and being the real "source of truth", to zero out the payroll and submit ZERO to the ATO through STP requires a reversal of payroll which wil corrupt the accounts of the business.  It is not required and it is not how STP was designed.

But the ATO told me to

If you receive this instruction from the ATO please let ICB know - we are seeking the ATO to publish confirmation of the correct advice on their website.


Hot topics for STP

No More Payment Summaries in STP



  • 3rd July 2019