Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

600,000 employers are reporting for over 17m employees

December – STP actions

All employers should be reporting or have notified the ATO about deferrals, seasonal or concessions.

The ATO are about to commence follow up programs to chase employers who have not engaged with them about STP.

Quarterly Reporting

Who is eligible for reporting STP once per quarter in alignment with their Quarterly BAS cycle?

  • Closely Held (see below) must start after 30 June 2020 and may report quarterly for every
  • Micro (1-4) disconnected through the Agents in line with BAS reporting, must start by 30 September 2019
  • Micro (1-4) in the Agriculture, fishing or forestry industry, does not require an Agent
  • Micro (1-4) in Not-for-profit clubs and associations, does not require an Agent.

As long as they are compliant ie debts and lodgements under control or an agreed plan.

Your clients – are they in or out

The ATO will be sending to all Agents an uptodate client list of known employers and their STP status during February 2020.

We recommend all members contact any of their businesses that are not yet engaged in STP (refer ICB resources) and implement a process to commence STP compliance.
This may include advising the ATO of deferrals.

Quarterly reporters MUST lodge their December quarter by 28th February and MUST have applied for the concession.  The ATO have advised they will be less generous in accepting reasons for Quarterly reporting after February.

Closely held entities and employees

If the employee is a family member or director then they are deemed to be “closely held” employees.
You do not have to report payroll to “closely held” employees until 2020 BUT
If they are in your payroll you can and probably should.

BUT – You do not have to finalise “closely held” employees until the individuals tax return is due for lodgment. Work with the tax agent of the business to be advised of any adjustment to their wages. Wages for “closely held” employees can be adjusted up or down at the time of lodging the tax return. Their STP reports may be “finalised” at that later time.

However, you must “finalise” any external employees by 31 July , 2019 or for next year 14 July 2020.

NOTE: There is no way to tell the ATO that employees are closely held nor that you wont be reporting yet for closely held employees. If the ATO ring or write to you then tell them. (Feel free to tell them you are annoyed with being rung and they should allow you to tell them about closely held employees in the STP concessions on the portals)

ATO Compliance follow up – STP told them you aren’t paying your Super

The ATO have already conducted early trial programs around analysing the employers super accrual amounts reports and comparing that to the amounts paid into superfunds.

We are aware of the analytics work the ATO are performing to ensure they have understood the data being received, taken account of the anomalies and then they are following up the worst cases of what looks like underpayment.

What is really good is that the ATO are in the first instance following up with the software companies to ensure they software is submitting data in the right form and also submitting the right data. Guess what, some have not always been doing it right.

Another 4000 employers will be chased soon

The ATO is about to commence a further program of the next 4000 employers that have been identified as having potential issues with the accrual and payment of Super.

It is the larger employers and it is the bigger issues. This program will become more streamlined and all employers should assume that their data is going to be checked and eventually issues will be followed up.

If your employer is behind in their Super then refer to information about the on again off again Super Guarantee disclosure amnesty. (its back on again – at least the proposal is)


  • $210 for a late STP lodgment and then for every 28 days it isn’t lodged.
  • Large employers these penalties can apply NOW.
  • Small employers (<20 employees) no penalties until after 30 June 2020, unless the ATO has issued you with a demand.
  • Late payment penalties – same as always
  • Late Super penalties – same as always

Full details in previous ICB news item ATO and Penalties
ATO Website

MORE information

  • 17 December 2019