(02) 8824 7485 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Integrity, Innovation & Commitment
Single Touch Payroll

Single Touch Payroll

  • Sunday, 01 July 2018 22:41


Single Touch Payroll is a reporting change for employers. You will report payments such as salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation information from your payroll solution each time you pay your employees.

Single Touch Payroll will be expanded to include employers with 19 or less employees from 1 July 2019.


Once you start reporting to The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through your Single Touch Payroll (STP)-enabled software you will be sending them your tax and superannuation information on or before each pay day. This is called a 'pay event'. You will be able to make corrections to the information you have sent to them and can do this through an 'update event', or in the next regular pay event.

There are mandatory payments that you must report, voluntary payments that you can choose to report, and some payments you can’t report with Single Touch Payroll (STP). During the first 12 months that you report through STP you will be exempt from an administrative penalty for failing to report on time. This is unless the ATO have first given you written notice advising that a failure to report on time in the future may attract a penalty.


While some employers will start reporting through Single Touch Payroll (STP) from 1 July 2018, many employers will have a deferred start date. This may be because their software is not ready, or for other circumstances beyond their control.

Employers who are granted a deferral will start reporting during the financial year, rather than on the first pay after 1 July. Your digital service provider (DSP) will give you information to support you when you transition to STP reporting. They will let you know which of the following methods to use:

  • Provide an opening year-to-date balance for all employees (active, inactive and terminated) in an update event.
  • Report year-to-date balances for all employees (active, inactive and terminated) in your first pay event.
  • Report year-to-date amounts for employees through a STP pay event and year-to-date amounts for inactive and terminated employees in a later update event which must be lodged by 14 July or the deferred due date.
  • Report the current year-to-date balances for the employees included in your first pay event. Give payment summaries to terminated and inactive employees and lodge a PAYG payment summary annual report to cover the payments you made before your first STP pay event.
  • Start your STP reporting with zero year-to-date balances and give payment summaries to all of your employees (current, inactive and terminated). Lodge a PAYG payment summary annual report for payments you made before your first STP pay event.


If you start reporting through one STP solution and change to another during a financial year, you must transition correctly to make sure the information pre-filled into your employees' income tax return is accurate.

There are three options to transition to a new payroll solution during a financial year:

  • Migrate your year-to-date employee information to the new payroll solution. You will need to zero the employee year-to-date values from the old payroll solution through an update event to prevent duplicate information being displayed.
  • If you do not migrate year-to-date employee information to the new payroll solution you can start reporting your employee year-to-date amounts from zero. You will need to finalise the employee information reported under the original payroll solution.
  • Migrate your year-to-date employee information to the new payroll solution and use the original BMS identifier in future pay event reporting.

Example: changing payroll solutions during a financial year

VJ Industries decides to change its payroll solution as the business is growing. VJ Industries will start using the new payroll solution from 1 September 2019. It will be unable to transfer employee payroll data from the old payroll solution to the new one. VJ Industries needs to finalise the employee information in the last pay event submitted using the old payroll solution.

At the end of the financial year, the employees of VJ Industries will have two sets of information from VJ Industries pre-filled into their income tax return – one for the period 1 July 2019 to 31 August 2019 and another for the period 1 September 2019 to 30 June 2020.


Let us advise you with your accounting and taxation needs!