Would you look at that! The Single Touch Payroll deadline of September 30, 2019, has passed and you should now have moved across to Xero or another cloud-based accounting system. Remember, if you are reporting all PAYG and super related figures for each pay cycle… You are complying! And that’s something to be proud of.
But now that everything has been set up and is now in action, here’s what you need to know next.
- You will now have longer to finalise the year-end payroll information for your employees. While the same review is needed that you would have invested in the preparation of your payment summaries as before, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will give you more time to do so.
- There is now more impact with swifter consequences for mistakes made. Your accounting software, such as Xero, can assist in minimising human error. Uploading payment files (ABA files) directly into your online banking via Xero, will ensure that the amount reported to the ATO matches the amounts paid to your employees. Be sure to remember to download an updated ABA file to reflect any errors corrected as this will be picked up by the ATO.
Automation can also assist in the area of superannuation, by using the auto superannuation payments feature connected to your bookkeeping system.
- There are a range of transactions outside of salaries and wages, that you now need to allocate in reciprocation with payroll, to ensure relevant payments are reported through STP. Some examples include; payment of remuneration to a director (unless paid through Accounts Payable); return to work payments, employment termination payments (life benefits), unused/parental leave payments; as well as, any other payments which are subject to PAYG withholding, even if the amount withheld is nil (e.g. bonuses and motor vehicle allowances).
As an additional pointer, it’s also good to be aware that everything that is now reported via STP to the ATO may be shared across governmental departments in the future. This means that bodies like The Department of Human Services, including Centrelink, will likely be informed of payment data, to reduce the likelihood that support recipients (for example) will be incorrectly overpaid.
What to do if you make a mistake?
If you do make a mistake in your STP reporting, please be sure to let us know immediately so we can assist you. There are strict time limits that will apply in rectifying the problem, so as soon as the mistake is identified, contact us immediately.
Need a hand?
We understand that fully establishing new processes and adjusting to new systems within the realm of accounting and bookkeeping, can still feel like a confusing or onerous task. We are here to help, chat to one of our friendly staff members today.