Single Touch Payroll - Ins & Outs for Employers

Agribusinses Insights

The Single Touch Payroll (STP) compliance date is here. Whilst if you have over 20 employees you should already be reporting through STP, employers with less than 20 workers will need to start on 1 July 2019.

basic_illustrations-03-investment_growth - Copy.pngWhat is STP and how do I report this information? 

Essentially it is the new way of reporting wage and salary information about your employees directly to the ATO through your compatible payroll software. Each time you make a payment to an employee (complete a ‘pay-run’), that information needs to be entered into your software and reported to the ATO on that same day (sent via your software).

If your software is not compatible, or you don’t currently use payroll software, the ATO has released a list of low & no cost payroll options. A few solutions that RSM is familiar with are listed below (a larger list is available on the ATO website)

Solution name

Solution type


Reckon STP

Mobile app


MYOB Essentials Payroll

Web based

$10 or less /month

Xero Payroll

Web based

$10 or less /month


What can you deduct with the instant asset write off

Why is STP being brought in?

The ATO have brought in STP in an attempt to streamline the employment information they receive and create greater transparency. STP will allow both the ATO and employees to have the most up to date information regarding employment payments at all times. Employees will have access to their payments via their online myGov account).

Are there any deferral or exemption options?

Yes, employers may be able to apply for an exemption or deferral if you have poor or no internet or if you are experiencing hardship – this is considered on a case-by-case basis. Small businesses (with less than 20 employees) will be able to start reporting any time between 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, with the option to request additional time. We recommend starting on 1 July if possible to avoid having to do PAYG Summaries at year-end for the period you weren’t reporting through STP.

Micro businesses (employing four or less staff) have the option to have their accountant report quarterly on their behalf for two years. This will be an additional service to the preparation of your Business Activity Statements (BAS).

The ATO has stated that in the first 12 months there will be no penalties for any mistakes, missed or late reports. Our experience so far with our large employers (more than 20 employees) has been positive and there have been minimal issues. We do understand this will be a major change for many businesses so if you have any further questions please contact your local RSM office.


If you need further assistance regarding any topics around STP, please do not hesitate to get in contact with your local RSM Agribusiness expert >>