Single Touch Payroll for Small Businesses

1 July 2019

NSW small business owners are encouraged to get on board with a new ‘Single Touch Payroll’ system that comes into effect from today for employers with less than 19 employees.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the NSW Government had been helping businesses prepare for Single Touch Payroll with workshops through its Business Connect advisory service network.

“Single Touch Payroll is the new way of automatically reporting tax and super information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and starts from 1 July 2019 for employers with 19 or less employees.

“Employers will use Single Touch Payroll to electronically report their employees’ salaries and wages, pay as you go withholding tax, and superannuation information directly to the ATO each payday when they run their payrolls. “Single Touch Payroll will benefit employers by streamlining payroll processes to reduce business costs and provide protections for staff by giving greater visibility to the ATO on unpaid superannuation or late payments.

“The new system will make completing paperwork easier for more than 250,000 businesses across the state by automating much of the payroll process and help them stay on top of their financial affairs. Each time you pay an employee and report through Single Touch Payroll, their tax and super information will be updated on the myGov website.

“The good news is the ATO advises there will be no penalties for mistakes or late reports for the first year, and if you are experiencing hardship or operate in an area with limited internet capabilities, there will be exemptions available,” Mr Tudehope said.

Michelle Smith, the office manager at Orange-based arborist business The Tree Surgeon, attended a workshop with Business Connect provider Central NSW Business HQ, which helped her implement Single Touch Payroll using Xero accounting software. “The workshop was very helpful and gave me the information and confidence I needed to implement Single Touch Payroll for our five staff ahead of 1 July,” she said.

Dean Squire, a former grain industry worker, who set up Cootamundra business Desi’s Fabrics and Blinds with his wife, attended a workshop with Business Connect provider BEC Advice South and West. “Single Touch Payroll will be easier when doing our payroll as currently we manually do our tax and super each week and this will do it in one hit,” he said.

Small businesses that haven’t yet transitioned to Single Touch Payroll can visit the ATO Single Touch Payroll (STP) website for further information.