Recent Updates

Are you ready to report your payroll data to the ATO in real time?

Posted on by Eve Harward

A new initiative from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires real time reporting of payroll information through your payroll solution at the time you pay your employees using the Single Touch Payroll system. The ATO considers that this initiative will reduce compliance costs for Employers, but will also enable them to intervene earlier for cases of non-compliance.

What you need to know
  • Employers or wholly owned groups of entities with 20 or more employees across all the entities will need to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018.
  • Employers will report salary or wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super guarantee information to the ATO when they pay their employees (i.e. at the time of your normal pay cycle).
  • To determine if employers are required to report through Single Touch Payroll, they will need to do a headcount of their employees on 1 April 2018. It is a head count, not a full-time equivalent rate, so casual and part-time employees count and it doesn’t matter if there is less than 20 employees on 1 July 2018 – the date which matters is 1 April 2018.
  • Employers who report an employee’s details through Single Touch Payroll will not have to provide that employee with a payment summary at the end of financial year or provide the ATO with a payment summary annual report for those employee’s details. However, Employers will need to notify the ATO when the payment summary data is considered final.
What you need to do to get ready
  • You will need to ensure that your payroll software is updated to a version that supports Single Touch Payroll, in time for the commencement on 1 July 2018. The ATO has been working with payroll software providers and believes that updated software will start becoming available from 1 July 2017. No doubt your payroll software provider will update you about the enhancements to their software for the Single Touch Payroll system.
  • If you don’t currently utilise payroll software and have 20 or more employees on 1 April 2018, you will need you will need to implement a payroll solution by 1 July 2018 that enables Single Touch Payroll reporting.
  • To find out more information and keep abreast of updates you can visit the ATO’s website on Single Touch Payroll.
If you would like to know more about the changes taking place and how this could affect your business, please contact a Livingstones consultant on + 617 3833 1200 or email

Written by Eve Harward

Eve Harward

Eve has experience working with a wide variety of organisations, from small
businesses through to large national enterprises and across the not-for-profit, public and private sectors. Eve particularly enjoys helping clients with their employment challenges and takes great pride in developing and fine tuning solutions so they align with each client’s particular objectives, while paying close attention to specific cultural considerations as well as broader industry settings.

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