From 1 July 2019, all Australian employers are required to lodge their payroll data to the ATO electronically via STP. There is no option to do this via paper or over the phone. Find out how you can lodge STP using one of the options below
Options for Standard Employers
1. Use a Payroll System to Lodge STP
Most Australian payroll systems are now STP approved. If your accounting and payroll system is desktop, you will need to move to the cloud to be able to lodge STP through the software. Lodging through the software is the quickest and easiest way to lodge STP for each pay event.
You should not need an Auskey. The software will have an SSID number which is to be recorded with the ATO. Once this SSID number is reported to the ATO, there will be a record of which software you are using to report. The process is usually as simple as ensuring your payroll is accurate and following the steps to lodge to the ATO. In Xero, this is done by pressing ‘File now’ and clicking ‘I authorise’. for each pay event.
2. Use a BAS agent or Tax Agent to Lodge Your STP
If you do not have an STP compliant solution, you must still lodge STP. You may enlist the services of your BAS or Tax Agent to complete your payroll in an STP approved system and lodge to the ATO on your behalf. You will need to authorise your agent and provide them with payroll information.
Q. Can I process payroll and just fill out a form and send this to the ATO?
No. The ATO are moving away from paper forms and manual submission processes. You must lodge STP via an integrated payroll solution. There will be no forms available. You will not be able to call the figures through to the ATO.
How Does it Work?
Your wages, allowances, deductions, PAYG withholding, superannuation details are reported to the ATO each time to you report STP. A YTD total of these is maintained on the ATO database. If your employees were to log in to myGov, they could see the YTD balance of their wages.
The payroll information will eventually be used to populate your Business Activity Statement (BAS).
After the end of the financial year, instead of giving your employees a payment summary which they must use to lodge their tax return, you will lodge an STP Finalisation digitally. Once this is received by the ATO, your employees can log into myGov or go and see their Tax Accountant and the data will have pre-populated their tax return.
If you have a failed STP lodgement or need to know if your STP filings are being recieved, you may contact the ATO.
You must submit STP filings on or before the payment date of your employees for that payrun.
Not in the Cloud?
If your accounting system is not in the cloud, you could be missing out on more than just STP lodgements. Cloud accounting offers business owners a wealth of efficiencies they can use in their business such as automatic bank feeds, automatic superannuation lodgement, access to add-on apps that can increase productivity and much more.
To find out more about moving to the cloud or about how you can ensure your product is STP compliant, contact us