ATO accelerates STP phase 2 efforts

The Tax Office is encouraging more businesses to make the switch to single touch payroll phase 2.

In a statement to the market, the ATO confirmed it has been writing to employers to advise them of the reporting method being made available.

“For employees, STP and STP2 mean that pay, tax, and super information is reported to us each time they are paid,” ATO Deputy Commissioner Emma Rosenzweig said.

“They can easily view their year-to-date tax and super information in ATO online services, or through their registered tax agent, whenever they want to check.”

Ms Rosenzweig said STP2 is proving to be a simplified reporting tool. June figures showed there are over 140,000 employers reporting STP phase 2 information for over 1.7 million individuals.

“For employers, STP2 will streamline reporting about their employees to multiple government agencies, saving time, money and red-tape, letting employers focus on their business,” she explained.

“For those who receive Centrelink payments, reporting will be simpler and easier.

“Payslip details will be pre-filled into Centrelink’s online account and app, so people will simply need to check, confirm or change this information before submitting.”

Despite the push, Ms Rosenzweig assured employers it will continue to take a flexible approach to the transition to STP2, noting that they and their registered agents can apply to the ATO if they require more time.

“Check when your payroll product will be ready for STP Phase 2 reporting. Many products are ready now, with more becoming available over the coming months,” the ATO said.

“Review pay codes – do you already have pay codes set up for amounts which now need to be itemised separately such as bonuses, commissions, Director’s fees, and overtime?

“Review allowances as they will be reported differently; understand changes to salary sacrifice reporting; check if you have all the relevant information stored in your payroll system; [and] talk to your tax or BAS professional or payroll provider if you need a helping hand.”

In early April, the ATO updated its resources to help employers understand the changes and prepare for STP phase 2 reporting, including a fact sheet outlining the key differences between STP phase 1 and 2 reporting, and a to-do checklist for employers.

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