Employers need to prepare for changes under STP expansion
Single Touch Payroll ('STP') reporting has been expanded.
This expansion, known as ‘STP Phase 2’, means that employers will need to start reporting extra information to the ATO each time they run their payroll.
Some digital service providers (‘DSPs’) needed more time to update their products and applied for deferrals, which cover their customers – therefore, when an employer can start Phase 2 reporting depends on when their payroll product is ready.
Employers that have not already started Phase 2 reporting should ask their DSP when their product will be ready (if they don't already know).
Employers need to be across the changes and get ready to start Phase 2 reporting. This includes:
- checking if changes need to be made to payroll pay codes/categories so they align with Phase 2 requirements;
- reviewing allowances employers pay and how they need to be reported in Phase 2;
- understanding changes to salary sacrifice reporting; and
- understanding how to assign an income type to each payment.
The ATO is also reminding employers that amounts paid to 'closely held payees' should now be reported through STP.
A ‘closely held payee’ is an individual directly related to the entity they receive payments from. For example, family members of a family business, directors or shareholders of a company and beneficiaries of a trust.
There are concessional reporting options for closely held payees reporting which include the following:
- Reporting actual payments on or before the date of payment (along with arm's length employees).
- Reporting actual payments quarterly.
- Reporting a reasonable estimate quarterly