Employers are expected to report information on a variety of areas through software that offers STP reporting or third-party service providers. Withholding amounts, superannuation liability information, ordinary times earnings, salaries, wages, allowances and deductions should all be included in reports.
Parliament has passed legislation to extend STP to now include businesses of any size. There are separate guidelines and due dates in place for different sized businesses.
Businesses with 20 or more employees:
As STP for businesses with 20 or more employees started on 1 July 2018, relevant businesses should already be reporting through STP or have applied for a deferral. If you are unsure if your current software has STP reporting, the ATO recommends talking to your software provider or tax professional.
Businesses with 5-19 employees:
Reporting can start anytime from 1 July to 30 September 2019. If you already use payroll software which offers STP, you can update your product and start reporting early. Online forms will be available from April 2019 for those who need to defer reporting or meet exemption criteria.
Businesses with 1-4 employees:
Micro employers with four or less employees who don’t currently use payroll software can report STP information in other ways.
The ATO has listed software developers who offer no-cost and low-cost STP solutions to make the transition smoother. There is also an option for your registered tax or BAS agent to report your STP information quarterly rather than each time you run payroll. This will be available until 30 June 2021.
To help with ease of transition for everyone involved, the ATO offers no penalties for mistakes, missed or late reports for the first year. Exemptions from STP reporting can also be provided for employers experiencing hardship, or in areas with intermittent or no internet connection.