Single touch payroll – on its way into law

The Senate Standing Committee on Economics has given a report on the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 and has endorsed the Bill’s provisions for single touch payroll.

The Committee reported:

5.35    Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting is designed to reduce the compliance costs for employers meeting their Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding obligations by using Standard Business Reporting (SBR) enabled software to automatically report employee salary or wage information to the Commissioner of Taxation at the time these amounts are paid. The use of SBR-enabled software presents an opportunity to automate and better align reporting to business processes. STP reporting will also allow the Australian Taxation Office to monitor employee-level superannuation contribution information and take early intervention and compliance action if required.

This refers to the Explanatory Memorandum at [295–96]. 

STP was the subject of one submission, from CPA Australia, which supported it, saying that

“if properly implemented, this will be good for business as it promises to reduce compliance costs and the number of times business need to handle payroll transactions”.

The other implications of STP for the better collection of taxes that are often used as a cash float and left unpaid when a company is struggling, or goes into liquidation or administration, have been discussed.

The potential for similar technological reforms, in insolvency, perhaps led by the ATO, have also been discussed.

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