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Single Touch Payroll is the Government reporting requirement for employers. It is designed to make your reporting requirements easier. Affected areas include:

  • salaries and wages
  • PAYG withholding
  • superannuation

The above payments need to be reported to ATO from an employer’s payroll solution at the same time that employees are paid. Employers will no longer be able to use a separate process to report payments to the ATO.

Changes to Payment Summaries from 2019

Because payments will be reported via Single Touch Payroll throughout the financial year, they won't need to be included on a Payment Summary at the end of the financial year. 

This means that, if all payments for an employee are reported via Single Touch Payroll, you won't need to give that employee a Payment Summary. 

All that information will be available to the employee through myGov when they're ready to prepare their income tax return. A Payment Summary will still need to be provided in regard to any payments to an employee that can't be reported through Single Touch Payroll.

Frequently asked questions

The ATO has produced resources to help you understand your Single Touch Payroll obligations. 

Below we address the main topics for employers:

  • Key dates
  • Is your payroll provider Single Touch Payroll enabled?
  • Effect on pay cycles
  • Effect on TWUSUPER payments
  • Super arrangements for new employees
  • Effect on existing employees
  • Key dates

    This requirement will apply from:

    • 1 July 2018 for employers with 20 or more employees
    • 1 July 2019 for employers with 19 or fewer employees (but you can start earlier)

    The first thing you need to do is complete an employee headcount as at 1 April 2018. The headcount is like the census – you can do it after 1 April, but you need to count the employees who were on your payroll on 1 April. The ATO has further information on how to count your employees.

  • Is your payroll provider Single Touch Payroll enabled?

    Check the Australian Business Software Industry Association product catalogue. This catalogue is regularly updated. If your payroll provider isn't listed you should contact them and ask when they will become enabled, and if you need a software update.

    Some employers may need to change their payroll solution provider. Some providers have requested the ATO to defer the start date of Single Touch Payroll for their clients so that they can provide complete solutions. Ask your provider if they have been granted a later start date by the ATO to help you in your planning.

  • Effect on pay cycles

    You can still pay your employees super, salaries and other entitlements according to your pay cycle.

  • Effect on TWUSUPER payments

    Your Single Touch Payroll enabled provider will need to be Superstream compliant and meet clearing house requirements.

    TWUSUPER will work with employers to make sure their payroll providers are compatible. We will provide updates on this website and by email. Please note that TWUSUPER is changing its SuperStream solution, replacing Employer Access and SCH Online* with QuickSuper**. You can start using QuickSuper immediately, and all employers will need to be using QuickSuper or a provider of their choice by October 2018.

    Employers are required to report employee payments, including super, through Single Touch Payroll as they are made. The Single Touch Payroll requirements also mean TWUSUPER must report super contributions it has received. This means that if you report a super contribution for an employee via Single Touch Payroll, the ATO will expect TWUSUPER to report receipt of that contribution as soon as it's received. The ATO may follow up employers regarding contributions they have reported but that have not been received by a super fund.  

    QuickSuper

    * SCH Online is a financial product operated by The Superannuation Clearing House Pty Limited (Authorised Representative Number 290290) (TSCH), an authorised representative of Pacific Custodians Pty Limited (Australian Financial Services Licence Number 295142) (Pacific Custodians). 

    The trustee is not responsible for and does not accept liability for the products and services of SCH Online. You should use your own judgment before deciding to use SCH Online. 

    ** The QuickSuper service is provided to you by Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 ("Westpac") at the request of TWU Nominees Pty Ltd, ABN 67 002 835 412, AFSL No 239163 as Trustee for TWUSUPER ABN, 77 343 563 307 L0000246, Westpac terms and conditions apply to the QuickSuper service which you will be asked to accept. General advice on this website has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness. You should also consider Westpac's Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). The PDS is relevant when deciding whether to acquire or hold a product. 

    QuickSuper is a financial product operated by Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, AFSL 233714. 

    The trustee is not responsible for and does not accept liability for the products and services of QuickSuper. You should use your own judgement before deciding to use QuickSuper. 

    The QuickSuper service and other products offered on this website are intended for use in Australia only. The products and services offered on this website are not available to individuals located in the European Economic Area.

  • Super arrangements for new employees

    Default and preferred super funds of employers won't be affected by Single Touch Payroll. However, employees may be requested to complete their Tax File Number declaration and Choice of fund form online under the Single Touch Payroll arrangements.

    You should continue to advise new employees of TWUSUPER's status as default or preferred fund as they join your organisation.

    The ATO's new Choice of Fund online form is not expected to be available until early 2019. Therefore, you should continue with your current process supplying employees with a Choice of Fund form until then.

    TWUSUPER will provide more information about what this process will look like, when the new Choice of Fund online form is finalised by the ATO.

  • Effect on existing employees

    Under Single Touch Payroll, employees will see more up-to-date tax and super information in ATO Online Services through myGov.

    They will be able to see their year-to-date pay and any tax withheld, and what super contributions their employer is liable to make.

    Payments of Salary Sacrifice or a Reportable Employee Superannuation Contribution only need to put into by the payroll system by the end of the financial year. This means that an employee may not see these payments on myGov before the end of the financial year.  The super payments they can see should be equivalent to the Super Guarantee rate percentage of their salary or wage (potentially more if a higher rate is paid under an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement).

  • What next?

    Contact your payroll software provider if you have not already done so, to confirm that you will meet the Single Touch Payroll reporting requirements from your applicable start date.

    The Single Touch Payroll reporting requirements include paying superannuation for your employees through a SuperStream-compliant solution. Please note that TWUSUPER is changing its SuperStream solution, replacing Employer Access and SCH Online* with QuickSuper** from October 2018. 

    If you have any questions about Single Touch Payroll or QuickSuper, please contact your TWUSUPER Account Manager or call 1800 241 877.

    * SCH Online is a financial product operated by The Superannuation Clearing House Pty Limited (Authorised Representative Number 290290) (TSCH), an authorised representative of Pacific Custodians Pty Limited (Australian Financial Services Licence Number 295142) (Pacific Custodians). 

    The trustee is not responsible for and does not accept liability for the products and services of SCH Online. You should use your own judgment before deciding to use SCH Online. 

    ** The QuickSuper service is provided to you by Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 ("Westpac") at the request of TWU Nominees Pty Ltd, ABN 67 002 835 412, AFSL No 239163 as Trustee for TWUSUPER ABN, 77 343 563 307 L0000246, Westpac terms and conditions apply to the QuickSuper service which you will be asked to accept. General advice on this website has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness. You should also consider Westpac's Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). The PDS is relevant when deciding whether to acquire or hold a product. 

    QuickSuper is a financial product operated by Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, AFSL 233714. 

    The trustee is not responsible for and does not accept liability for the products and services of QuickSuper. You should use your own judgement before deciding to use QuickSuper. 

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