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STP, A Payroll Change That’s Confusing Small Business
August 15, 2019

Payroll reporting to the ATO became completely digital on July 1, 2019, for every business that employs at least one worker. The change has caused confusion and concern for business owners.

According to News.com.au research by Intuit Australia found that half of businesses with 4 or fewer employees had not heard of STP.

Xero conducted its own survey and found that one in five small business owners don’t think STP applies to them.

Xero Australia national partner director Rob Stone said ATO figures suggested about 90,000 microbusinesses used no software at all when paying their staff.

“It’s often the reality for small business owners that they are too immersed in the day-to-day of running a business to have the capacity to stay on top of all of the new regulatory obligations.”

Mr Stone said there was plenty of support available for small businesses to handle the STP switch.

STP affects around 700,000 small businesses, and ATO assistant commissioner Jason Lucchese said they had until September 30 to start reporting using STP.

“We have been writing to all small employers who have 19 or less employees over the past few months providing links to more information on our website including fact sheets, checklist and videos,” he said.

Mr. Lucchese said the ATO had published a list of no-cost and low-cost STP options for micro employers and would provide exemptions for some business owners.

Tania Tonkin, a chartered accountant, and director of dmca advisory, said cloud accounting software could also help business owners get a better handle on how their business was tracking.

“The purpose of this new rule is to make sure employers are paying superannuation to staff on time and accurately,” she said.

If you have any questions on how these changes may affect you and your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are always happy to help.