What is Single Touch Payroll?

Posted On Jun. 24, 2019

bookkeeping services

How does it work?

Single touch payroll works by a report
being generated and sent to the ATO after each pay run is completed. You do not
need to change the way that you run your payroll and nothing about that process
will change. You will still need to send your employees their pay slips after
each payroll as normal. The only difference is that the ATO will also receive
the information as well.

Do I need new software to use this?

Most accounting programs are now single
touch payroll compatible so you should not need to change your programing at
all. If you are not using an accounting program to run your payroll then you
should definitely look at the different options and choose which one will work
for you. Having an accounting program helps to make sure your figures are
accurate and you are providing your employees with the correct amounts of wages
and entitlements.

For the accounting programs that are not
compatible there is the option for a third party sending service provider to be
integrated with your program and the reports then be sent through the third
party service. If you are unsure if your program is compatible, speak with your
accountant and they will be able to assist.

Does it cost money?

Because there is the integration of the
single touch payroll with your accounting program, there is not a cost for it.
The only costs that you would have are those that you are already paying for
your accounting program. There are many different programs and packages
available to suit different budgets and business needs. Your accountant can
help you to determine the best one for you.

Do I have to use Single Touch Payroll?

Single Touch Payroll commenced in July 2018 for businesses that have over 20 employees which means if you have over this number of employees you should already be using the single touch payroll.

For businesses that have under 19 employees
it has now been passed that all businesses need to be beginning to use single
touch payroll by 1st July 2019. This will be a gradual change and
there is time to request an extension if you will not be ready by this point.


For businesses that have less than 4 employees and do not use an accounting
program, you will still need to use single touch payroll. There have been
programs created that are low cost and no cost which can be used to complete
the reporting.

It may seem like this is just another thing you have to do on a weekly basis, however it is a good thing! It will help to keep you up to date with the ATO and on track throughout the year. Speak with your accountant about how to make the change if you have not already done so. If you are a small business you do not need to wait until 1st July to begin using single touch payroll – you can start now.