Proposed “Single Touch Payroll” to cut red tape for employers

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015

The Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson and the Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have just announced a government initiative they promise will cut red tape for employers by simplifying tax and superannuation reporting obligations through the introduction of an application called “Single Touch Payroll”.

Under this new interactive tool, it is planned that employers’ accounting software will automatically report payroll information to the Tax Office when employees are paid.

This will eliminate the need for employers to report employee-related pay-as-you-go withholding (PAYGW) in their activity statements throughout the year and employee payment summaries at the end of the year.

In addition, the announcement said the government will streamline tax file number declarations and Super Choice forms by providing digital services to simplify the process of bringing on new employees.

Single Touch Payroll builds on the ongoing initiatives to build and improve the current  Standard Business Reporting products, and utilises the innovation of software developers to provide accounting software solutions that meet the needs of employers.

Single Touch Payroll will be available from July 2016 and transition arrangements will be the subject of consultation with the business community early in 2015. The Tax Office and Treasury will consult with the business community on the phasing of the start date for different sized employers and the arrangements to support the move to Single Touch Payroll. This will include how the new arrangements will build on the SuperStream changes currently being implemented.

In addition, consultation will examine the potential for employers to remit PAYGW and the Superannuation Guarantee at the same time employees are paid their salary and wages, and what support businesses may require to enable such a transformation in payments to government and superannuation funds.