EOFY for bookkeepers


25th February, 2021

STP to include closely held payees, phase two announced

With a new mandatory start date, SMEs have more time to prepare for STP, plus closely held payees will now be included.

The ATO has announced that Phase Two of its Single Touch Payroll (STP) expansion will now start on 1 January 2022.

As an extension from the previous date of 1 July 2021, this gives businesses more time to get ready for a new era of STP.

The ATO has also announced that closely held payees (those directly related to the business, such as family members of a family business, directors or shareholders of a company, or beneficiaries of a trust), will also now be included in STP.

READ: Everything you need to know about STP Phase 2

Key takeaways for small businesses:

  • The kick-off date for Phase Two of the STP rollout has been pushed back to the start of 2022
  • The expansion is set to change the way that SMEs do payroll, with less reporting required
  • The introduction of Phase Two could mean it’s time for SMEs to upgrade their accounting software to ensure they’re compliant

The Government first announced in the 2019/20 Budget that they would be expanding the data they collected through STP.

According to the ATO website, Phase Two will reduce the duplication of information employers provide to the Government, reduce unnecessary interactions, remove the need to send tax file number and withholding declaration information to the ATO, and offer a host of other benefits and improvements.

Each of these changes is designed to make things easier and reduce the hassle of reporting for employers.

Interestingly, this date change comes after the original timeline was criticised by the head of The Association for Payroll Specialists (TAPS), Jason Low, for not allowing enough time for businesses to complete a successful move across.

“While a positive act, its severe deadline is highly negligent of the work needed to carry out a smooth transition and is bound to cause a series of disasters to the payroll industry and Australian economy as a whole,” Low told mybusiness.com.au in an interview.

Leo Hollestelle, tax specialist and accountant, said that the jump to Phase Two could mean changes in the way that some SMEs do payroll.

“Most accountants should be aware by now of the closely held STP start date,” said Hollestelle.

“Their plans should include bringing all their clients’ closely held payroll on board from 1 July this year.

“This could trigger a lot of people to acquire new accounting software licenses and subscribe to an STP license to maintain compliance in the months ahead.”

If you’re an SME looking for more information on how things will be changing for you, keep an eye out for more details on the Phase Two rollout, which the ATO is set to release soon.

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