Single Touch Payroll

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a government initiative to streamline employer reporting obligations.

Using STP, employers can report their employees’ salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information to us from their payroll solution, at the same time they pay their employees.

STP reporting started on 1 July 2018 for employers with 20 or more employees. It was extended to include small employers (with 19 or less employees) from 1 July 2019. Some exceptions may apply, for more information, see Single Touch Payroll on ato.gov.au.

STP phase 2

The government announced in the 2019-20 Federal Budget that it would expand the data collected through Single Touch Payroll (STP) by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). 

The STP phase 2 changes are now law and are reflected in:

Building on STP’s first phase of streamlining the way employers report payroll and superannuation information to the ATO, STP phase 2 will assist in the administration of social security for citizens in a more efficient, accurate and timely manner. This will be delivered through the new PAYEVNT.0004 2020 service.

The technical service design artefacts for PAYEVNT.0004 (2020) (STP phase 2) are now available. Message Structure Tables and validation rules have been published on the Standard Business Reporting website and the service is available in our External Vendor Testing Environment (EVTE).

Information, resources and a range of consultation and engagement activities are available to assist with the build, test and implementation of the new PAYEVNT.0004 (2020) service.

Technical documentation

The technical service design artefacts for PAYEVNT.0004 (2020) (STP phase 2) are available on the Standard Business Reporting website: Business Implementation Guide, Message Structure Tables and Validation rules, and the service is available in our External Vendor Testing Environment (EVTE).

To help you build, test and implement the new service, a range of STP phase 2 information is available in Online services for DSPs. This includes guidance notes, position papers, DSP industry updates, frequently asked questions and our consultation and engagement activities.

If you’re a DSP and have not yet registered, refer to Online services for DSPs for information on how to access this service.

Note: For the best user experience and improved functionality, we recommend using Firefox or Google Chrome browsers when accessing Online services for DSPs.

See also:

Latest news

18 December 2020

All Single Touch Payroll (STP) phase 2 position papers and guidance notes are now available in Online services for DSPs. To access this documentation, you need to be registered for Online services for DSPs.

8 December 2020

The Commissioner of Taxation released a Legislative Instrument on Single Touch Payroll STP phase 2 for public consultation. The legislative instrument requires mandatory reporting by employers of the STP phase 2 expanded data set by 1 July 2021, and voluntary reporting to start from 1 January 2021. The consultation period closes on 14 January 2021.

STP phase 2 Legislative Instrument documents have been made available to ensure people have the opportunity to provide informed feedback on the consultation.

2 December 2020

The STP phase 2 Disaggregation of Gross position paper is now available.

This Single Touch Payroll (STP) paper addresses the payment types that are reported within the income stream collection for PAYEVNT.0004 2020. It has been developed with the support and expertise of the Payroll Working Group, Services Australia, Child Support and the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Disaggregation of Gross position paper is available in Online services for DSPs. If you’re a digital service provider and have not yet registered, refer to Online services for DSPs for information on how to access this service.

10 November 2020

The final Business Implementation Guide (BIG) for Single Touch Payroll (STP) phase 2 – Payroll Event (PAYEVNT) services (STP phase 2 BIG) has been published on sbr.gov.au.

The STP phase 2 BIG is designed to help you understand the business requirements and design of functionality for STP phase 2 software products and services.

It will assist you to build or update your products to allow employers, or their registered intermediaries, to meet STP reporting obligations or to send STP reports as a Sending Service Provider.

Technical service design artefacts for STP phase 2 including the 2020 Message Structure Tables and Validation rules have also been published on sbr.gov.au. These service design artefacts must be used in conjunction with the information provided in the final BIG. The service is now available in our External Vendor Testing Environment (EVTE).

We’re holding a webinar series to explain all aspects of STP phase 2 implementation for digital service providers throughout November.

STP Phase 2 supporting documents such as guidelines and position paper will be in Online services for DSPs, when they become available.

To stay updated on the latest news, help and support information on STP phase 2, subscribe to the Digital service providers newsletter.

20 July 2020

Some employers are finalising their end of financial year Single Touch Payroll data with incorrect dates being used in Pay or Update events.

When finalising their 2019–20 end of financial year STP information employers should aim to:

  • set the date to 30 June 2020. If they do not change the date, the update will be applied to the 2020–21 financial year in error
  • use an Update event if finalising after 30 June 2020
  • use period start and end dates for employees in the same financial year as the pay/update date.

7 July 2020

STP Phase 2 timeframes have changed. We will continue to liaise with you to ensure an appropriate lead time is allowed, recognising the size and complexity of the required change.

We anticipate voluntary reporting may be available from early 2021 however we will confirm the dates as more information becomes available.

We will keep you updated through the Software developers website and Digital service providers newsletter. These channels will also be used to advertise information sessions facilitated by the digital partnership office and open for all. DSP to register. If you have specific questions or require assistance with building STP in your software you can, ask a question in Online services for DSPs.

16 April 2020

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the community, the ATO’s immediate focus is on supporting the Australian community by delivering critical stimulus to those most affected.

As a result, we will postpone the availability of the ATO’s test environment (EVTE) for pay event 2020 (STP Phase 2) which we had previously indicated would be available from 20 April 2020.

Contact us

For further information and to provide feedback email the Single Touch Payroll mailbox.

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