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) with a gradual start date from 1 July to 30 September 2019. Some exceptions may apply, for more information, see Single Touch Payroll on ato.gov.au.
Information and resources are available to help you with your STP-enabled product. We also hold a range of consultation and engagement activities.
- Single Touch Payroll document library
- Single Touch Payroll industry updates
- Sending service providers and Single Touch Payroll
- Single Touch Payroll consultation
- Listing your Single Touch Payroll product
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.
10 October 2019
16 September 2019
We are holding a series of STP information webinars for DSPs over coming months, with our first to be held on Monday 16 September at 2:00pm AEST. You can register now for this webinar which will take you through the STP Phase 2 data structure, our engagement plan and key messages.
6 August 2019
The order of products listed in the no-cost and low-cost register will now be randomised weekly, rather than monthly. This will occur from now until 30 September 2019 to provide greater fairness for all providers. After this date, a decision will be made to either continue to maintain the register or to combine it with the broader STP product register.
While expressions of interest for the STP – Tailored solutions for the micro employer market closed in October 2018, we continued to accept your EOIs. However, this process has now formally closed. If you have a micro solutions product and would like it included in the register, you will need to consult the DPO. The product will need to meet the conditions of the micro employer market (PDF, 95.5KB) and pass the PVT process.
11 July 2019
We are holding a webinar, STP quarterly reporting, on Tuesday 16 July from 11.00am to 12 noon AEST. Register to hear about quarterly reporting concessions available for small employers and how they can apply.
A recording of the webinar will be made available.
8 July 2019
With more than 210,000 large and small employers now reporting through STP, the STP industry updates will be concluding. Keep an eye out for the final edition to be published later this month.
We thank you for your effort and commitment in working with us to develop and deliver STP, with around 230 STP solutions available.
Moving forward we will be focusing on the on-boarding progress of small employers and will continue to keep you updated on STP, including common reporting themes, via this page and the Digital service providers newsletter.
1 July 2019
STP is now extended to include small employers who can start reporting at any time from 1 July – 30 September 2019.
A range of resources are available to help your users’ transition to STP including:
- Introductory guide for small employers (located on the ATO Publication Ordering Service)
- Concessional reporting options
- No-cost and low-cost solution register
- STP product register
Deferral options are available for employers who are unable to start reporting before 30 September 2019.
20 June 2019
The recording and transcript for STP tax professionals webcast, Supporting small emplyers to transition and Tax Time 2019 kew messages, held on Thursday 30 May is available.
16 May 2019
The new version of the Tax file number (TFN) declaration form collects information about a payees income contingent loans (ICLs) using one question. ICLs include the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), VET Student Loan (VSL), Financial Supplement (FS), Student Start-up Loan (SSL) and Trade Support Loan (TSL).
If an employer is reporting the new version of the TFN declaration through the on-boarding section of the Payroll Event and their employee has indicated:
- Yes to the ICL question, they should record TRUE for the PAYEVNTEMP241 – Study and Training Loan Repayment indicator and FALSE for PAYEVNTEMP106 – Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) Loan Indicator.
- No to the ICL question, they should record FALSE for both PAYEVNTEMP241 and 106.
As an employer may be using multiple versions of the TFN declaration, we will not reject any file that records TRUE for PAYEVNTEMP106.
If you populate the on-boarding section in all PAYEVNTs and exclude the employee declaration when it is not considered a TFN declaration, continue to populate ICL questions using the existing logic in your application. We will continue to use the rules provided in section 3.5.2 - TFN declaration in pay event of the STP BIG to determine if it is treated as a TFN declaration lodgment.
The latest TFN declaration self-print specification is available. You can also implement the STP employee commencement services in your product using EMPWTHSPRDTL.0002 2018 which will allow employees to access and complete the form through ATO online via myGov.
The new version of the TFN declaration form will be available to download from ato.gov.au in late June 2019.
If you have questions, email DPO@ato.gov.au.
15 May 2019
Soon, we will be contacting employers reporting through STP about the changes to their end of financial year (EOFY) reporting processes.
Information is available for you and your users at End-of-year finalisation through STP on ato.gov.au, including a factsheet, and in the April STP DSP industry update (PDF, 194KB) under ‘Common themes’.
13 May 2019
Small employers can now apply for a transitional deferral online through our Business Portal. A transitional deferral should be used if an employer needs more time to start reporting through STP or are not ready to report by your deferred start date.
More information is available to share with your users at STP deferrals on ato.gov.au including options for registered tax and BAS agents reporting on behalf of employers and other types of deferrals.
30 April 2019
With 1 July 2019 approaching, we will be contacting small employers (with 19 or less employees) over the coming weeks to help them get ready and understand their STP obligations.
Some of the employers may be your users and contact you for information. A range of resources are available via the STP ato.gov.au page including the employer reporting guidelines and information on no-cost and low-cost STP solutions.
Small employers can start reporting anytime from 1 July to 30 September 2019. An online deferral form will be available soon for those who require a later start date.
27 March 2019
On Thursday 21 March, we successfully implemented a fix in production to address the issue with the email validation rule used for the PAYEVNTEMP.
Note that PAYEVNT.0003 2018 package v1.2 still includes the incorrect validation rule for the employee email address. If you use the CsharpCode (C#) components of this package you will need to roll back the IsValidEmail function to a previous version.
The fix will be implemented in EVTE and the PAYEVNT.0003 2018 package on Thursday 18 April.
19 March 2019
As part of the recent update to PAYEVNT.0003 2018, we have identified an issue with the email validation rule used for the PAYEVNTEMP. Certain characters have been incorrectly excluded resulting in some child records erroring.
- Reason code - CMN.ATO.GEN.500029 (Email Address contains invalid text).
As a result, an email address that worked prior to 16 March 2019 may now fail and the employee record incorrectly rejected.
This is only affecting PAYEVNTEMP or employee records, not PAYEVNT or parent record validation.
We have identified a fix and will implement this in production on Thursday 21 March. After the fix is implemented, employers can correct the record in accordance with the STP employer reporting guidelines, Correcting a pay event report. For example, submitting the employee information in the next payrun.
The fix will be implemented in EVTE and the PAYEVNT.0003 2018 package in April.
Contact DPO@ato.gov.au if you have any questions.
28 February 2019
We are adding a new validation rule to the Payroll Event 0003 2018 package (PAYEVNT.0003 2018) to address issues with failed PAYEVNT messages. Read about the new rule and the planned release schedule.
27 February 2019
We have updated the DSP guide for using a SSP to meet STP reporting obligations. These updates reflect changes to withholding payer number holders lodging via sending service providers (SSPs) and SSPs lodging a tax file number declaration on behalf of a DSP.
21 January 2019
We have received an increased amount of interest from employers regarding the STP employee commencement services:
As a result, we have begun engaging with the top 100 employers including a recent webinar, which focused on the benefits of the new services. We issued an EOI asking interested employers who wish to have a one to one walk through of our newly released employee commencement services. We are also inviting a small group of other employers, identified as using a high number of paper forms to onboard employees, to work with us to investigate opportunities the new services present.
You may receive enquiries from your users about their STP product.
If you are interested in implementing the employee commencement services in your STP product email SingleTouchPayroll@ato.gov.au and we will contact you to look at how we can provide support. The associated technical artefacts, EMPWTHSPRDTL.0002 2018, are located on sbr.gov.au and the service is available in production. The STP employee commencement business implementation guide (BIG) has also been updated to reflect the implementation of the second service.
Note: The implementation of the STP employee commencement services is optional. Employers can continue to use their current processes.
19 December 2018
Forms are available to help registered tax and BAS agents lodge STP reports on behalf of their clients:
- Link multiple clients at the STP role level – registered agents can link themselves to multiple clients at the STP role level.
- Bulk notification request – registered agents can notify us of multiple unique software IDs.
12 December 2018
Changes to PAYEVNT.0003 2018 and PAYEVNT.0002 2017 are available in production, along with the second STP employee commencement service, EMPWTHSPRDTL.0002 2018.
- Functional changes to PAYEVNT.0003 2018 and PAYEVNT.0002 2017.
- Restricting validation for address fields.
- Withholding payer number (WPN) holders can lodge via a sending service provider (SSP) without needing to use a registered agent. Note that PAYEVNT.0002 2017 will not be updated to support this change.
- EMPWTHSPRDTL.0002 2018.
- Allows employee access to complete pre-filled commencement forms directly from ATO online services in myGov with employer collection through the EMPWTHSPRDTL service.
- Allows a registered agent to collect employee on-boarding forms submitted through ATO online on behalf of a WPN or Australian business number (ABN) employer.
- EMPWTHSPRDTL.0002 2018 can be used to collect on-boarding forms for phase 1 (BMS Initiated) and phase 2 (myGov direct). Note that EMPWTHSPRDTL.0001 2018 has been decommissioned and will not be available in EVTE or production. If you are developing to EMPWTHSPRDTL.0001 2018 you will need to move to the new version.
30 October 2018
We are continuing to work with digital service providers, super funds, employers and other payroll service providers on the design, development and implementation of STP employee commencement services. The confirmed services are:
- Linking software to forms in ATO online services available through myGov. Employees will access this link through their employer’s software.
- Employee access to complete pre-filled commencement forms directly from ATO online services in myGov.
Technical artefacts associated with the first service, Employee Withholding and Super Notification Details (EMPWTHSPRDTL), are currently available on sbr.gov.au. These will be updated as part of the release of the second service, with the new artefacts to be published and available in EVTE on 15 November 2018 and available in production on 8 December 2018.
The new artefacts will also allow an employer to use a registered agent to collect employee commencement forms on their behalf. This will include employers who hold a withholding payer number (WPN). Some new validation rules will be included as part of this functional change, however there are no changes to the response message.
The planned third service, to provide employee information to an employer through their software, has been put on hold because there are risks associated with the ATO disclosing an employee’s tax and superannuation information directly to an employer. Although the ATO would like to support the delivery of a service that is embedded in the employer’s software we want to ensure all risks are mitigated first. The ability to deliver this service will be reviewed in September 2019.
Note: The implementation of the STP employee commencement services is optional. Employers can continue to use their current processes.
If you have any questions or feedback email SingleTouchPayroll@ato.gov.au.
17 September 2018
Employers may now authorise their registered agent to act on their behalf for STP lodgment through an annual agreement, instead of at each pay event. This is known as a STP engagement authority.
If you are a registered agent providing a payroll service (lodging STP reports on behalf of your users) visit STP authorisations on ato.gov.au to find out about:
- eligibility and exclusions
- what to include in the STP engagement authority
For more information on lodging STP reports on behalf of your users see Registered agents providing a payroll service.
15 August 2018
If you or your users experience an issue lodging a STP report, troubleshooting information is available at Reporting through Single Touch Payroll.
30 July 2018
17 July 2018
If you or your users will be lodging STP reports on behalf of clients you are considered to be providing a payroll service and will need to complete the following steps before you can lodge a STP report:
- Be registered as an agent with the Tax Practitioner Board (TPB).
- Ensure you are linked to your client in our system.
- Notify us of your unique software ID (SSID) if using online or cloud-based software.
For help in completing these steps, visit Registered agents providing a payroll service on ato.gov.au.
6 June 2018
If you are in the process of certifying your product for STP reporting and it is connecting directly to the ATO, make sure to modify your production physical end points to PROD2 before deploying your STP services in the SBR2 production environment.
Note: If you are using a sending service provider (SSP), we are working with them to ensure they provide the appropriate physical end points.
For further information and to provide feedback email the Single Touch Payroll mailbox.