Single Touch Payroll

Single Touch Payroll is a government initiative to streamline business reporting obligations.

Employers will be able to report salary or wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information to us from their payroll solution, at the same time they pay their employees. There will also be more options for completing tax and super forms online.

Employers with 20 or more employees must start reporting through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018.

See our industry update for information about where we are at and what’s ahead for Single Touch Payroll.

The document library contains technical, informative and consultation documents for Single Touch Payroll.

Latest news

20 April 2018

We have updated the Single Touch Payroll Deferral Evidence Package (DEP) information pack and provided templates to make it easier for you to complete a DEP.

The latest date you can apply for a DSP deferral is 31 May 2018. This is so we can assess the DEP and ensure the outcome is communicated before 1 July 2018.

If you have previously submitted a DEP the updates will not impact your application.   

20 April 2018

A recording of the recent Q&A session on the Single Touch Payroll, payroll reporting: Business implementation guide (STP BIG) and business scenarios is available.

18 April 2018

A guide to assist you with the product verification testing (PVT) process for the Single Touch Payroll service is now available.

10 April 2018

We have added the 2018 Package of the Payroll Event service (PAYEVNT.0003 2018) as a listing option on the Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA) product catalogue. More information is available on the ABSIA product catalogue, ATO Single Touch Payroll products page.

9 April 2018

The 2018 Package of the Payroll Event service (PAYEVNT.0003 2018) and the Sending service provider (SSP) capability for PAYEVNT.0002 2017 and PAYEVNT.0003 2018 are now available in the SBR2 production environment.

5 April 2018

We have updated the Single Touch Payroll release on a page to include the new production deployment dates for the:

  • 2018 Package of the Payroll Event service (PAYEVNT.0003 2018)
  • Sending service provider (SSP) capability for PAYEVNT.0002 2017 and PAYEVNT.0003 2018.

These services will be available in the SBR2 production environment on Monday 9 April.

3 April 2018

Employers will need to count the number of employees on their payroll at 1 April to determine if they need to report through Single Touch Payroll this year. Information about this is available via Get ready for Single Touch Payroll on ato.gov.au. 

Your users may contact you for additional information about their Single Touch Payroll product.

26 March 2018

The following will not be available in the SBR2 production environment as previously scheduled:

  • 2018 Package of the Payroll Event service (PAYEVNT.0003 2018)
  • Sending service provider (SSP) capability for PAYEVNT.0002 2017 and PAYEVNT.0003 2018.

We will notify you of the revised dates via the website. If you do not already have an account for the Software developers website you can create one to ensure you receive a notification.

13 March 2018

The 2017 package of the Payroll event service (PAYEVNT.0002 2017) will be deprecated from 26 March. On the same day, the PAYEVNT.0003 2018 service becomes available in the SBR2 production environment, replacing PAYEVNT.0002 2017. After 26 March, requests for whitelisting the PAYEVNT.0002 2017 service will only be accepted for developers who have already commenced their design and build. After 30 June 2018 no new digital service providers (DSPs) will be able to whitelist (excluding exceptional circumstances). DSPs whitelisted for the PAYEVNT.0002 2017 service can continue to use it until 30 September 2019.

The PAYEVENT.0003 2018 service has improved functionality, including improved response timeframes and partial file rejection for employee forms which fail validation.

Email DPO@ato.gov.au  if you are not yet whitelisted and are developing your Single Touch Payroll enabled product on the PAYEVNT.0002 2017 service.

8 March 2018

A Single Touch Payroll design update is now available. Design updates wil be developed to provide timely information and guidance on common design issues, supporting the development of your Single Touch Payroll enabled software.

In this design update we focus on:

  • Pay Event to PSAR mapping
  • Allowances and deductions
  • Lump sum D
  • Death of an employee
  • Working holiday makers

Where appropriate, guidance material will be incorporated into the future versions of the Single Touch Payroll, payroll reporting: Business implementation guide (STP BIG).

7 March 2018

We are holding a Q&A session on Tuesday 27 March to address questions about the Single Touch Payroll, payroll reporting: Business implementation guide (STP BIG) and business scenarios.

Register by Monday 19 March 5.00pm AEDT to attend and submit your questions.

5 March 2018

The Single Touch Payroll digital service provider (DSP) information pack is now available. This pack was developed to support you in communicating with your users about Single Touch Payroll and their obligations.

2 March 2018

Version 4.0 of the Single Touch Payroll business scenarios is now available. Key updates include more information on:

  • life benefits
  • death benefits
  • cessation
  • allowances and deductions.

Updates have been made based on feedback from the digital service provider industry and in consultation with Payroll professionals through the Single Touch Payroll business scenarios focus group.

26 February 2018

We will be writing to employers about Single Touch Payroll in March 2018.

These communications follow on from those distributed in October 2017.

We are reminding employers with:

  • 20 or more employees about Single Touch Payroll and their reporting obligations including what will change and how they can prepare
  • 15-19 employees about their obligations if their employee numbers increase to 20 or more by 1 April 2018.

Some of your users might contact you for additional information. A copy of the communications, and ATO factsheet (PDF, 224KB) and checklist (PDF, 194KB) are available. You can use this information in communications with your users to help explain their obligations.

Some DSPs have applied for a deferred start date for their users. Note that if you have a deferral and your users receive our communications advising them they need to start reporting from 1 July 2018, the deferred date overrides this start date. The ATO will provide you with a deferral letter, which you can provide to your clients to confirm the deferred start date with them.

14 February 2018

Employer information on Single Touch Payroll has been updated and is available on ato.gov.au. What you need to report through Single Touch Payroll provides information to help employers report under Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018. This information can be used in communications to your users.

1  February 2018

A guide to help navigate the SBR technical artefacts for Single Touch Payroll  is now available. This guide has been developed to assist you in finding technical documentation to implement a Single Touch Payroll enabled solution.

23 January 2018

On Thursday 25 January the 2018 package of the Payroll event service (PAYEVNT.0003 2018), including updated conformance suites will be available in the External Vendor Testing Environment (EVTE). This has been brought ahead of the previously scheduled 30 January deployment.

We are working to update the Single Touch Payroll release schedule accordingly.

The change will not impact scheduled dates for deployment to production and PAYEVENT.0003 2018 will still become available in the SBR2 production environment on Monday 26 March.

You can email questions or feedback to the Single Touch Payroll mailbox. Alternatively, contact your Account manager if you have registered for Single Touch Payroll.

21 December 2017

We are currently updating the Solution provider communication resource pack and the Solution provider presentation pack, which will be unavailable during this time. These documents help support communications with your users. We will inform you once the updates are completed and the documents are available.

18 December 2017

The ebMS3 Implementation guide is now available via the ATO common information artefacts page on sbr.gov.au. This document contains important information which supports the 2018 package of the Payroll event service (PAYEVNT.0003 2018) message. The relevant sections include:

  • 5.3 Response Messages - explains the changes to error messages to support return messaging or in technical terms called Partial File Rejection.
  • 2.3.1.3 Payroll Event Service Version 3 Polling - explains the unique polling that will be allowed for PAYEVNT.0003 2018.

You can email questions or feedback to SingleTouchPayroll@ato.gov.au. If you have registered for Single Touch Payroll contact your Account manager.

15 December 2017

Version 3.0 of the Single Touch Payroll business scenarios is now available. Updates have been made based on feedback from the digital service provider industry.

We will continue to work in consultation with a number of payroll professionals through the Single Touch Payroll business scenarios focus group to validate and refine the business scenarios.

14 December 2017

Draft artefacts including the Message structure table (MST), Contracts and Validation rules for the 2018 package of the Payroll Event service (PAYEVNT.0003 2018) are now available via the Employer Obligations page on sbr.gov.au.

PAYEVNT.0003 2018, including updated conformance suites, will become available in the External vendor testing environment (EVTE) on 30 January 2018 and the SBR2 production environment on 26 March 2018.

You can email questions or feedback to the Single Touch Payroll mailbox. If you have registered for Single Touch Payroll contact your Account manager.

7 December 2017

Version 2.0 of the Single Touch Payroll: Payroll reporting Business implementation guide (STP BIG), including the Authorisations and declarations scenarios, is now available.

We have considered your feedback and incorporated changes that will assist in making the document easier to understand.

You can email questions or feedback to the Single Touch Payroll mailbox. If you have registered for Single Touch Payroll contact your Account manager.

20 November 2017

The employer information on Single Touch Payroll we referred to on 18 October 2017 is being updated. During this time the web page will be unavailable. We will inform you when the updates are finished and the information is available again.

1 November 2017

If you're unable to meet the software development timeframes to allow your users to report through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018, you will need to submit a Deferral Evidence Package (DEP). A DEP information pack is available to assist you with your submission.

31 October 2017

Our Single Touch Payroll engagement forum for employers will be held on Thursday 16 November from 9.15am to 3.30pm AEDT. Read the agenda and register to join the live stream to find out what we are telling your users and what questions they are asking. A recording will be available on ato.gov.au after the event.

18 October 2017

Additional information for employers on Single Touch Payroll is now available on ato.gov.au, which you can use in communications to your users. The information we have published aims to help employers understand their requirements for Single Touch Payroll in more detail.

12 October 2017

The communications we will be issuing to employers from Tuesday 17 October are now available to view. You can use this content in communications with your users to help explain their obligations.

Note: The content on web pages included as hyperlinks may still be in the process of being updated.

28 September 2017

We will be writing to employers about Single Touch Payroll.

We are letting employers with:

  • 20 or more employees know about Single Touch Payroll and their reporting obligations so they can start preparing for the change
  • 15–19 employees know about their obligations if their employee numbers increase to 20 or more by 1 April 2018.

Some of these employers may be your users, and might contact you for additional information.

We will share the content of these communications with you prior via this page. If you do not already have an account for the Digital service providers website you can create one to ensure you receive a notification when the content is published.

You can also use the Single Touch Payroll video in communications with your users to help explain their obligations.

18 September 2017

The Payroll Event (PAYEVNT) service will become available in the SBR2 production environment on Saturday 23 September. 

Note the version of the Payroll Event service will be updated to v1.0 however, there will be no functional changes from the previous version.

Contact your Account manager if you have any questions.

30 August 2017

An updated version of the Single Touch Payroll: Payroll reporting, Business implementation guide (STP BIG) is now available. Additional business scenarios have also been added. 

You can email questions or feedback to the Single Touch Payroll mailbox. If you have registered for Single Touch Payroll contact your Account Manager.

24 August 2017

We have developed a recommendation paper  on the Business Management Software Identifier (BMS ID) for Single Touch Payroll. The paper was developed in consultation with the Digital service providers technical working group (SWD TWG) - Single Touch Payroll focus group.

Endorsement of the recommendation paper is scheduled for the SWD TWG meeting on 31 August 2017.

If you have any feedback email the SWD TWG  mailbox.

3 August 2017

An updated version of the Payroll Event service which includes the Update functionality and modifications to the submit functionality to support the update processes is now available via the Employer Obligations page on sbr.gov.au. In addition to the submit functionality, Update is also now available in EVTE for testing.

28 June 2017

From 1 July 2017 a limited release of Single Touch Payroll will begin for a small number of employers. These employers will be able to report payroll information through a Single Touch Payroll enabled solution. Single Touch Payroll will operate with limited functionality for this select group.

Other important dates include: 

  • October 2017 - additional functionality will be available and payroll solution providers will be able to start releasing Single Touch Payroll products over time. Some payroll solution providers will stagger their releases and will let their clients know as solutions become available. Once available, employers can choose to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll early.
  • 1 April 2018 - employers will need to determine if they have 20 or more employees.
  • 1 July 2018 - Single Touch Payroll reporting will be mandatory for employers with 20 or more employees.

Note: The obligation to report superannuation payment information to the ATO is currently being reconsidered. We will provide more information about this when it becomes available.

23 September 2016

The Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 – Single Touch Payroll received Royal Assent on Friday 16 September 2016.

Key consultation groups and forums

  • Single Touch Payroll advisory group

The purpose of the group is to assist in the design and implementation of the Single Touch Payroll initiative through members' collective knowledge, experience and influence.

  • Single Touch Payroll design working group

The purpose of this group is to work collaboratively to identify and work through issues on the Single Touch Payroll design from a business process perspective and take responsibility for ensuring resolution on any issues and action items.

  • Single Touch Payroll technical committee

The purpose of this group is to discuss and resolve Single Touch Payroll technical matters and messaging design issues in the context of the eCommerce platform wholesale service interactions, where there is material impact on digital service providers.

  • Industry engagement forum

The purpose of this forum is to engage and inform the community on the progress of Single Touch Payroll, and work through operational matter and change issues.

  • Single Touch Payroll readiness working group

The purpose of this group is to work collaboratively to help shape and influence delivery of the change management approach including stakeholder engagement, communication, business readiness and transition. This is a closed group.

  • Single Touch Payroll small business pilot working group

The purpose of this group is to work collaboratively to provide guidance and shape input to engaging small business and influence the design and implementation of the pilot.

See also:

Contact us

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

Find out more: