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. From 1 July 2019, STP reporting will include small employers (with 19 or less employees).

Information and resources are available to help you with your STP-enabled product. We also hold a range of consultation and engagement activities.

See also:

Latest news

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 lodgement.

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’.

14 May 2019

We are holding a STP Tax professionals webcast, Supporting small employers to transition and Tax Time 2019 key messages , on Thursday 30 May from 11.00am to 1.00pm AEST. Register to hear about support options for small employers and changes to end-of-year reporting processes.

A recording of the webcast will be made available.

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.

11 March 2019

Legislation to extend STP reporting to include small employers (with 19 or less employees) from 1 July 2019 has received royal assent. The public register of DSPs offering no cost and low cost STP solutions is now live on ato.gov.au as part of supporting these employers in the transition to STP.

See Tailored solutions for the micro employer market for more information on participating in the no cost and low cost STP solutions register, including the terms and conditions.

A range of resources are available from the Single Touch Payroll ato.gov.au page to support you in communicating with your users, including the recording from the small employer webcast held on Tuesday 5 March.

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 February 2019

Parliament recently passed legislation to extend STP reporting to include small employers (with 19 or less employees) from 1 July 2019. This legislation is awaiting royal assent.

Read the statement from Commissioner Chris Jordan about transition to STP for small employers.

Soon, we will be contacting small employers, letting them know what the change means and how they can start getting ready. We are advising:

  • employers with payroll software to check if their software offers STP reporting by contacting you or checking online
  • employers without payroll software to choose a STP- enabled payroll solution or talk to their registered tax or BAS agent for advice on the best solution for them
  • employers who use registered agents that they have the option of their registered agent to report on their behalf
  • micro employers (with 1 to 4 employees) that they have the option of low cost solutions

Small employers can start reporting anytime from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019. The online deferral form will be available from April 2019 for those small employers who require a later start date.

Some of these employers may be your users and contact you for information. A range of resources are available on ato.gov.au to support you in communicating with your users including:

We are also holding a small employer webcast on Tuesday 5 March from 11.00am to 12.30pm which will focus on transition options. Tune in to find out what we are telling your users and what questions they are asking.

21 January 2019

We have received an increased amount of interest from employers regarding the STP employee commencement services:

  1. Employee access directly via myGov
  2. Employer’s software linking to forms in myGov

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.

18 January 2019

From late January, we are contacting employers (with 19 or less employees) using payroll software.

We are letting them know once their software is STP-enabled they have the option to start using STP reporting, prior to legislation passing.  They will also be advised:

  • what they will be reporting through STP
  • they have the option to use a third party payroll provider
  • to talk to their tax professional about STP – a STP toolkit  for tax professionals is available 
  • you will let them know, as their digital service provider, if their software is STP-enabled. 

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

Note that these communications were previously scheduled to issue in November 2018.

A range of resources are available on the Single Touch Payroll ato.gov.au page to support you in communicating with your users. This includes the:

If you have any questions email SingleTouchPayroll@ato.gov.au.

19 December 2018

Forms are available to help registered tax and BAS agents lodge STP reports on behalf of their clients: 

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:

  1.  Linking software to forms in ATO online services available through myGov. Employees will access this link through their employer’s software.
  2. 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.

7 September 2018

Around 40,000 employers are now reporting through STP. In our media release A new era of payroll reporting has started, we share our STP journey so far and recognise your effort and commitment in developing and delivering STP.

There are still some employers who are yet to start reporting through STP and are not covered by a deferral.

Throughout September, we will be contacting these employers advising them to get ready or start STP reporting by:

  • checking if their software is STP-enabled by contacting you or their third-party payroll provider if required 
  • using the employer checklist to find out how to get ready
  • starting to report from their next pay cycle through their STP-enabled software. Employers will not need to notify us once they start reporting.

Some of these employers may be your users and they may contact you for information.

A range of resources are available on this website and the Single Touch Payroll ato.gov.au page to support you in communicating with your users. This includes: 

If your users are not ready to start reporting they can also apply for an employer deferral if eligible.   

If you have any questions email SingleTouchPayroll@ato.gov.au.

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

Access the recordings of Part 1 and Part 2 of the STP Employee Commencement webinar. These webinars focused on the first phase release of STP employee commencement.

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:

  1. Be registered as an agent with the Tax Practitioner Board (TPB).
  2. Ensure you are linked to your client in our system.
  3. 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.

You can find the PROD2 physical end point URLs in the ATO SBR Physical End Points (DOCX, 297KB) document on the sbr.gov.au ATO common artefacts and reference documents page.

Note: If you are using a sending service provider (SSP), we are working with them to ensure they provide the appropriate physical end points.

Contact us

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