Single Touch Payroll

Single Touch Payroll (STP) 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 STP from 1 July 2018.

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

The document library contains technical, informative and consultation documents for STP.

If you are a sending service provider (SSP) or digital service provider (DSP) using a SSP to meet STP reporting obligations, visit the SSPs and Single Touch Payroll page for guidance about your role.

Latest news

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.

10 July 2018

The first phase of the STP Employee Commencement functionality has recently been released. We are seeking expressions of interest (EOIs) from DSPs considering development of this product in the next six months. 

If you submit an EOI, we will be in touch with you to look at how we can support you in implementing this functionality in your product. EOIs are open until Friday 20 July 5.00pm AEST.

For more information:

A recording of the STP Employee Commencement webinar (Part 1) will be made available.

If you have questions or want to provide feedback email SingleTouchPayroll@ato.gov.au.

9 July 2018

We have made amendments to the STP BMS initiated employee commencement BIG to correct errors identified with the contextual link and withholding declaration.

4 July 2018

Part 2 of the STP Employee Commencement webinar will be held on Wednesday 11 July. The webinar will focus on the technical aspects of the first phase of STP employee commencement.

3 July 2018

We are writing to employers who moved to STP reporting before 1 July 2018, some of these may be your users.

We are providing information about how their employee's payment summary for 2017-18 will change with STP. You can find this information via the STP for employees page on ato.gov.au.

29 June 2018

Join our webinar on Thursday 5 July for the next Single Touch Payroll (STP) readiness update.

26 June 2018

To support you in completing product verification testing (PVT) we will schedule a PVT planning meeting with you. The updated PVT guide includes additional information to assist you with the PVT process.

12 June 2018

The submission date for a DSP deferral has been extended to 30 June 2018. 

We encourage you to submit your deferral evidence package sooner rather than later. Our aim is to inform you of the deferral outcome within 21 business days of receiving your complete application.

As part of your transition plan and communications with your users, you need to consider your deferral outcome may not be available until post 1 July 2018. Contact the Digital Partnership Office via DPO@ato.gov.au to discuss your plan and options. 

The first year of STP reporting is considered a transition period and penalties will generally not apply.

8 June 2018

The STP Business management system (BMS) initiated employee commencement business implementation guide (BIG) is available to assist you with the design requirements of the BMS initiated employee commencement process.

The associated SBR2 Employee Withholding and Super Notification Details (EMPWTHSPRDTL) service is currently available in EVTE and will be available in the SBR2 production environment on Tuesday 26 June. You can find the draft EMPWTHSPRDTL technical documentationon the sbr.gov.au Employer Obligations page.

Note: The implementation of this process is optional. Employers can continue to use their current processes.

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 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

16 May 2018

We have included details on how to complete your ‘case for deferral’ in the Deferral evidence package (DEP) information pack. To ensure we can assess your DEP correctly, make sure you address and submit all requirements by Thursday 31 May.

14 May 2018

Version 3.0 of the Single Touch Payroll, Payroll reporting: Business implementation guide (STP BIG)  is now available. A tracked and clean copy has been provided.

7 May 2018

We’ve had enquiries from employers who are keen to hear from their digital service provider (DSP) about:

  • how and when you will offer an STP-enabled solution, including your transition plan
  •  if you have been granted a deferral from the ATO – the latest date you can apply for a DSP deferral is Thursday 31 May
  • what they need to do once your payroll solution is STP-enabled
  • applying to us for their own deferral if they will not be ready by 1 July, or by your deferral date.

A range of resources are available on this website and ato.gov.au to support you in communicating with your users. These include:

26 April 2018

The presentation from the recent STP BIG and business scenarios Q&A session has been updated to include information on the questions and answers discussed.

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 will 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).

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.

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, email the DPO mailbox if you have registered for Single Touch Payroll.

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 the Single Touch Payroll mailbox. If you have registered for Single Touch Payroll email the DPO mailbox.

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 email the DPO mailbox.

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: