10 June 2015
Media Release - #2015050, 2015

Government moves to get Single Touch Payroll right

The Government will undertake further consultation with the business community as it looks to cut red tape for employers by simplifying tax and superannuation reporting obligations through Single Touch Payroll.

Having listened carefully to the earlier feedback the Government acknowledges that a start date of July 2016 will not be achievable for many businesses.

The Government also recognises the cash-flow implications for business of real time payments, and will therefore only be consulting further on real time reporting and voluntary real time payments as an option.

We want to make sure we get this right because we understand Single Touch Payroll will be a large change for all businesses, especially small business.

With this in mind we have asked the Treasury and the ATO to continue to consult with the business community and the software industry on the scope and timing for the Single Touch Payroll initiative and the feasibility of conducting targeted pilots from July 2016.

Under Single Touch Payroll, employers’ accounting software will automatically report payroll information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) when employees are paid.

This will eliminate the need for employers to report employee-related Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) in their activity statements throughout the year and employee payment summaries at the end of the year.

In addition, the Government will streamline Tax File Number declarations and Super Choice forms by providing digital services to simplify the process of bringing on new employees.

The Single Touch Payroll initiative builds on the Government’s $254.7 million investment in the Digital Transformation Agenda to drive innovation and make it easier for individuals and business to access government services.