How Sinclair Wilson can help your Colac business with Single Touch Payroll

Posted on 08/05/2019 by Mark Robson in General News, News, Tax & Business Advice
Mark Robson
Mark Robson is an Associate and the HR Director of the Sinclair Wilson Group.  With his combined Accounting and Human Resources qualifications, Mark is able to find and retain the best possible staff for our firm.

Laws passed in March this year mean that from the start of the 2019/2020 Financial Year, any Colac business that employs staff will be required to use Single Touch Payroll to ensure the information about what they are paying their employees is fed directly to the Australian Tax Office.

This is one more way the ATO can ensure both employers and employees are accurate in what they are reporting to the ATO both quarterly and at the End of Financial Year.

While this new way of working has been in the pipeline for some time, Single Touch Payroll will be mandatory for all businesses employing 19 staff or less as of March 2019.

Those laws passed earlier this year mean that businesses need to start working with this new way of paying from 1 July 2019.

Sound daunting? It doesn’t need to be.

Sinclair Wilson’s Colac office has a team of well-credentialed, experienced professionals who are across all the new requirements regarding Single Touch Payroll (or STP as it’s becoming known as.) They’ve been working with businesses for more than 18 months to prepare them for STP and have gathered a series of most frequently asked questions that those preparing to switch to this new system have asked. These include:

  1. STP requires me to enter details each time I pay my employees. So does that mean i have to pay my super and witholding tax each pay cycle now? 

In short, no. There is no change to the current scheduled due dates for superannuation payments and your withholding obligations.

However, it’s now even more important that you do meet these due dates, given the ATO will now be matching the data between what you pay, and what your employees receive.

Your business advisor can help explain this to you further, and help you to ensure you remain on-time with your reporting.

2. So, the introduction of STP means I’ll need to start paying my employees via online software. Is that really necessary? 

Yes. The purpose of STP is to ensure that all businesses are:

  • paying their employees correctly
  • calculating their employees’ super entitlements correctly
  • addressing any overpayments in the right way
  • maintaining accurate details about their clients, such as names, addresses and dates of birth.

The reality is that business is, more than ever, being conducted in the online environment. Moving to online management of details such as this is the way of the future.

The good news is, there’s several members of the Sinclair Wilson team with a great amount of knowledge and experience about what online solutions will suit your business best. Get in touch with us to discuss your specific needs, and what will be the best option for yiou.

3. If everything is going to be done online, do I need to purchase new software

That depends. If you aren’t already using a computer software package to manage your employees’ pay and super details, then yes, you will.

The ATO has commissioned the development of a number of low-cost software packages to meet the needs of small employers, and businesses that are new to this way of paying their employees.

Sinclair Wilson’s Single Touch Payroll team has extensive knowledge about what these options are, and can help you to identify what would best suit your needs, your capabilities and your business structure. Speak to us today about how we can help you.

4. This sounds daunting! I’m not sure I am across it.

That’s okay – we are – and we can help. We can either step you through everything to get you ready or, if it’s easier, we can make the Single Touch Payroll reports on your behalf – we are permitted to do this as a registered tax agent.

Contact us today and we can work out a solution that will best suit you and your business.

5. I’m a micro-business – only two employees. Surely it doesn’t apply to me?

Yes, it applies to all businesses – but how your business can report might differ. For example, you can use STP-compliant software yourself, OR we, as a registered tax agent, can do it on your behalf quarterly. It’s best to speak to us or your business advisor about what would suit your situation best.

6. My employees are family members – do I still need to report for them? 

That’s what we term a closely-held employee – this means the payee is directly-related to the entity from which they are paid. Such as what often happens in a family business. It’s also the case for some directors or shareholders of a company or trustees or beneficiaries of a trust.

Employees in these circumstances many not always be paid a regular salary or wage; instead, they might draw on income from the business during the year. This means there’s not a regular payroll run date (such as a weekly or fortnightly pay day.)

If that’s the case, there are flexible reporting options for you. Again, our Single Touch Payroll team is going to be the best source of information about your circumstances. Contact us today to discuss what will best suit your situation.

More questions?

Sinclair Wilson has a team of experienced professionals who have spent a lot of time already working on STP solutions for our current clients. They’ll be the most helpful source of information if you’re not sure about the next steps you need to take. Contact us today to discuss your personal circumstances and devise a way forward that’s tailored to your needs, and your business.