The Australian Taxation Office have introduced changes on the way business meet their payroll compliance obligations, with effect for most businesses as from 1 July 2018.

The purpose of this new measure will be to streamline the reporting and collection of real-time data by the regulators.

It will be mandatory for all employers who have 20 or more employees (not simply full time equivalent) to adopt Single Touch Payroll (STP) from 1 July 2018.

If you are part of a company group, you must include the total number of employees employed by all member companies of the wholly-owned group.

Employers with 20 or more employees are referred to as a ‘substantial employer’.

To find out if you are a substantial employer, count the number of employees on your payroll on 1 April 2018. In your head count, include full time and part time employees, casual employees and seasonal employees on your payroll on this dateandworked anytime during March, employees based overseas and employees absent or on leave.

Affected employers need to take action now to

  • Consult with their payroll staff or payroll software provider, to ensure they will be able to update the software capable of being compliant and are able to transition from their existing payroll functionality to STP.
  • Review their business processes in this regard
  • Apply for more time if they need a deferred start date

Employers who employee less than 20 do not escape!

The Australian Government announced that Single Touch Payroll will be expanded to include employers with 19 or fewer employees from 1 July 2019. This is subject to legislation being passed in parliament.


If you are unsure if you meet the criteria or do not know if your system is compliant please contact Mark Calleja Accounting at