Single Touch Payroll – ATO discussion paper

The ATO has issued a discussion paper on the proposed introduction of single touch payroll for employers from 1 July 2016. Under Single Touch Payroll, employers will be required to electronically report payroll and superannuation information to the Tax Office when employees are paid using Standard Business Reporting-enabled software.

In addition, Single Touch Payroll will streamline tax file number (TFN) declarations and Super Choice forms by providing a digital channel to simplify the process of bringing on new employees. Single Touch Payroll will be available from July 2016.

To meet their obligations employers would be required to use appropriate payroll software. The discussion paper seeks views on transitional issues, suggestions on how to minimise compliance costs and the potential for employers to remit employee Pay As You Go Withholding and the Superannuation Guarantee Charge contributions at the same time employees are paid.

In a nutshell, you won’t have to fill in the wages section on your BAS but you may have to send the tax withheld from wages to the ATO every week when you do the wages instead of every quarter when you do your BAS.

PAYG relief for workers with more than one job

If you receive income from more than one source and are certain that you will earn less than $18,200 in total income for the financial year, you can now claim the tax-free threshold from all your employers and other withholding payers.

To claim the tax-free threshold you will need to complete a Withholding declaration and provide it to your employer or other payer.

For more information refer to When you have income from two payers.

Fair Work help for small retailers

New resources developed by the Fair Work Ombudsman will help small businesses and their advisers, by allowing them to access industry-specific information on the Australian retail sector.

The new resources can be found on the Fair Work website and will provide:

  • tools to assist employers to calculate pay rates
  • information on modern awards and the National Employment Standards
  • example questions from employers
  • information on conditions for apprentices and trainees, employing workers part-time and dispute resolution

Michael Campbell, executive director, Fair Work Ombudsman, said, ‘the agency is devoting considerable resources to assist the retail industry.

‘Essentially, it’s a place for retail employers to access materials specifically designed for small-to-medium sized businesses.’

Retailers can also obtain information by calling the Fair Work infoline on 13 13 94 between 8.00 am 6.00 pm on weekdays or by visiting the Fair Work website.