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In a recent speech at a forum gathering, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation, James O’Halloran, has come out with common shortcomings of employers and the use of Single Touch Payroll (STP) from the data that is being fed through its systems (being mainly multiple payroll records and incomplete data).

As readers are aware, STP is the ATO’s new compliance tool that requires employers to send employee payroll information i.e. salaries, wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation to the ATO when pay runs are made.

With STP, the ATO is continually learning and understanding exactly where employers are going wrong, whether with payroll or superannuation obligations.

Deputy Commissioner O’Halloran focused on PAYG withholding and superannuation guarantee obligations as areas of concern for employers. An example is that the ATO is working directly with software and solution providers (i.e. MYOB Australia, Business in Your Pocket, Reckon, Xero, Easy Pay Slip and sodaPAY to name a few) to validate the STP information it receives.

If businesses are not bringing tax lodgments to date or doing them properly, the ATO will know when and how to act with the business owner.

STP as such has allowed the ATO to identify when employers are falling behind with their PAYG withholding or SG obligations.

Employers submitting late reports are receiving “health checks”, using data from software providers to identify potential indicators that a pay event might require official attention which may result in audits, assessments or even winding up applications.

“About 8% of STP reports are received over seven days after staff have been paid; legislatively, STP reports must be submitted on or before the date staff are paid,” O’Halloran said.

For more information, please see the ATO’s website regarding a recent speech on payroll, tax and superannuation.,-tax-and-superannuation--an-important-relationship/