On the 1 July 2018, the Australian Government introduced Single Touch Payroll (STP) for employers with 20 or more employees. The new scheme requires employers to report payment activities each time employees were paid. Authorisations for an agent to act on behalf of an employer to streamline the process of STP are provided below.
STP Engagement Authority
If a registered agent reports through STP for an employer, they can get written authorisation to make this declaration through an annual agreement. This authorisation will allow the registered agent to make the relevant declaration to the Commissioner when they lodge an STP at each pay event. Both parties should have a copy for their records although there is no need to provide a copy to the ATO
The agreement should include:
- An outline of the responsibilities of both parties
- Agreed terms of the employer’s collation of payroll
- Their process for calculating and paying their employees
- Taxation and superannuation obligations
Eligibility for the Authority
For eligibility to provide an agent with the powers given above regarding STP, the employer must not:
- Have any overdue activity statement lodgements
- Have any outstanding debts, unless they are covered by a payment arrangement or subject to review
- Currently be or have been the subject of ATO compliance activity for PAYG withholding in the last two years
The STP engagement authority does not apply to the other approved forms or finalisation declaration. A registered agent must still obtain a signed declaration in writing from an employer before making the finalisation declaration on behalf of the employer at the end of the financial year.