Australia’s new regulations for payroll will apply to all businesses with at least 20 employees, and experts are urging employers to quickly take a headcount of staff and be ready to comply with the new requirements.
Reports in Business Franchise Australia said the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will require a new payroll reporting system by employers beginning in July of this year. Companies will have to adhere to Single Touch Payroll (STP) rules that require reporting of payroll payments, PAYG (pay as you go) and superannuation to the ATO.
According to Peter Saccasan, national head of business advisory at auditing firm RSM Australia, companies have to be diligent with assessing whether or not they fall under the new rules.
“Employers need to conduct a headcount immediately to see if they’re subject to new STP reporting requirements,” he told the publication. “Employers must count each employee on their payroll and keep a copy for their records.”
He warned that any companies with 20 or more employees as of April 1, 2018, will have to comply with the STP requirements, even if their headcount falls below 20. That includes full-time, part-time and “casual” employees that were on payroll as of April 1 and worked any time during the March prior.
Reports also noted that this includes international workers, employees who are on leave or absent and seasonal employees.
The new requirements do not apply to independent contractors, staff provided by a third-party staffing agency, religious practitioners, company directors or office holders.
Saccasan also noted that while employers with fewer than 20 employees will not have to comply with the reporting rules, regulators are working to introduce payroll reporting requirements for these employers as well, beginning in July of next year.
He also warned that companies have to ensure their accounting and payroll solutions can facilitate compliance with the new regulations.
“Employers with 20 or more employees will need to make sure their accounting and payroll software is STP compatible so they can start reporting to the ATO through an STP-enabled solution from 1 July 2018,” he said. “In general, most payroll software should let employers meet these new ATO compliance requirements. Payroll software providers are currently working with the ATO to be ready for the changes.”