A new payroll reporting framework for employers, Single Touch Payroll, is being introduced by the Australian Taxation Office effective for employers with fewer than 20 employees, from 1 July 2019. Employees to be included are full time, part time, casual and any seasonal employees.

Commonly used accounting software with payroll function will be ready for Single Touch Payroll and satisfy the ATO pay run reporting requirements.

‘Micro employers’, those with 1-4 employees who rely on registered tax agents, may report quarterly for the first two years rather than on each pay run!

There is also a lodgement concession for businesses with ‘closely held payees’ – i.e. directly related to the entity including family members of a family business, directors of a company and shareholders or beneficiaries. The ATO recognises that the process of paying oneself may not be typical payroll process, and may occur as and when cash is available in the business. Going forward, the ATO will move to quarterly reporting obligations for these payees.

As well, there being a significant number of smaller employers not using any type of payroll software, they will not be required to adopt/buy software in order to comply, but will be able to use no cost or low cost single touch payroll solutions .


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