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Single Touch Payroll - FAQs

17th May, 2018

 IS IT COMPULSORY FOR EMPLOYEES TO HAVE A MY.GOV ACCOUNT?

No it Is not. However, the Australian Government are promoting this as the tool for employees, as the ATO will make the employee information available for income tax return prefill for employees. It will also update the employee’s MyGov payroll page, to show the employee income statement for STP reported information is final for the financial year, hence doing away with Payment Summaries. The income tax return prefill will provide Accountants & citizens with the information that would normally be provided historically on a payment summary.

CAN AN EMPLOYER MANUALLY GENERATE A PAYMENT SUMMARY FROM THEIR PAYROLL SYSTEM IF THEY WANT TO OR IF AN EMPLOYEE REQUESTS IT?

They could, but it is non-compulsory, and MYOB advise against this. The reason for this is that the data will already be ‘pre-filled’ when the employee goes to do their income tax return, either online OR via their accountant. The risk here
is that the payment summary reporting is slightly different from the STP reporting, and new categories have been introduced that could cause discrepancies.

We have been flagging this as a great opportunity for Employers to start educating their employees to NOT expect a payment summary once STP starts.

Please visit this site which provides benefits to employees on STP.

AMENDING A PAY VIA A ONE-OFF PAY - WHAT IS THE PROCESS?

Perform the one-off pay as you would normally and then re-submit your STP data to the ATO. The STP process provides YTD values for employees, not pay values. This makes it easier to manage adjustments, and as such, the ATO will always get the latest YTD values for the employee.

DOES THE PAYROLL OFFICER NEED TO BE REGISTERED ON THE ATO PORTAL?

No. STP bypasses the ATO portal. All MYOB products will use an MYOB STP service that will send the data to the ATO on behalf of the employer. One of the reasons MYOB did this was to ensure that IF the ATO is not available, (which
has been often), the MYOB STP service will queue submissions, and when ATO come back online, it continues to send the information through. Employers are none the wiser, and this saves them from worrying about doing something
different.

An important step in the implementation process is for employers to tell the ATO that MYOB is their STP provider by either a). via online using ATO access manager portal or, b). via a phone call to the ATO; that MYOB is their SBR
provider. Once this is done, they don’t need to do anything else from an STP perspective, unless they change payroll systems.

DO YOU NEED ADMINISTRATIVE RIGHTS FOR THE BUSINESS AUSKEY ACCOUNT?

Yes! … and be prepared!
The toughest part of the entire process is to authorise MYOB to submit tax documents on behalf of your business with the ATO. MYOB have seen instances of clients contacting the ATO by phone, and waiting for 24 hours for a return call,
which is not the best experience at all.
The easiest way to do this is online, but, this relies on a client having an AusKey and the user having administrative rights for the business’ AusKey account.
The change is then relatively simple, as it requires logging onto the ATO’s Access Manager website and following the instructions within our documentation.
Be prepared and do this step now.

CAN YOU MISS REPORTING A PAY, A TERMINATION OR PAY AMENDMENT?

No. The law states that for employers:
“You are required to report a pay event to the ATO on or before the payday. The payday is either the payment date stipulated in the electronic transaction to your financial institution or if you did not stipulate a date for payment,
the date you intend to make the payment into your employee’s bank account.“

For this reason, we recommend enabling the automatic submit function that runs after every pay update.

The ATO also say the following: Note: During the first 12 months that you report through STP you will be exempt from an administrative penalty for failing to report on time. This is unless we have first given you written notice
advising that a failure to report on time in the future may attract a penalty.

If an exceptional circumstance has happened that an employer for some reason cannot send information through, then they would need to contact the ATO and advise. NOTE: MYOB has designed and built the system so the increased
workload to users is minimal.

NOTE: Amendment pays that result in no payment to the employee must also be sent to the ATO on the day upon which the amendment is processed in Exo payroll.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SUBMIT THE STP DATA TO THE ATO?

It could take minutes or it could take hours. It all depends on how much traffic the ATO servers are processing at the time you submit. However, upon submitting your data, you can see and refresh the status of your submission with
the ATO.
Please note: there is an option to resend your STP data to the ATO. You should avoid doing this unless you have made corrections to an error highlighted by the payroll system or the ATO. If you resend your STP data because you have
not received a response, your submission will go to the back of the submission queue and may take longer to submit.

Be patient and check the status of the submission by using the refresh button.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF THE ATO HAS RECEIVED MY STP DATA?

On the STP Submissions window (or on the Pay List window) within Exo Payroll you can see the status of each submission. The statuses are as follows:
No status - no attempt has been made to submit the data to the ATO yet.

  •  “Not Sent” - an attempt to send the data to the ATO failed.
  •  “Pending” - the data has been successfully submitted to the ATO, but no response has been received yet.
  •  “Accepted” - the data has been submitted to the ATO, and an acceptance response has been received.
  •  “Not Accepted” the ATO has received the data, but rejected it.

Please note: you can get the updated status by clicking the Refresh Status button for the highlighted batch from the list.

WHAT IS THE ATO ACTUALLY VALIDATING?

The ATO validation, of name-checking with TFNs would be the same as per previously EOFY Payment Summaries. MYOB products will validate that employee data fields are populated correctly and in the acceptable formats only.
Regarding reporting errors, there are two steps to highlighting these to a user:

  1.  MYOB software will do the initial check PRIOR to sending the file to the ATO, and any exceptions will be highlighted for the user to fix. This will minimise the chance of data errors being sent to the ATO to begin with;
  2.  In terms of the ATO, users will receive a transmission back from the ATO when a submission is processed by them. If there are any errors, the ATO will provide insight into what the error is. Most likely these will be communication errors and resubmission will be required.

ARE SALARY SACRIFICE FIGURES INCLUDED IN THE STP SUBMISSION?

Yes

SEASONAL WORKERS / PEOPLE ON WORKING HOLIDAYS - WHAT WILL THEY DO FOR PAYMENT SUMMARIES AS THEY WON’T HAVE MY.GOV ACCOUNTS?

This is being confirmed with the ATO however as they receive an INB (Individual Non-Business payment summaries), the same rule applies to all employees. The data is prefilled when they undertake an income tax return with the ATO
or accountant. An employer by law, does NOT need to provide summaries anymore BUT if a WHM (Working Holiday Maker) employee requests one it will be available from the ATO upon request, if the employee does not have a my.gov
account or access to the published data. This will be the ATO equivalent of the employer-issued payment summary.

I DON’T WANT TO SEND INCORRECT DATA - IS THERE ANY WAY TO CHECK THE DATA BEFORE IT GETS SUBMITTED?

The intent of STP is NOT a mini EOFY process each pay. The intent is to pass through the relevant YTD data to the ATO each pay. It is not intended to increase the reporting burden. 

For Exo Payroll, automatic submission can be disabled, and the user can submit manually after the pay BUT we do not recommend this, as this step could be forgotten and therefore, more issues will arise. Data validation is done immediately after the pay is completed, and errors will be highlighted prior to submitting.
In Advanced People, we only have automated submissions from the payrun. The employee data and employer data is validated before completing a payrun, so any “potential” data errors are raised prior to submitting.
If an amount is incorrect, these can be fixed in one off pays, and the subsequent amounts will be submitted. Remember that YTD amounts are submitted NOT pay amounts.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE ATO SITE CRASHES? WILL SENSITIVE DATA BE SITTING SOMEWHERE THAT CAN BE HACKED?

All MYOB products encrypt files, and we use an MYOB service to send all data through. All files get queued, and if the ATO service is running, submission to the ATO will start ASAP. If the ATO is down, our MYOB service will
continue to poll the ATO, and when they come back online, will start sending the submissions through.

LEAVE AND TERMINATIONS – CURRENTLY ONE OFF PAY – IS THIS THE SAME?

STP submissions send YTD information to the ATO whether the pay you are processing is a Current Pay or a One Off pay.
Termination payments will also be submitted to the ATO via STP. When terminating employees, you will need to record any normal leave taken as part of a “normal” pay for the period. This will be submitted to the ATO upon update of the
pay. You will then need to transact a one-off pay to perform the termination, including payment of any outstanding leave balances. Updating the one-off pay will create another submission to the ATO, which will include the termination
information.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK ON THIS LINK!

 

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