Voluntary use of Australian Government’s ‘single touch payroll’ system due in July

Although delayed, the aim of the software is to make payroll tax payment and reporting easier for employers.

Australian employers will have the option of using an electronic system to tackle their real-time tax and superannuation payment and reporting requirements as of 1 July this year.

The system known as ‘Single Touch Payroll’ will enable them to use government-approved software to undertake Pay-As-You-go withholding and make superannuation contributions to the Australian Tax Office at the same time as they pay their employees.

Proposals for mandatory use of the new software were first introduced by the Australian government in late 2014, with the aim of rolling it out by July 2016 in order to make reporting simpler. But the plans changed following complaints from employers about the short implementation timeframe and potential damage to cash flow that mandatory real-time payment could bring.

Only those organisations with 20 or more employees will now be required to use the system from 1 July 2018, but there are currently no plans for compulsory enrolment for smaller companies.