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ATO urges builders to get ready for single touch payroll

Billions of dollars in capital for major infrastructure projects could be unlocked through tax incentives for projects worth more than $500 million, as part of a draft plan released by the Federal Government.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is urging small builders to prepare for single touch payroll (STP) by September 30.

Single touch payroll is a new way of reporting tax and superannuation information to the ATO. Information such as salaries, wages, pay as you go withholding and superannuation information is reported to the ATO each time an employee is paid.

STP became mandatory for small employers from 1 July this year, however the ATO has granted an extension to businesses that needed more time to get ready.

Small employers with 19 or less employees need to report through STP any time before 30 September, with micro employers with less than four employees having additional options using low cost or no cost products, or quarterly report thing a registered tax agent.

Large employers with 20 or more employees should already be reporting through STP.

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ATO Assistant Commissioner, Jason Lucchese, said now is the time for small employers to be aware of their options and take the right steps to get ready.

“Regardless of whether you’re ready to start reporting, or if you still need more time to get ready, there are options available to you.”

To help small businesses understand their options, the ATO has developed an online quiz and a number of factsheets.

Certain concessions for building and construction employers have been introduced by the ATO, if all amounted owed to the ATO are either not due or subject to a payment plan and if all lodgement obligations are not due or subject to a deferral.

Builders may be eligible to report quarterly if they don’t normally have any employees for most of the financial year but hire 19 or fewer seasonal or intermittent workers for three months or less.

Family run construction builders don’t need to report anyone who is directly related to the entity from which they receive payments through STP in the 2019-20 financial year. STP reporting for these types of businesses will need to begin from 1 July 2020.

Businesses with a lack of reliable access to the internet can also apply for a deferral or exemption.

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