Employers and business owners: If you haven’t read up on Single Touch Payroll (STP) yet, now’s the time! With less than one month until businesses make the big switch, ATO wants to make sure all employers understand the process and are ready for July 1st, writes McKenna Uhde.

The change to STP will have employers send tax information to the ATO electronically when running payroll, including employees’ salaries, wages, pay as you go withholding and super information. ATO Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd says that employers with 20 or more employees need to plan for STP before July.

“With less than a month to go our message is clear: Know when and how your software will be updated, get your business STP ready or ask us for more time if you need it,” he said.

The ATO stresses that the first step in preparing for the STP is taking an employee headcount. You can then update your payroll solution when it is ready, and begin reporting through Single Touch Payroll from the first of July 2018. The way you share information with ATO will change, but there will be no need for a change in pay cycle. Feel free to continue paying employees weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Some payroll software providers have been given a later start date, so make sure to ask your software provider if they have a deferral from the ATO. If your software is ready by July 1st but you need more time, feel free to apply for your own deferral using the STP online form.

We all know that changing the tax process can be overwhelming, especially with only a month left to do it. That’s why ATO is making it as easy as possible to understand and complete the STP process. They’ve even designed a Get Ready for STP checklist to better help employers get started. When ready, employers can visit ato.gov.au/stp for more information including fact sheets, checklists, detailed technical guidance and helpful videos. Make sure to utilise the tools provided by July 1st to best ensure a smooth transition for your business.