Navigating Single Touch Payroll: Simplifying Reporting for Employers

Discover the benefits and requirements of Single Touch Payroll (STP), a streamlined reporting system for employers in Australia.
single touch payroll
Written by
Ontop Team

What is Single Touch Payroll (STP)?

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a reporting system introduced by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to simplify payroll reporting for employers. Under this system, employers are required to report their employees' payroll information, including salaries, wages, and superannuation, to the ATO each time they pay their employees. This means that employers no longer need to manually report their payroll information at the end of the financial year.

The Benefits of Single Touch Payroll (STP)

Implementing STP offers several benefits for employers:

• Streamlined Reporting: With STP, employers can report their payroll information directly to the ATO through their payroll software or service provider. This eliminates the need for manual reporting and reduces the administrative burden.

• Real-time Updates: STP allows employers to provide real-time updates to the ATO regarding their employees' payroll information. This ensures that the ATO has accurate and up-to-date data, making it easier to monitor compliance and identify discrepancies.

• Improved Compliance: By implementing STP, employers can improve their compliance with reporting obligations. The system helps to reduce errors and ensure that the correct amount of tax and superannuation is withheld from employees' wages.

• Efficient Superannuation Payments: STP enables employers to streamline their superannuation payment processes. The system automatically reports employees' superannuation contributions to the ATO, making it easier for employers to meet their superannuation obligations.

• Access to Information: STP provides employers with access to detailed reports and analytics that can help them better manage their payroll processes. The system offers insights into payroll costs, employee leave balances, and other important data.

Requirements for Single Touch Payroll (STP)

To comply with STP, employers must meet the following requirements:

• Use STP-compatible Software: Employers need to use payroll software that is STP-compatible. This software should have the capability to report payroll information to the ATO in the required format.

• Report Employees' Details: Employers must report their employees' details, including their Tax File Number (TFN) and other identification information, to the ATO through STP.

• Report Payroll Information: Employers are required to report their employees' payroll information, including salaries, wages, and superannuation contributions, to the ATO each pay cycle.

• Lodge the Finalisation Declaration: At the end of the financial year, employers need to lodge a finalisation declaration to inform the ATO that their STP reporting for the year is complete.

Implementing Single Touch Payroll (STP)

To implement STP in your organization, follow these steps:

1. Check Software Compatibility: Ensure that your payroll software is compatible with STP. If not, consider upgrading or finding a STP-enabled software or service provider.

2. Register with the ATO: Register for STP with the ATO through the Business Portal or the Tax Agent Portal.

3. Update Employee Information: Ensure that you have accurate and up-to-date information for all your employees, including their TFN and identification details.

4. Enable STP in your Payroll Software: Set up STP in your payroll software by following the instructions provided by your software provider.

5. Start Reporting: Once STP is enabled, start reporting your employees' payroll information to the ATO each pay cycle.

6. Lodge the Finalisation Declaration: At the end of the financial year, lodge the finalisation declaration to complete your STP reporting for the year.

7. Monitor Compliance: Regularly review your STP reports and analytics to ensure compliance and address any issues or discrepancies.


Single Touch Payroll (STP) simplifies payroll reporting for employers in Australia. By implementing STP, employers can streamline their reporting processes, improve compliance with reporting obligations, and access real-time updates and insights. To comply with STP, employers need to use STP-compatible software, report their employees' details and payroll information, and lodge the finalisation declaration at the end of the financial year. Implementing STP requires checking software compatibility, registering with the ATO, updating employee information, enabling STP in payroll software, and starting regular reporting. Stay compliant with STP and experience the benefits it offers for your business.

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