Single Touch Payroll for Chris21 is coming soon

As a Chris21 user, you will be aware that Single Touch Payroll (STP) is on the way. Any employer who has more than 20 employees as at April 1, 2018 must commence STP reporting as from July 1, 2018. Single Touch Payroll is a digital initiative that will deliver real time salary and wage, and superannuation information for all employees in Australia. Single Touch Payroll for Chris21 is coming soon. You can expect the Chris21 vendor to deliver an enhancement to the software in the near future.

A brief background

Single Touch Payroll is a government reform to streamline reporting obligations. The Australian Government recently announced new rules for the way employers report tax and superannuation payments to the ATO. It means employers will report payments such as salaries and wages, pay as you go withholding tax and superannuation information direct to the ATO at the same time they make these payments to employees.

Since you will be lodging information with the ATO at the time you pay your employees, you will effectively be aligning your reporting obligations with your payrun cycle. This will replace the current reporting requirements of monthly or quarterly.

For more background read this article on LinkedIn from John Shepherd, the Single Touch Payroll Program Lead at Australian Taxation Office – Single Touch Payroll – reporting to government through natural business processes or Time for employers to get ready for Single Touch Payroll.

What will Single Touch Payroll mean for payroll processing in Chris21?

The introduction of Single Touch Payroll will require Chris21 users to add an additional step to their payroll processing procedures. After following your usual steps to complete your payroll you will then need to report tax and superannuation information for the pay direct to the ATO.

At this stage it is not clear exactly how this will work, however it is reasonable to surmise that a new interface or gateway to the ATO will be developed. With this in place, it should be a simple process to lodge the required information electronically, like Standard Business Reporting (SBR) functionality.

When the ATO receives your payroll information, they will match it to your records and your employees’ records. This means you may no longer need to provide your employees with payment summaries. If you report all payments relating to withholding tax via STP, you will not need to produce payment summaries because the ATO will provide that information to your employees through MyGov or through their pre-filled income tax returns. However, in cases where you do not report all withholding tax payments via STP, you must produce payment summaries for these exceptions.

How will the Chris21 vendor deliver Single Touch Payroll functionality, and when?

This is a question I can’t answer. However, I would assume that the vendor will deliver a software update prior to the end of financial year so that you can install and test the functionality.

The timing of the release of the STP software for Chris21 users is still unknown, and I’m sure you are eager to know more about this to help with your planning and testing. Perhaps if a representative from Frontier Software is reading this post they could kindly use the comments section below to update users on progress.

I will add comments to this post with any information about Single Touch Payroll that comes to my attention. If you have information that you think might be helpful, please share with your fellow Chris21 users in the comments below.