Here’s what brokers need to know about Single Touch Payroll

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    by ATO Assistant Commissioner Jason Lucchese

    A new way of reporting tax to the ATO, Single Touch Payroll (STP) allows employers to send their employees’ salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information electronically.

    While over 430,000 employers are already reporting through STP, it’s time to get ready for the next step as the 30 September start date is almost here.

    The ATO understands that mortgage broking employers differ from each other, with some confronting some unique challenges in meeting the start date. These challenges may include operating a small business with only one to four employees or a family-run business with closely held payees.

    To help you understand your options based on your situation, the ATO has developed an online quiz. And to find out if you’re eligible for STP reporting concessions, check if the following applies to your business:

    Closely held payees such as directors or trust beneficiaries of a trust. Some mortgage broking businesses may employ closely held payees or payees who are not at arm’s length. Anyone who is directly related to the entity from which they receive payment is considered a closely held payee, such as family members, directors or shareholders and beneficiaries of a trust.

    If you have closely held payees, you don’t need to report them through STP for the 2019-20 financial year; however, you still must report any regular employees that aren’t closely held through STP. Although you must report closely held payees through STP starting 1 July 2020, you have the option to report their information quarterly. Find out more here.

    Micro employers. If you’re a mortgage broker who employs four or fewer employees, you are considered a micro employer and may choose a no-cost or low-cost STP solution, or report quarterly through a registered tax or BAS agent. This option will be available until 30 June 2021.

    There are several affordable low-cost and no-cost reporting solutions which would only take a short time to complete each pay period and will not require employers to maintain the software.

    Time to get ready
    The ATO recognises that there may be some challenges when onboarding to STP, but don’t worry, the first year of STP reporting will be considered a transition period and employers won’t be punished for any errors or mistakes.

    For more information and to start reporting through STP, visit

    Related stories:

    • ATO extends help to brokers transitioning to digital reporting
    • Time for mortgage brokers to prepare for Single Touch Payroll

    Original Article