Changes to Single Touch Payroll reporting from 1 July 2021 for small and micro employers


There will be changes to Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting for small employers with closely held payees and quarterly reporting for micro employers effective from 1 July 2021.  This may affect how you report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).


Employers with closely held payees

From 1 July 2021, employers must report their closely held payees through STP. You can choose to report these payees each pay day, monthly or quarterly. 

Small employers – closely held (related) payees

Small employers (19 or fewer employees) with closely held payees were exempt from reporting these payees through STP for the FY2019–20 and FY2020–21. Small employers are exempt until 30 June 2021.

From 1 July 2021, you must report payments made to closely held payees through STP, as per below:

  • You have the option to report this information on a quarterly basis.
  • If you have any other employees (also known as arm's length employees) they must be reported on or before each payday.

Micro employers to report quarterly

From 1 July 2021, the STP quarterly reporting concessions will change. It will only be available to micro employers who meet certain eligibility requirements which now include the need for exceptional circumstances to exist.

Exceptional circumstances for micro employers

Law Administration Practice Statement 2011/15 Lodgment obligations, due dates and deferrals (PS LA 2011/15) explains when it would generally be fair and reasonable to grant a deferral due to exceptional or unforeseen circumstances.

In addition to above, the following circumstances may be considered exceptional when considering an application for the quarterly reporting concession from 1 July 2021:

  • Seasonal or intermittent workers – for micro employers who generally have either no or between 1-4 employees for most of the year and then increase their workforce for less than three months of a financial year.
  • No or unreliable internet connection – the following would be considered:
    • an inability to connect to the internet
    • a connection that consistently requires multiple attempts
    • consistent dropouts or disconnections
    • exceedingly slow data transfer.

Employers with no or intermittent internet connection may also apply for an:

  • exemption via your registered tax or BAS agent
  • operational deferral – allowing up to an additional three days to lodge.

When to report?

Your registered agent will need to lodge your STP report once per quarter. The due date for the STP lodgment will be the same as the due date of your activity statement. 

  • If you lodge your STP report quarterly,  it is due the same day as your quarterly activity statement.
  • If you lodge activity statements monthly,  the due date for your quarterly STP report is the same day as your last monthly activity statement for that particular quarter.
  • If you are approved to report quarterly but want to report monthly, you can. Your registered agent must lodge the monthly STP pay event on or before the 21st day of the following month. This is the same due date as monthly activity statements.

If you want to find out when is your activity statement due date, you should speak with your registered tax agent.

For more info visit 

Related: The benefits of Outsourcing your Payroll and how to choose the right Accounting provider?

Outsourcing your Payroll

If you are considering outsourcing your payroll, feel free to contact us. We are here to offer you a professional service that will free up your time and money. Our team of fully qualified accounting professionals use best practice accounting standards to integrate every aspect of the payroll process into your business, simplifying your payroll model, providing you with immediate reporting and ensuring compliance with regulatory bodies.

Related: The benefits of outsourcing your Payroll and how to choose the right Accounting provider?

Have you noticed our #FridayExpertTips... here's one that relates to #Accounting

“There are a lot of rules and government requirements around Payroll. The more employees you have, the more complex your payroll usually becomes. Outsourcing your payroll to a professional service firm may give you peace of mind."


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Azure Group
Azure Group

Azure Group is the leading Chartered Accounting, Business Advisory and Strategic Advisory firm supporting the growth & success of fast growing entrepreneurial businesses.

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