Single Touch Payroll FAQs

The topic links below will help you find answers to frequently asked questions regarding Single Touch Payroll (STP) and managing reporting through Sybiz Visipay and the Sybiz Employer Portal.

Each topic is divided into 'Need to know', helping you get ready for STP, and 'Nice to know', helping you understand STP once it comes into effect. You can also use your browser’s find function to locate specific information.

These FAQs are updated regularly so be sure to return whenever a question arises. Alternatively, you can use your favourite search engine to look for answers, just preface your search with: Visipay STP.
 

Transitioning to STP reporting
Need to know
Nice to know

Sybiz Employer Portal
Need to know
Nice to know

STP Reporting through Sybiz Visipay and the Sybiz Employer Portal
Need to know
Nice to know

What is STP?
Need to know
Nice to know

Glossary
 

Transitioning to STP reporting

Need to know

1. What version of Sybiz Visipay do I need for Single Touch Payroll reporting?

Generally speaking Sybiz recommends the latest version of Sybiz Visipay is utilised at all times. STP reporting was introduced to Sybiz Visipay in version 17.20 and ATO changes and other improvements have been incorporated in the versions released since.
 

2. How do I find out which version of Sybiz Visipay I’m using?

Your current version of Sybiz Visipay is displayed at the login screen under Licensing > Version.
 

3. What do I need to do to start STP reporting with Sybiz Visipay?
  • Upgrade to the latest version of Sybiz Visipay

  • Ensure data is complete and correct (see question 3 below)

  • Ensure you can access the Sybiz Employer Portal via your web browser and via Sybiz Visipay – your IT support may need to modify your network settings to permit this

  • Sign up to the Sybiz Employer Portal

  • Turn on STP in Sybiz Visipay by selecting Options > Tax Details

  • Include STP reporting in your regular payroll procedures (see also Final Event Indicator)


4. What data do I need to ensure is complete and correct?
  • Employee names, addresses and TFNs

  • The ‘Company Name’ in your database should match the name associated with the ABN, which you can check via abr.business.gov.au

  • Allowances should be categorised


5. Why doesn’t STP just switch itself on from the date I need to start reporting?

Not all employers were required to begin using STP from the same date. You may have been granted a deferral or exemption or you may need to complete your Payment Summary Annual Report process for the previous financial year. Smaller employers are also not required to start STP reporting until 1 July 2019. ‘Switching on’ STP in Sybiz Visipay automatically would cause unnecessary disruption for users in those circumstances.

 
6. Are there any additional costs for STP reporting through Sybiz Visipay and the Sybiz Employer Portal?

While other software vendors have increased subscription costs as a result of STP, Sybiz has chosen a transparent pricing model for additional STP costs. For more information about fees, please speak to our BusinessCare department.


7. What if my payroll officer is not available to process STP?

This should be a consideration of your revised payroll process and it is recommended that you have an additional user ready to submit STP in the event of absences. You are able to create additional users in the Sybiz Employer Portal and it is recommended you do so.


8. If I have to do payment summaries and export to the ATO for the previous financial year and do STP from 1 July 2019, how can I do both in the software?

STP can be toggled on and off within Sybiz Visipay, so you can simply switch it off when needing to do payment summaries and back on again for STP.


9. Do I need to upgrade to the latest version Sybiz Visipay before 1 July 2019?

We always recommend you are on the latest version of Sybiz Visipay, especially at year end.


10. What should I do if I notice a mistake in the information I’ve reported to the ATO?

Mistakes are able to be corrected in the next pay event (i.e. normal pay cycle reporting). If you prefer, you can correct a mistake via an update event, but this option can only be used if the mistake hasn't resulted in a change to employee earnings or tax.

 

Nice to know

1. Do I need to wait for the ATO to approve my STP report before I can pay my employees?

No. The requirement is that you report (submit your payroll data) on or before the day the payment is transferred to the employee. 


2. What category should be used for non-taxable, non-reportable allowances?

You can use the ‘Other’ option for non-taxable, non-reportable allowances. If an allowance was not reportable under the Payment Summary Annual Report (PSAR) it is not reportable under STP.


3. Can I add more categories under Allowances? Some of my allowances do not meet the categorisations listed.

The categories available in Sybiz Visipay are mandated by STP standards. If your allowances do not meet any of the categories available, you should select 'Other' as the category. The first 40 characters of the description in Sybiz Visipay will be sent to the ATO for Allowances designated as 'Other'.


4. Why should I check my payroll data is complete and correct if I’ve been paying my employees throughout the year?

A normal pay run pre-STP only required a bare minimum of information in order to pay employees (i.e. name and bank details). STP reporting requires more comprehensive information to be submitted each pay run. As such, it is also recommended you review your on-boarding processes to ensure complete and correct information is collected from new employees from the outset.


5. Can I use Sybiz Visipay to report the equivalent of the TFN Declaration through STP?

This process will be supported in a future version. For now, you can continue using the existing TFN Declaration process through Sybiz Visipay and the ATO Business Portal.


6. Can I use Sybiz Visipay to report Foreign Employment, Business and Personal Services (Contractors) or Superannuation Income Streams/Lump Sums via PSAR or STP?

These types of payments are not supported via Sybiz Visipay for PSAR (Payment Summaries) and will not be for STP either. This may change in future.


7. I am not regarded as a substantial employer – can I start reporting before 1 July 2019?

If you’re ready to start reporting there is no need to wait. At this stage, all employers will be required to submit STP reports from 1 July 2019 unless they have sought an exemption or deferral.



 

Sybiz Employer Portal

Need to know

1. Is the Sybiz Employer Portal different to the ATO Business Portal?

Yes. The Sybiz Employer Portal is used to submit your Single Touch Payroll data to the Australian Tax Office.


2. Can I use the ATO Business Portal to submit STP data instead of the Sybiz Employer Portal?

The ATO Business Portal cannot be used for this purpose. Although a summary of STP submissions is available via the ATO Business Portal, the Sybiz Employer Portal must be used to transmit the data. The ATO has not provided their own portal for STP submissions.


3. What are the benefits of using the Sybiz Employer Portal?

The Sybiz Employer Portal offers a secure file transfer to the ATO, additional STP data validation, clear submission failure reports and an automatic retry function on submission failure. Users will also be able to see their STP data transfer history via the Sybiz Employer Portal.


4. Will there be additional charges associated with STP for Sybiz Visipay users?

Sybiz Visipay users should note modest transaction fees will apply, as Sybiz has decided to be transparent about the additional costs associated with providing an STP compliant solution.

The fees depend on how many messages are likely to be transmitted monthly. The number of messages is determined by multiplying the number of employees you have with the number of times you pay per month, plus the number of likely update events per month. It is recommended that updates are deferred until the next scheduled pay run for that employee.

Please contact Sybiz BusinessCare for further enquiries.


5. How do I sign up to the Sybiz Employer Portal?

When you're ready to sign up to the Sybiz Employer Portal click here. Remember to record your username and password for the Sybiz Employer Portal as you will require these credentials each time you authorise an STP report.


6. I have multiple companies; do I need to sign up to the Sybiz Employer Portal for each company?

Yes. Each business (ABN) needs to sign up and report separately.


7. Can I use one login for multiple companies?

You will need to request this from Sybiz BusinessCare. To make a request you will firstly need to sign up for the portal for each ABN with unique user logins, then provide our BusinessCare team the ABN, company names and user IDs. You can then advise our BusinessCare team which single user ID you wish to use.


8. What information do I need to provide when signing up to the Sybiz Employer Portal?

You will need to know basic details of the businesses that you are signing up for, such as the ABN and address details. You will also need to estimate the amount of data records you’ll submit through STP on a monthly basis. If signing up for more than one business you will also need to advise who will be billed in the event that it is different to the business being signed up (e.g. a parent company is to be billed for subsidiaries).


9. How will I be billed for the Sybiz Employer Portal?

Within a day or two of signing up Sybiz will issue a tax invoice for 12 months (or pro-rated if part way through the financial year) of Sybiz Employer Portal fees. At your discretion this can be paid monthly via direct debit or for the full amount in advance.


10. What if my headcount increases and I require a higher rate of STP reporting than I initially signed up for?

Sybiz will monitor trends and, in the event the volume required has increased, an invoice for the gap in what was initially charged and what should now be charged will be issued for the remainder of the initial 12 months. For example, if initial sign up was in July and an adjustment is required in October then an invoice will be issued for the fee difference for 9 months.


11. How do I access the Sybiz Employer Portal after I've signed up?

A link to the Sybiz Employer Portal is available in Sybiz Visipay via the application menu (top left-hand corner).


12. How do I upload my employee information to the Sybiz Employer Portal?

Once you’ve established your employer records Sybiz Visipay will communicate with the Sybiz Employer Portal, sending relevant employee information whenever you perform your STP reporting process.



 

Nice to know

1. Who is the company behind the Sybiz Employer Portal?

Sybiz has once again partnered with SuperChoice Services Pty. Ltd. to provide the Sybiz Employer Portal. SuperChoice has previously been responsible for creating SybizSuper, our SuperStream reporting portal.


2. Do I contact SuperChoice Services for help or assistance with the portal?

SuperChoice do not provide support services to Sybiz Visipay customers. Check this page first for assistance with issues that may arise and then contact Sybiz if you’re unable to resolve the issue with the portal. We advise planned maintenance dates at the top of this page and on our social media channels.


3. I am still using the SybizSuper Portal, is there anything else I need to do?

The SybizSuper Portal will eventually be phased out as the improved Sybiz Employer Portal is able to be used for both Single Touch Payroll and SuperStream submissions. Employers who are still using the SybizSuper Portal are advised to contact Sybiz BusinessCare to discuss transitioning to the Sybiz Employer Portal.


4. I've signed up to the Sybiz Employer Portal but I can't remember my user name, what do I do?

Please contact the Sybiz BusinessCare team for assistance.


5. If I haven't received an invoice for the Sybiz Employer Portal can I still access the Portal?

Yes. An invoice will be issued based on information provided when signing up, but you will be able to access the Sybiz Employer Portal and submit STP data immediately.


6. What is multi-factor authentication? How and when will it apply?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is the technical term relating to when a secure site, such as internet banking, sends you a code to complete the login process. This code needs to be successfully entered to log in to your account. MFA is typically required when requesting access to sensitive data in order to verify the identity of the person attempting to log in.

In the case of the Sybiz Employer Portal, a six-digit code will be emailed to the user and they will have 5 minutes to use it before it expires, requiring another to be requested. Please note it is not possible to opt out of MFA as it is an ATO requirement.

MFA may be part of your login process in the following situations:

  • Any user logging in on a different browser/computer than previously

  • A new user (ESE or newly created)

  • A user who has clicked “forgot password”

  • A user who has had their password reset by the administrator

  • When using a browser in Incognito or Private mode

  • After a user has cleared cookies

  • (from 6 November) Existing users who haven’t logged in during September and October


It is imperative that you create additional user logins for others within your organisation that may need to complete the STP process. Do not share your credentials with others in your organisation as they will also require access to your email account to complete the login process.

 

STP Reporting through Sybiz Visipay and the Sybiz Employer Portal

Need to know

Sybiz recommends the latest version of Sybiz Visipay for STP reporting and compatibility with the Sybiz Employer Portal.

To begin the STP reporting process in Sybiz Visipay, select the ATO Transfer button under the Utilities menu. STP reporting must be completed before you roll the period in which the reportable pays have been processed.

A warning is presented when rolling a period which contains pays that have not been processed through STP. If the period is rolled before completing reporting STP then you will need to restore the backup you performed before rolling.



 

The following table outlines the icons that may appear in the Sybiz Employer Portal in the Status and Issues columns. You can log into the Sybiz Employer Portal via the Application menu of Sybiz Visipay and also on the STP transfer screen. After submitting STP data from Sybiz Visipay you can track its progress according to the icons below. If your submission isn't visible in the portal immediately, log out and try again in 5 minutes. If you have multiple logins for different ABNs it is best to shut your browser completely, rather than just logging out.

If you receive an error, or a submission is rejected, you should 'drill down' into your submission and/or error message. You should correct the issue, if possible, or contact the ATO if the issue is not data related. The design of Sybiz Visipay and the Sybiz Employer Portal is such that any errors or rejections received (after the ATO has acknowledged receipt of your submission) are almost certain to be issues at the ATO's end. Have your Submission ID and details of the issue handy should you need to contact the ATO.

 
Status icons
ATO has processed successfully - meaning the STP reporting process is complete and accepted.
ATO has acknowledged receipt - the ATO has your STP report data and is processing it. The ATO has a 72 hour service level.
ATO has rejected the entire submission. An update event may have been submitted prior to a pay event. Investigation required.
ATO has responded with warnings.
Processing. The data is being processed prior to being submitted to the ATO.
Ready to submit. No further action is required, the data is being queued in the Sybiz Employer Portal for sending to the ATO. 
There is no need to go to the Summary and Submit tab. Some submissions may remain in this state for reasons that are being investigated.
Please check the ATO Business Portal as the submission has likely been successful.
Data submitted.
Errors to resolve. Click on the corresponding icon in the Issues column for more information.
 
Issues icons
The Sybiz Employer Portal reports no validation issues.
The Sybiz Employer Portal reports validation warnings. Click for more information.
The Sybiz Employer Portal reports validation errors. Click for more information.
The ATO reports no validation issues.
The ATO reports validation warnings. Click on the Filename record to drill down into the submission for more information.
The ATO reports validation errors. Click on the Filename record to drill down into the submission for more information.


1. I've just processed my second pay for the financial year and checked on the Sybiz Employer Portal and employee amounts appeared to have doubled up. Why? Or... I've just processed my second pay for the financial year and checked on the Sybiz Employer Portal and the employer totals are pretty much the same as last time. Why?

Employee amounts under Single Touch Payroll are year to date. They will continue to increase throughout the financial year as a result. Employer amounts, on the other hand, relate to the specific pay event you are reporting and are therefore not year to date.


2. What should I do if I notice a mistake in the information I’ve reported to the ATO? How long do I have to correct a mistake?

Mistakes are meant to be fixed within 14 days but they are able to be corrected in the next pay event (i.e. normal pay cycle reporting) - even if you pay monthly. If you prefer you can correct a mistake via an update event. The update event may only be used in circumstances other than when the employee is paid. It is therefore highly recommended that an update event is only used in cases that the employee(s) will not be receiving a further pay in that financial year.


3. I often change employee numbers in Sybiz Visipay and I notice there is now a warning when I do it. Why is that the case?

Employee numbers are one of the elements of data that is used by the ATO to uniquely identify an employee. If the employee number must be changed then an update will need to be sent to the ATO to zero out the employee’s record prior to the change to the employee number. Once the new employee number is in place the YTD figures for the employee will be transmitted under the new employee number.

Failure to zero the amounts under the old employee number would cause duplication of the employee's pay information at the ATO. If you did not perform the zero update event prior to changing the employee’s number you will need to change the employee’s number back to the original value, perform a zero update event and then change the employee number back to the new value.


4. I have different batches of staff that I pay on a weekly or fortnightly basis. How can I streamline my processes to suit STP reporting? e.g. I pay 10 people weekly on Monday, 25 people weekly on Wednesday and 8 people weekly on a Friday.

There are a couple of choices depending on when you process the pays. If you process all of the pays on the Monday and just stagger the actual payments then you can do STP reporting in one hit, once your pays are processed on the Monday.

If you stagger the processing as well, then it is best to roll the week between each pay (after completing reporting, bank transfers etc. where relevant). Weekly and fortnightly rollovers in Sybiz Visipay are not strict like monthly rollovers (unless Allow Multiple Pays is checked in Options) and annual rollovers. This means you can have 15 or so weeks per month, giving you additional flexibility.


5. I tried to submit my STP transfer and the error screen came up but with no errors listed, what does that mean?

If the error list is blank that could mean the Sybiz Employer Portal is temporarily under peak load. Please try again in 5 minutes. This issue can also come about if the computer you're using has the incorrect time zone, which when rectified should overcome the issue.

If the problem persists then you can use the Ctrl-E key combination to generate an error file that can be sent to sybiz@sybiz.com for analysis.


6. The person who normally does the pays is off sick. I know how to process pays and transmit the payment file to the bank but I don’t know how to do STP reporting.

As outlined in the ‘Transitioning to STP reporting’ section above, planning for payroll staff absences should be an important step in preparing your business for STP compliance. The Sybiz Employer Portal allows for multiple users to manage STP obligations if necessary.

Each user should have their own credentials, as Multi-Factor Authentication is required to log in to the Sybiz Employer Portal. If you do not have your own credentials, please contact Sybiz.


7. How many ‘Other’ allowances can an employee have throughout the year?

A maximum of 20 ‘Other’ allowances is permitted by the ATO.


8. Do I need to do anything differently at year end?

Yes. At the end of the STP financial year you will need to ensure that the ATO has been notified that you have finalised reporting for all employees, indicated with a Final Event Indicator, including those that left part way through the year. Failure to do so by the cut-off date(s) will likely require the submission of the old Payment Summary Annual Report.


9. What does a Final Event Indicator do?

A Final Event Indicator for an employee tells the ATO that you no longer intend to submit any further STP data for that employee for the remainder of the relevant financial year. This finalisation declaration tells the ATO that the STP data you have submitted can be used to pre-fill the employee’s income tax return.

If you fail to make a finalisation declaration you may face penalties from the ATO and/or be required to submit a Payment Summary Annual Report.

 
10. When do I submit a Final Event Indicator for an employee?

A finalisation declaration must be submitted for each employee before 14 July.

As a special consideration for employers who began STP reporting in the 2018/19 financial year the finalisation declarations for all employees they have paid in the financial year must be made before 31 July 2019. In subsequent years, employees must be finalised by 14 July.

 
11. How does Sybiz Visipay help me manage Final Event Indicator submissions?

If you are reasonably certain that everything is in order when you submit your last pay event(s) for the financial year then you can include the final event indicator with your final Pay Event submission for the financial year. This can be done by clicking the check box in the column header of both columns under the Employee tab on the STP Transfer screen.

Alternatively, you can use the Employee Income Statement event type available under the Event Options section of the STP Transfer screen. This will tick the Final Event Indicator box for all employees you have paid during the current financial year. After choosing the Employee Income Statement option, you will see the ‘F’ column filled in for all employees. Simply click the check box in the right-most column header to include all employees and submit.

Even if you’ve already submitted a Final Event Indicator for terminated employees throughout the year it is recommended that you include them in this process.

The Employee Income Statement is a specialised Sybiz Visipay Update Event designed to make it easy to complete your finalisation declaration.

 
12. Can I reverse a finalisation declaration?

If you've prematurely flagged the Final Event Indicators at year end then you must use an Update Event to uncheck the flags and then a further update event to reinstate them when you are ready (prior to the deadline).

For further advice on changing or resubmitting Final Event Indicators, consult the Australian Tax Office website.

 
13. What if I’ve rolled the year prior to submitting Final Event Indicators?

The ATO Transfer Prior Year button sits just below the ATO Transfer button on the ribbon bar and can be used for this purpose.

 
14. What if I want to give my employees a Payment Summary?

Some employees may request a Payment Summary because they’ve come to expect it at the end of the financial year. There is no need to provide employees with Payment Summaries but if you choose to do so, there’s not much to it. Simply uncheck the ‘Active’ flag under Options > Tax Details > Single Touch Payroll. You can then use the same ATO Transfer buttons as you do for STP as they will revert to the old Payment Summary process.

In the event that you neglected to submit Final Event Indicators on time and need to submit the Payment Summary Annual Report you can follow this same process.

Remember to switch the Single Touch Payroll ‘Active’ flag back on once complete.
 

15. I tried to submit my STP transfer but got a message: The value '002' of element 'OrganisationDetailsOrganisationBranchC' is not valid. What does that mean?

The reason for this is that the old payment summary reporting required three digits (in this case 002) for the branch and STP only requires the actual number (in this case 2). Simply go to Options > Tax Details in Sybiz Visipay and edit the branch number from 002 to 2.

 
16. Why is it when I go to the Summary and Submit tab on the Sybiz Employer Portal I get prompted for Product ID, BMS Name, BMS Vendor and BMS Version?

You can disregard that tab - your data has already been sent to the ATO from Sybiz Visipay automatically via the Sybiz Employer Portal. If you would like to track the progress of the submission you can click on Navigation > STP API Submission History.

 

Nice to know

1. I didn’t do the final reporting by the cut-off date and need to do payment summaries. How can I do that?

You will need to uncheck the STP box under Options > Tax Details in Sybiz Visipay to complete the payment summary reporting process. You will need to turn STP back on once you’ve finished your payment summary reporting.


2. I forgot to turn STP back on after doing payment summaries and have processed a pay that I need to report via STP. Can I just turn STP back on, or do I need to re-process my pays?

You can just turn STP back on. It is not necessary to re-process pays.


3. What about Reportable Employer Super Contributions (RESC) and Reportable Fringe Benefits (RFBA)?

These are reported through STP in a very similar manner to how they were reported under PSAR (payment summaries). Continue to process as you would normally or fill out the boxes on the employee records if you calculate and process fringe benefits outside of Sybiz Visipay. Salary sacrifice to super and capacity to influence amounts will continue to be reported under RESC.


4. Why is the Submit button greyed out when I go to do my STP transfer?

The Submit button for Single Touch Payroll reporting will remain greyed out until the following requirements are met:

1. Username and password for the portal entered on the General tab
2. At least one employee selected on the Employees tab
3. Declaration check box checked at the bottom of the Employees tab


5. I could see my submission from STP API Submission History soon after submitting but it's disappeared. Where did it go?

The filters set on the STP API Submission History screen might be configured in a way that excludes the submission you're looking for. Check your status and date filters and set them accordingly.


6. When I drill down on a submission under STP API Submission History, why are the Employer PAYGW and Employer Total Gross Pmts amounts repeated for all employees?

This is simply the way information is displayed by STP. The reason for this is that the STP submission contains a header record and records for each employee. To present the data through the Sybiz Employer Portal the information is 'flattened' from its original complex structure so that it sits nicely in rows and columns. This requires the header level information to be repeated each row.


8. What is the FFR Ind field in the Sybiz Employer Portal STP API Submission History?

This column indicates whether the submission was a 'Full File Replacement' (FFR). Although FFR is part of STP it is not something that has been adopted into Sybiz's implementation as it was deemed not necessary - it is intended for catastrophic events which Sybiz's design has avoided. The field is a compulsory field in the header record and that is why it shows. It will always be false from Sybiz Visipay.


9. I've submitted Final Event Indicators when I didn't mean to. What should I do?

Because employee level data is year to date you can merely ensure the final event indicators are unchecked next pay run (and keep them unchecked until you mean to do it). If you've prematurely flagged the Final Event Indicators at year end then you must use an update event to uncheck the flags and then a further update event to reinstate them when you are ready (prior to the deadline).

 

What is STP?

Need to know

1. What is Single Touch Payroll?

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a change in reporting requirements between employers and the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Instead of reporting employee payments once a year (as with the PAYG withholding annual report), the reporting is done each pay run (known as a 'pay event'). Updates and corrections can be processed between pay runs when details about employees change, such as employee details, pay amounts, and addresses ('update event').


2. Do I have to use STP?

From 1 July 2019, if your company has 19 or fewer employees, you are required by the ATO to use STP. Exemptions or deferrals may be granted, but you need to contact the ATO to see if you meet the requirements for an exemption or deferral. If you have more than 20 employees, you were required to begin using STP from 1 July 2018.


3. Is STP reporting the same data as Payment Summaries, just more frequently?

Additional data is transmitted such as details associated with superannuation liabilities and greater detail on allowances. It is likely STP data requirements will evolve over time.


4. How do I send my STP report to the Australian Tax Office?

The ATO has not provided a means for individual employers to submit their STP report directly. It is the responsibility of software vendors, such as Sybiz, to develop and provide businesses a service for securely transmitting data from their software solution to the Australian Tax Office. All employers must use one of these intermediary services in order to submit their STP reporting.

To use the Sybiz solution, you will need to sign up to the Sybiz Employer Portal prior to reporting STP data to the ATO. Once ready, the submission is created using the existing ATO Transfer button on the Utilities tab. The window provides the options depending on the nature of the STP file you wish to submit on that occasion. The main difference between Payment Summary reporting and STP is that the STP file submission is automated, without a file being exported for manual upload. More detailed information is available in our User Guide.

 

Nice to know

1. Does the launch of STP mean there are no more payment summaries?

This will depend on how you complete your STP reporting. If you complete your reporting requirements for the year within the timeframe required, payment summaries will be a thing of the past. If you don’t complete your STP reporting for the year within the relevant timeframe, PSAR reporting will also be required. There may be fringe cases which require you to issue payment summaries to employees.


2. I pay different people on every day of every week. How often do I need to do STP reporting?

STP must be reported on or before each pay day. Essentially the answer is dependent on when you prepare the pays. If you knew who and how much to pay 7 days in advance then you could report once per week. If, however, you only know at the end of each day who you need to pay and how much then you would need to report daily. Of course, how effectively you manage your payroll processing and STP submissions can reduce the number of submissions.


3. If I don’t pay someone one week (e.g. a casual that hasn’t had a shift) do I still need to include them in my STP reporting?

You don’t need to but you can if you wish. STP is actually reporting employees’ cumulative (YTD) balances each pay cycle, rather than details of each pay individually.


4. What are the key differences between what is reported via STP compared to the Payment Summary Annual Report (PSAR)?

Some information is reported through STP with more detail than PSAR, but the nature of the information is similar to completing a PSAR every pay run instead of once per year.


5. STP seems like a lot of extra administration for no clear benefit to employers. What are the advantages?

Employees will benefit from seeing their year to date payroll information via the myGov web service and may also benefit from better pre-filled information flowing through to their tax returns. Taxpayers will benefit from the anticipated improvement in general compliance with payroll obligations. For employers there should be very little incremental effort required, once the initial learning curve has been overcome. Through our own analysis, we have seen employers adapt very quickly to STP compliance.


6. What do I need to tell my employees about STP?

Employees may be concerned about not receiving a payment summary at the end of the financial year. Therefore, it may help to let them know payment summaries are no longer required and that the equivalent information is available to them via myGov. If they have not signed up for a myGov account, they should do so promptly. We would also recommend advising your employees when you’ve completed your STP reporting for the year so they know the relevant information is in place for their tax returns.


7. Do I now have to pay PAYG & Super at the same time as I pay employees?

No. Although initially this was considered it is not applicable at this stage.


8. How are Reportable Employer Super Contributions (RESCs) reported?

RESCs are reported in the same way as they are from the payment summary point of view. In Sybiz Visipay you are able to manually populate these fields (for capacity to influence) or if you have your pay items, salary sacrifice and super influence configured correctly then this will flow through in the STP process.


9. Is it true there are no penalties in the first year?

Not necessarily. The ATO may advise you that a mistake has been made and allow a chance for remedy however if mistakes aren’t fixed or continuously repeated, penalties may result.


10. What version of Sybiz Visipay do I need for STP?

Sybiz recommends the latest version of Sybiz Visipay (currently 18.11) for STP reporting and compatibility with the Sybiz Employer Portal.


11. I pay the superannuation for our company’s employees monthly through a clearing house. Do I need to change anything in the way I pay this, or set up anything new in terms of STP?

The changes coming with STP should not affect your current superannuation process. You will still be lodging the super payments monthly through your clearing house. The Sybiz Employer Portal for STP submissions is also equipped to process SuperStream submissions.


12. When we process our pays the ATO sees how much in superannuation we are paying to each employee. Is this all that needs to be done in terms of super contributions?

All that needs to be reported each pay event will be included in the STP transfer. SuperStream is still required for the overall reporting and payment of superannuation on the same basis and frequency as before


13. What information will I be able to see in the ATO Business Portal relating to STP?

You’ll be able to see a summary of your submissions with the YTD gross amount and PAYG listed.


14. What information will my employees be able to see in myGov?

They’ll be able to see YTD figures for earnings, allowances, PAYG and super liability.



Glossary

There is a fair amount of terminology associated with STP. This list will clarify terms - some familiar, some new - relevant to Single Touch Payroll.

Allowance Categories – An extension to the data required to be captured in relation to allowances. These categories are based on the work related deduction categories in individual tax returns

ATO – Australian Taxation Office

ATO Business Portal – The mechanism most Sybiz Visipay customers use to submit their Payment Summary Annual Report (PSAR) a.k.a. an empdupe file. The ATO Business Portal cannot be used to submit STP reports

BMS – Business Management Software – the term the ATO are using to collectively refer to the business software used to process payroll (such as Sybiz Visipay)

BMS ID – A database level unique identifier that enables the ATO to distinguish the STP submissions that are produced separately for the same ABN and payroll package (for example, if two offices for the same company utilised separate databases for payroll processing)

DPO – Digital Partnership Office – a sub-section of the ATO that works with software developers

DSP – Digital Service Provider – a term the ATO use to describe software developers such as Sybiz

ebMS3/AS4 – The complex message structure and framework to which STP data conforms

Empdupe – The Payment Summary Annual Return file produced by Sybiz Vispay for sending to the ATO

Employee Income Statement – Terminology used in Sybiz Visipay to describe the process of reporting final event indicators en masse

Final Declaration – see Final Event Indicator

Final Event Indicator – A flag on an employee’s record to notify the ATO that you have finalised reporting for that employee for the financial year. Failure to do so on time may require reporting to also be performed via the Payment Summary Annual Report process (see also Employee Income Statement)

Full file replacement – A process intended to replace an STP report that has catastrophic errors. Due to the nature of Sybiz Visipay and the Sybiz Employer Portal, this type of file is not required

INB – Individual Non-Business – the type of payment summaries and STP reporting that is supported through Sybiz Visipay. ETP reporting is also supported

myGov – A broad-based web portal for individuals to interact with a range of government entities including the Australian Taxation Office. Employees will be able to see year to date information, reported via STP, via their ATO myGov accounts

Pay Event – The key report for STP reflecting the data from the associated payroll process

PSAR – Payment Summary Annual Return – the annual reporting process that STP is replacing

SBR – Standard Business Reporting – An ATO reporting format used for many purposes including STP reporting

Sending Service Provider – A third party which facilitates data transmission to the ATO in the required format. SuperChoice Services Pty Ltd is the Sending Service Provider being utilised by Sybiz to send STP data to the ATO

STPSingle Touch Payroll

STPR – Single Touch Payroll Reporting

STP Deferrals – An extension for businesses or software vendors from meeting STP requirements as of 1 July 2018 (for larger employers) or 1 July 2019 (for smaller employers)

STP Exemptions – An exemption from STP reporting requirements. Applicable for some businesses depending on their circumstances

Substantial employer - A business with 20 or more employees

Sybiz Employer Portal – A third party web service that is an essential component in STP reporting. Sybiz Visipay sends data to the Sybiz Employer Portal which is then packaged in the specfic format required by the ATO

Update Event – A different type of STP report that can be used to correct or complete data submitted previously

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