Single Touch Payroll – For Employers & Employees

On 1 July 2018 the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) began the rollout of their new ‘more efficient’ system for employers to report their employee’s wages, tax & super (Employee Obligations) information to the ATO.

The Summary

This system has been labelled as ‘single touch payroll’ as it requires employers to electronically notify the ATO of their Employee Obligations when they process each pay run.

The aim of Single Touch Payroll is to provide the ATO and employees with greater ongoing visibility into each employer’s obligations. It will also provide the ATO with the ability to more efficiently react to the late or incorrectly lodged Business Activity Statements or Superannuation reports.

For most employers with less than 20 employees, it is compulsory to begin using the Single Touch Payroll system from 1 July 2019, with larger employers adopting it from 1 July 2018.

Here is how it may affect you


The good news is that for most of employers once Single Touch Payroll is enabled in your accounting system, it will make minimal to no difference as Xero, Quickbooks, MYOB & Reckon will automatically prepare and lodge the Single Touch Payroll reports to the ATO when you finalise each payrun.

Here is where you may be affected:

  1. If you process payroll manually (not using software) – we encourage you to contact us to find a low-cost Single Touch Payroll software that suits your needs.
  2. If you lodge your superannuation or Business Activity Statements manually (without the assistance of QC Accountants) – we encourage you to regularly review & compare the amounts reported to ensure they are accurate. Single Touch Payroll makes it easy for the ATO to data match your lodgements.
  3. If you are late with your lodgements – Single Touch Payroll means that the ATO does not have to wait for employers to lodge their BAS or Superannuation to identify the Employee Obligations. The ATO  can move more quickly to penalise and charge interest on unpaid amounts.
  4. If you are a ‘micro employer’ with less than 5 employees, you may only be required to report Single Touch Payroll quarterly.

QC Accountants will be contacting our clients who we know to have employee obligations closer to 1 July 2019 to assist them with transitioning into Single Touch Payroll.


The introduction of Single Touch Payroll is a big win for employees. It will provide employees with up to date income information on their MyGov accounts.

It also means that employees no longer need to wait for their employer’s to issue group certificates (payment summaries) at the end of each financial year.

More up to date superannuation lodgement & payment information will be available on MyGov allowing you more visibility to see what has been lodged & when it was paid.

If you have any questions on how Single Touch Payroll may affect your business or you personally please do not hesitate to contact our team at (07) 5593 6060 or at [email protected].