STP Practical Steps to Connect with the ATO
STP is just around the corner and here are some practical steps to guide you through the set-up and connection with the ATO.
1. Ascertain when STP impacts the business
Conduct a head count of all employees of the business as at 1 April 2018. Employers with more than 20 employees on their payroll on this day will need to be commencing their STP journey as of 1 July 2018, all other employers will have a further 12 months to comply subject to the passage of law.
2. Understand what the software provider is doing
Many of the major accounting software providers have advised that they will be STP compliant for 1 July 2018 and others have indicated they have deferral arrangements in place with the ATO for up to six months. It is important to note that some software providers have multiple products and you would need to check the STP status for the individual product.
3. Connect the client’s software with the ATO
Each accounting software ‘data file’ will have its own Unique Software Identifier (USID) and this information needs to be shared with the ATO. This will only need to happen once for each of your clients (you may have already done this if you lodge BAS with the ATO directly from the accounting software). The steps to achieve this are:
- Ensure you have the client’s authorised written consent to provide this information to the ATO;
- Ensure the client is listed in your BAS Agent Portal (they should already be there);
- Connect the clients USID with their own business portal (ie NOT your BAS Agent Portal), you can do this by either:
a/ Logging into your client’s portal and entering the USID via their business access manager, OR
b/ Calling the ATO on 1300 852 232 (option 1) and advise them you are the registered BAS Agent for the entity and are authorised to establish the USID of a payroll solution for STP purposes.
Some additional points:
For information related to individual accounting software providers and their approach to STP, you can find more information out here:
- We have heard of instances where the ATO have advised registered agents that the registered agent is not authorised to advise the USID on the client’s behalf; this is not the case.
- You will still need to prepare payment summaries for the financial year ending 30th June 2018, including the Payment Summaries Annual Report (PSAR), even if you are reporting via STP prior to the 1 July requirement.
AAT will be providing information sheets for you to hand out to employers and their employees during July; watch this space.