The ATO to allow business tax accountants to submit Single Touch Payroll lodgments on employers' behalf blog image

The ATO to allow business tax accountants to submit Single Touch Payroll lodgments on employers’ behalf

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To help streamline the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) Single Touch Payroll system, the ATO will now allow business tax accountants to submit STP lodgments on behalf of small and medium businesses. This move should also help business owners who have been struggling to implement the new payroll system in their businesses.

The STP engagement authority

The authorisation to lodge on behalf of a business owner, called the STP engagement authority, is an annual written agreement between a business tax accountant and an employer that authorises the tax accountant to prepare STP pay events on their behalf.

This agreement must be reviewed and signed by an employer and their registered business tax accountant every year or at any time a significant change happens in the industrial relations, taxation, or payroll procedure.

The STP engagement authority is only available to eligible businesses that meet the ATO’s criteria.

Criteria for eligibility

To be allowed by the ATO to provide a registered business tax accountant with the STP engagement authority, an employer will have to meet the following criteria:

  • Must not have any overdue activity statement lodgments
  • Must not have any outstanding debts unless covered by a payment arrangement or is subject to review
  • Must not have been subject to ATO compliance activity for Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) withholding
  • The Director of the company must not have been issued with a Director Penalty Notice (DPN) or at any other company where they have been a Director

The STP engagement authority document should include clear outlines of the responsibilities of both the business and its business tax accountant as well as the agreed terms for calculating and paying employees’ salaries. In addition, the authority document should summarise any taxation and superannuation obligations of the employer.

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This permission by the ATO is an ideal solution for business owners that are having a hard time complying with the Single Touch Payroll system. It allows business tax accountants and tax agents to have a continuing engagement with clients where they don’t have to sign off every STP lodgment.


If you need assistance with Single Touch Payroll lodgments, contact a Chan & Naylor accountant near you, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Aside from STP lodgments, have a look at our other accounting and advisory services that we do to help you achieve greater success.

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Chan & Naylor Group has nationwide offices in North Sydney, South West Sydney, Sydney, Pymble and Parramatta in New South Wales, Melbourne, Moonee Ponds and Hawthorn in Victoria, Brisbane and Capalaba in Queensland, and East Perth in Western Australia where our expert business tax accountants can assist you with your Single Touch Payroll lodgments as well as any other business or personal tax enquiry that you may have. Contact us today.
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