Payroll pain

A PERTH payroll manager is concerned a lot of businesses are breaching new legislation that requires companies with 20 or more staff to report payroll and superannuation data every time employees are paid.

The Single Touch Payroll legislation came into effect on July 1 this year, and easigroup CEO Ross Elford says many businesses are oblivious to the changes.

“The onus is on the employers to stay up to date with legislative requirements,” says Mr Elford.

“The information isn’t widely broadcast as tax offices are under no obligation to do so.”

Business will be charged 15 cents per employee, every time a payroll is transacted, and could have to purchase or upgrade their payroll software to comply with regulations.

“So if you have 100 employees costing you 15 cents every week of the year, that’s $780 a year just so the government can have access to all reporting requirements,” Mr Elford says.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce CEO Olwyn Williams says the new legislation is “more red tape” and has a significant impact on privacy of both employers and employees.

“It’s truly big brother stuff. They are watching and will have access to what your company is doing all the time with every pay cycle,” she says.

“This year the biggest impact will be for those businesses with a payroll with over 20 people but not using an up-to-date software package. If your payroll system doesn’t connect by now, you should be getting on with it.”

She’s concerned small businesses will take a real hit because many operate without dedicated payroll staff.

Ms Williams says the extent of data sharing will mean the government will be able to check if employees are being paid properly and also if they are toeing the line with Centrelink and visa requirements.

“If you’re doing the right thing, you’re not going to get in trouble but it’s a mammoth increase to the amount of data the government has.”

Mandatory

The new legislation will become mandatory for businesses with less than 20 employees from July next year.

Mr Elford says the legislation has been rolled out prematurely.

“They haven’t finished working out what exactly they want,” he says. Certain aspects of reporting aren’t yet clear, like how to report termination payments or foreign income.”

He says its important the broader community is made aware of the changes.

“It’s a very real issue.”

If you’d like to know more you can find an information sheet and checklist at this link: https://hr3.com.au/blog/2018/4/18/single-touch-payroll-whitepaper-and-checklist-2018.

by MOLLY SCHMIDT

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