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Getting Technical Single Touch Payroll Phase 2 (STP2) – Clarity around extensions and exemptions

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STP2 represents a significant expansion to the existing Single Touch Payroll (STP) regime which has been in place since 1 July 2018.

STP2 aims to streamline the reporting obligations for employers who need to report information about their employees to multiple government agencies. Due to the breadth and granularity of the data reported under STP2, the regime carries with it far-reaching practical implications for all stakeholders in the process, including employers, employees, government agencies, software providers and intermediaries such as tax agents and BAS agents.

STP2 officially started on 1 January 2022, however employers who started using STP2 on or before 1 March 2022 are considered by the ATO to have been reporting on time. Notwithstanding these specific dates, the ATO have taken a flexible approach to transition. This has been a welcome position on the ATO’s part, however it has also bred a degree of uncertainty across stakeholders as to exactly when they must start reporting under STP2 and the processes surrounding the seeking of extensions.

Broadly, there are two avenues for deferral: a digital service provider (DSP) deferral route and an individual deferral route (initiated either directly or indirectly by their Tax Agent or BAS Agent). We will examine each in turn.

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