14 Oct 2021 Business Measures
Supporting the transition to STP Phase 2 reporting
Single Touch Payroll (STP), also known as STP Phase 2, is expanding from 1 January 2022.
While the mandatory start date is 1 January 2022, the ATO’s approach to STP Phase 2 will be flexible, reasonable and pragmatic.
If the payroll solution you use is ready by 1 January 2022, you should start Phase 2 reporting if you can. However, you’ll be considered to be reporting on time if you start Phase 2 before 1 March 2022. You will not need to apply for more time.
If your digital service provider needs more time to update their solutions to offer STP Phase 2 reporting, they can apply for a deferral which will cover you. Your provider will let you know if they have a deferral. Again, you will not need to apply for more time.
More information can be found here.
Online services for agents – terms and conditions updated
The terms and conditions for Online services for agents (OSfA) were recently updated. These changes advise agents of the possible consequences of accessing client information for non-tax related services, or for services they do not have client approval to provide.
The ATO is aware that some agents are using their OSfA access to provide superannuation account details to other advisers and promoters who offer superannuation consolidation services.
Once an individual provides their details and consents to the terms and conditions (which often include appointing the agent as their authorised tax agent), the agent conducts the search and provides the results to the promotor. The promotor then offers their services to the individual for a fee, such as establishing a new superannuation account to consolidate all their current superannuation accounts.
Data about individuals and entities provided to you through OSfA is confidential. You cannot pass on any information to a third party without consent from the person you are currently appointed by.
You can read the full OSfA terms and conditions here.
Varying your PAYG instalments due to COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the ongoing impacts and economic uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ATO will not apply penalties and interest on varied instalments that relate to 2021–22 income year, if you have taken reasonable care to estimate your end of year tax liability.
This means you will need to have made a reasonable and genuine attempt to determine your liability. When considering if a genuine attempt has been made, the ATO will take into account what a reasonable person would have done in your circumstances.
This will apply to 30 June ordinary balancers for the 2021–22 income year and entities that have been granted a substituted accounting period (SAP). For an entity with a SAP, any variation must relate to instalments made during your 2021–22 income year.
More information can be found here.
Preparing your clients for director ID
Director identification number (director ID) is a new requirement for all company directors, designed to help combat illegal activity by making it easier to trace directors’ relationships with companies. Directors can apply for their director ID from November 2021 on the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).
Find out more about director ID and how you can support your clients here.
Modernising Business Registers
As part of its Digital Business Plan, the Government announced the full implementation of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program.
Information for businesses about the MBR program, what’s changing and the director identification number (director ID) can be found here.
Action Differentiation Framework
The Action Differentiation Framework (ADF) is the ATO’s strategic approach to engaging with public and multinational businesses.
Find out more about the ADF here.
Key dates for October 2021