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12 Apr 2019 Single touch payroll

MEMBER 71 writes: 

I really don’t understand the ATO logic. 

In their response to the recent IGTO report, they said at 4.2(a) that “…the ATO also has an obligation to provide no cost digital services to the community to ensure the community can quickly and easily satisfy their tax and superannuation obligations”. Yet when it comes to assisting micro-businesses to fulfil their single touch payroll (STP) obligations, the ATO has simply passed the problem on to commercial operations who are not charities and will only offer STP services to entice people to use their other systems and services so that they can ultimately make a profit. 

If the ATO was serious about its 4.2(a) statement, then it would have developed an STP system as they did for activity statements on the Tax Portals. Unfortunately, the ATO approach doesn’t build community trust if the ATO says something in one area that suits their position and then simply ignores what it has said in another situation. There is no consistency in what the ATO says. It would be simpler if the ATO built an STP system on their business portal that microbusiness could use at no cost because the benefits from STP will accrue to the ATO not the micro-businesses. It would also save microbusinesses time and money because many of them will probably need to engage someone like an accountant, bookkeeper or consultant to select the best STP product for their needs because of the large number of options to choose from. Furthermore, in many instances, there will be a cost for an external person to run the STP system for the micro-business each payday.

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