Single Touch Payroll

Each pay period a summary of Year To Date payroll data must be sent to the ATO. This guide will explain how this is done and the best practice to get successful submissions. 


Menu > Payroll > Payruns > Payslip > STP Lodge

Definition Table

EOFYEnd Of Financial Year
ETPEmployment Termination Payment
FinalLast STP submission for this employee for the financial year
PAYGPay As You Go - Employee tax obligation
SBRStandard Business Reporting - The gateway used to talk to the ATO
STPSingle Touch Payroll
TFNDTax File Number Declaration - Required from all staff when first hired
YTDYear To Date - All STP data is YTD

What is Single Touch Payroll?

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a method of reporting payroll data (salaries and wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation) electronically to the ATO. The payroll data is sent from your payroll software to the ATO via a service called SBR (Standard Business Reporting).

The data must go through a software solution at some point, thus using a cloud payroll provider like Microkeeper does all the heavy lifting on your behalf.

What are the benefits of Single Touch Payroll?

STP is designed to streamline payroll reporting. Once fully implemented, a few tasks will be eliminated from the payroll officer and HR duties. This includes:

One way to think of STP is like submitting a Group Certificate every payrun.

Using STP within Microkeeper

STP data must be submitted when payroll is processed, thus your employee on boarding processes will have to be efficient and timely.

Employers are going to need to run a tight ship, especially those with high staff turnover rates as they're going to need to collect all relative data from their staff before their first payrun is processed.

Microkeeper has integrated Single Touch Payroll heavily into the application, thus we help collect all relevant data from the employee as soon as they first login including the TFND fields.

All payments and deductions can be classified with the appropriate STP classification on the Payslip.

The table below shows a list of all possible classifications.

Only staff that are included in a payrun are included in a submission via STP, this means terminated/inactive staff will not be included.

The on-boarding process for hiring new staff

When an employee is first added to Microkeeper they should be provided with their login credentials.

Staff should log in and, from the Employee Console, fill all fields required, they should know all fields required for STP with the exception of the TFN.

If the staff member doesn't have a TFN they should apply for one immediately, the employer can insert a temporary place holding TFN if required.

Process for terminating or deactivating a staff member

Except for the Final STP submission, Microkeeper only reports on staff that have been included in a payrun with PAYG tax or Gross value greater than 0 to the ATO.

Thus, when an employee is receiving their last payslip from the business, this should be marked as Final.

Step 1 Process a payrun as normal.

Step 2 Click the Final button on the employees payslip.

Step 3 Review the Final form and apply ready for STP submission.

The Final button on the Payslip will set the Employee as Terminated set the Termination date and mark the Payslip as Final.


If an employee is terminated AFTER an STP submission they will not be included in the next payrun, thus the ATO will not receive a Final STP submission until the last STP submission for the year.

Process for rehiring a staff member

If an employee is rehired or reactivated a few steps need to be followed.

Step 1 Go into the Employees Profile and set the employee as Active.

Step 2 Remove the Terminated Date.

Step 3 Set a new Start Date.

The next time the employee is included in a payrun, their payslip will not be marked as Final and the ATO will know they have commenced work again.

Make sure to double check all the employee's details are still current.

The last payrun for the year

When the last payrun for the year is processed select the Final option.

All staff, including previously terminated staff will be included in the Final submission for the current fiscal year.

When Microkeeper sends this data all staff are marked as Final in the STP submission.

This is the most important submission as this will be the submission staff complete their tax returns with.

Ensure total tax and total values match your accounting suite.

Final STP Submission Settings

Who is responsible for which tasks?

There are 4 main parties involved to make STP possible if any one party doesn't fill their obligation in a timely manner, STP will not be successful.

Staff obligations

Employer obligations

Microkeeper obligations

SBR ATO obligations

  1. Enter all personal details
  2. Enter all Tax preferences
  3. Enter TFN, or apply for TFN immediately
  1. Modify Payroll rules to select the correct STP class
  2. Process payroll
  3. Add any extra payments or deductions
  4. Review STP payroll data
  5. Submit lodgement
  1. Collect and validate all supplied STP data
  2. Convert the data into STP specific data
  3. Send the data to the SBR platform for analysis
  4. Receive response from SBR
  5. Provide response feedback to employer
  1. Receive data from Microkeeper
  2. Analyse and validate data
  3. Record data for business reporting purposes
  4. Respond to Microkeeper with employer feedback

Employer setup to do list

1. Review all the Payroll rules.

Review all Shift Rules, Extra Rules, Deductions Rules and Public Holiday Rules. Select the correct STP classification.

For example: "Car allowance" select STP class "Car"

The option Employee Profile - Tax is used to automatically select the correct STP class from the employee's profile.

For example: Employee Tax set to Australian Resident then the STP class Individual Non-Business will be selected when payroll is processed.

If the setup is completed successfully, the next time payroll is processed all the correct STP classifications will be selected automatically.

2. Add your Software ID to Access Manager

Settings > General > Global

Copy your Software ID  

Access Manager https://am.ato.gov.au

Login and go to My hosted SBR software services

Search for Microkeeper and Paste your Software ID

ETP tax reporting limitation

All PAYG tax amounts are recorded in a single tax field, so we don't have the ability to split out the ETP tax value, this is a limitation of the system.

So instead Microkeeper ratios out the ETP tax amounts based on earnings, it won't always be perfectly correct, but the Total Tax will be correct.

Here are the calculation steps example:

The ATO might say for example, the ETP Tax is undertaxed by $ 50, however the INB tax is overtaxed by $ 50, so no further action is required.

Employer STP processing steps

1Review staff details

Ensure all staff details are complete and accurate, especially for any newly hired employees.


Process payrollProcess payroll as usual.

Make sure all payments are classified correctly.

*If an employee needs to be terminated - Run the Final button on the payslip for staff that need to be terminated.

Pay staff and Lock payrun as per usual.



Click STP lodge to enter the STP ATO Lodgment page.

Select what kind of lodgment you're making and click "Review Data". Refer here for submitting a finalization of STP.

Microkeeper will run validation on all data and provide an STP report to review the data that will be submitted to the ATO.

If Microkeeper's validation fails, you will not be able to submit payroll data until all required fields are corrected.

You will be supplied with an error that will include a list of missing values and which staff are affected.



Digitally sign the form and submit the STP data.



After a response has been returned from the ATO, you can review and check to see if your submission was successful under the STP Log. The log can be found on the STP ATO Lodgment Page.

If the submission to the ATO fails, the ATO will reply with a list of errors that are (hopefully) human-friendly.

A response from a Successful STP submission to the ATO

Single Touch Payroll Payments and Deductions Classification Chart

The specifications from the ATO are incredibly complicated, therefore Microkeeper has simplified the breakdown of the options into a single list and automated the reporting from there.

This chart will help select the correct payment or deduction option/s, however, if you're not sure of a classification, Microkeeper cannot legally assist. You will need to refer to the ATO website or contact legal assistance.

There are many other fields that need to be filled but everything else is either self-explanatory or automatically filled by Microkeeper.

Some fields have been hidden but are available upon request.

Microkeeper CodeMicrokeeper TitleATO Brief Description

Normal earnings
{NULL}Individual Non-Business

Include all salary, wages, bonuses, and commissions paid to the payee as an employee, company director or office holder.

Include the total gross amount before amounts are withheld.

Gross payments also include pensions and annuities; compensation, and sickness or accident pay.

Also include the following amounts:

- Allowances you paid to compensate for specific working conditions and payments for special qualifications or extended hours.

- Allowances you paid to cover expenses that are not tax deductible to the payee. 

For example:

- Normal home-to-work transport expenses

- Holiday pay or bonuses, 

- Amounts you paid for unused long service leave, unused holiday pay and other leave-related payments that accrued after 17 August 1993,
except if the amount was paid because the payee ceased employment under an approved early retirement scheme, invalidity or bona fide redundancy.

WHMWorking Holiday MakersThe amount earned by the Working Holiday Maker for the relevant period.
LHALabour Hire ArrangementThe amount of gross income earned by an individual worker through a labour hire firm without establishing a contractual arrangement with the worker.
FRForeign ResidentThe total of all gross payments made to the foreign resident payee for the financial year.
SKIPSkip STP reportingThe payment will not be included in STP reporting, this can be used to for director drawings for example.

CarCarCar expense allowance.
TransportTransportAward transport payments up to reasonable amounts.
LaundryLaundryLaundry allowances.
MealsMealsAward overtime meal allowance.
TravelTravelDomestic or overseas travel allowance above the reasonable limit and all overseas accommodation allowances.
OtherOtherAll other allowances for expected deductible expenses.

Employee Termination Payments ETP
ETP_R_TType R - TaxableETP made because of one of the following: early retirement scheme, genuine redundancy, invalidity, or compensation for personal injury, unfair dismissal, harassment, or discrimination.
ETP_R_FType R - Tax-FreeAs above line except for tax-free component.
ETP_O_TType O - TaxableOther ETP not described by R (for example: golden handshake, gratuity, payment in lieu of notice, payment for unused sick leave, or payment for unused rostered days off).
ETP_O_FType O - Tax-FreeAs above line except for tax-free component.
ETP_S_TType S - TaxableETP code R payment received in the current year and received another ETP (code R or code O), or a transitional termination payment, in an earlier income year for the same termination of employment.
ETP_S_FType S - Tax-FreeAs above line except for tax-free component.
ETP_P_TType P - TaxableETP code O payment received in the current year and received another ETP (code R or code O), or a transitional termination payment, in an earlier income year for the same termination of employment.
ETP_P_FType P - Fax-FreeAs above line except for tax-free component.
ETP_D_TType DDeath benefit ETP paid to a dependant of the deceased.
ETP_B_TType BDeath benefit ETP paid to a non-dependant of the deceased and a termination payment was made to the non-dependant in a previous income year for the same termination.
ETP_N_TType NDeath benefit ETP paid to a non-dependant of the deceased.
ETP_T_TType TDeath benefit ETP paid to a trustee of the deceased estate.

Lump Sum Payments
Lump_A_RLump A - Type RType R = Where payment was for a genuine redundancy, invalidity or under an early retirement scheme.

Lump A = The amount paid for unused long service leave that accrued after 15 August 1978 but before 18 August 1993;
unused holiday pay and other leave-related payments that accrued before 18 August 1993 or unused long service leave
accrued after 17 August 1993 or unused holiday pay or related payments, where the amount was paid in connection
with a payment that includes or consists of a genuine redundancy payment, an early retirement scheme payment
or the invalidity segment of an employment termination payment or superannuation payment.
Lump_A_TLump A - Type TType T = Where payment was not a payment for a genuine redundancy, invalidity or under an early retirement scheme.

Lump A = Description above
Lump_BLump BThe amount paid for unused long service leave that accrued before 16 August 1978.
Lump_DLump DThe amount of genuine redundancy payment or early retirement scheme payment below the tax-free threshold.
Lump_ELump EThe amount of back payment received including salary or wages that accrued in a period more than 12 months before the date of payment.


SuperSalary Sacrifice or any super amount above the super guarantee.

Fringe benefitReportable Fringe Benefit


Workplace GivingWorkplace giving is a simple way to regularly donate to charities or organisations that are entitled to receive tax-deductible donations.

FeesUnion fees, subscriptions to associations and bargaining agents fees, can be entitled to receive a tax deduction.

Hidden STP fields available on request

All details mentioned in the above table are not legal advice, please refer to the ATO website or get legal assistance when classifying payments or deductions.

Tax Treatment Code

The Tax Tax Treatment Code is a 6 character code, each character is a different tax category.

Example "RTSXXX" is Regular employee with Tax-free threshold and a Student loan.

Microkeeper does not support the chars 4,5,6 so they are set to X.

This table from the ATO explains all possible options:

ATO Tax Treatment Code Table

Employment Basis

Values permitted in the Employment Basis as supplied by the ATO:

Cessation Type

This is a list of Cessation Types as supplied by the ATO.

Amending or Declaring the Reportable Fringe Benefit Amount under STP

When adding the RFBA for STP, you will be adding two lines to the payslip, one will be the Payment, the second will an Expense that deducts that payment from the Gross and classifies it as the RFBA.

NOTE You may be able to skip Steps 1 and 2 if RFBA have not been recorded throughout the financial year.

Step 1: Obtaining current RFBA Reported

After you have finished your final payrun of the Financial Year you will download the current list of RFBA declared via STP.

Payroll > Payruns > Payslip > STP Lodge > Final Payrun > CSV Export. 

Prepare to Lodge STP form

Step 2: Calculate the difference between Current and Grossed up RFBA

Using another excel or another spreadsheet software you’ll have to calculate the difference between what was paid and your grossed-up amount.

Grossed Up - Current = Adjusted

Example 12,000 - 7,000 = 5,000

Step 3: Adding the difference as a Payment

To enter this difference/total figure into the Payrun, create an ad-hoc Payrun or enter this directly onto the Final Payrun.

Upload all the differences using the Add Amendments area at the top of your Payrun. To start we’re adding the Payment portion, open the Payslips and click Payments on the upper left.

Add Amendments

Import all the amounts to be added in a CSV (instructions on the format can be seen if you hover over the blue i),

Then the important thing will be to enter the Class as Extra. This will prevent Super or Entitlements being added to the payment.

Click Add Payments

Example $5000 RFBA Payment

CSV payments upload example RFBA

Step 4: Adding the difference as an Expense

Enter all the differences again but as an expense. This will deduct the amount added and assign it as a Fringe Benefit. (RFBA)

Go back to the Payslips page and click Expense in the Add Amendments area.

Enter the difference, via CSV import or manually entering the values.

Example $5000 RFBA Expense

RFBA Expense example

Step 5: Check Payslips

The last step is to double-check the Payslip and make the Final STP submission when you're ready.

The Payment and the Expense should cancel out to 0, and there should be no super.

RFBA Payslip Example