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Single Touch Payroll STP

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 > ATO Lodge

Definition Table

End Of Financial Year
Last STP submission for this employee for the financial year
Pay As You Go - Employee tax obligation
Standard Business Reporting - The gateway used to talk to the ATO
Single Touch Payroll
Tax File Number Declaration - Required from all staff when first hired
Year To Date - All STP data is YTD

What is Single Touch Payroll?

STP is a method of reporting your payroll data electronically to the ATO. The payroll data is sent from your payroll software to the ATO via a service called SBR.

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:

  • Managing AUSkeys
  • Processing Group Certificates/Payment Summaries
  • Filing Tax File Number Declarations (TFND)
  • EOFY payroll reporting process

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

Using STP within Microkeeper

STP data must be submitted when payroll is processed, thus your employees onboarding processes 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 payroll is processed.

Microkeeper has integrated Single Touch Payroll heavily into our 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.

When it's an employee's final payrun for the year their payslip must be marked as Final, thus there are two cases were this will be relevant.

  1. On the last payrun for the year, Microkeeper has the option to mark all payslip as Final in one hit
  2. When an employee is terminated or marked as inactive

Payment Summaries for 2017/18

Employers are likely going to need to submit Payment Summaries for 2017/18.

This is because all past payments will not have been classified correctly and terminated staff where not finalised correctly for STP.

The onboarding 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 to 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

Microkeeper only reports active staff with a PAYG or Gross value greater than 0 to the ATO.

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

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

This will be the last time time the employee is included in an STP report.

Process for rehiring a staff member

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

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

Remove the Terminated Date

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 you have commenced work again.

Make sure to double check all the employees details are still current.

The last payrun for the year

When you process the last payrun for the year all payslips must be marked as Final.

If an employee was terminated throughout the year but did not have their last payslip marked as final Microkeeper will flag an issue.

Microkeeper has extra validation for the last payrun of the year to ensure all staff are reported correctly.

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 ASAP.
  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 reponse feedback to employer
  1. Receive data from Microkeeper
  2. Analyze and validate data
  3. Record data for business reporting purposes
  4. Respond to Microkeeper with employer feedback

Employer setup process

Review all Shift rules, Extra rules, Deductions Rules and Public Holiday Rules.

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

Past payroll data will not be classified correctly, thus if you report via STP during the 2017/18 financial year, running Payment Summaries will still be required.

However, Microkeeper recommends running practice runs now to push the limits of both Microkeeper and SBR.

Employer STP processing steps

Review staff details

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


Process payroll
Process payroll as usual

Make sure all payments are classified correctly.



Click ATO lodge

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 filled.

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.

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

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 Title
ATO Brief Description
Normal earnings
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, and - 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.

Working Holiday Makers
The amount earned by the Working Holiday Maker for the relevant period.
Labour Hire Arrangement
The amount of gross income earned by an individual worker through a labour hire firm without establishing a contractual arrangement with the worker.
Foreign Resident
The total of all gross payments made to the foreign resident payee for the financial year.
Car expense allowance.
Award transport payments up to reasonable amounts.
Laundry allowances.
Award overtime meal allowance.
Domestic or overseas travel allowance above the reasonable limit and all overseas accommodation allowances.
All other allowances for expected deductible expenses.
Employee Termination Payments ETP
Type R - Taxable
ETP made because of one of the following: early retirement scheme, genuine redundancy, invalidity, or compensation for personal injury, unfair dismissal, harassment, or discrimination.
Type R - Fax-Free
As above line except tax free component
Type O - Taxable
Other 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).
Type O - Fax-Free
As above line except tax free component
Type S - Taxable
ETP 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.
Type S - Fax-Free
As above line except tax free component
Type P - Taxable
ETP 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.
Type P - Fax-Free
As above line except tax free component
Type D
Death benefit ETP paid to a dependant of the deceased.
Type B
Death 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.
Type N
Death benefit ETP paid to a non-dependant of the deceased.
Type T
Death benefit ETP paid to a trustee of the deceased estate.
Lump Sum Payments
Lump A - Type R
Type 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 - Type T
Type T = Where payment was not a payment for a genuine redundancy, invalidity or under an early retirement scheme.

Lump A = Description above
Lump B
The amount paid for unused long service leave that accrued before 16 August 1978.
Lump D
The amount of genuine redundancy payment or early retirement scheme payment below the tax-free threshold.
Lump E
The amount of back payment received including salary or wages that accrued in a period more than 12 months before the date of payment.
Workplace Giving
Workplace giving is a simple way to regularly donate to charities or organisations that are entitled to receive tax deductible donations.
Union 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.