• The Farmers Accountant

An update on Single Touch Payroll (STP)

As you may be aware, there are deferrals available for small businesses who have not yet started or implemented the STP system.

  • There is an automatic exemption for employers with 19 or less employees up to 30 September 2019.  Although the original start date was 1 July 2019, the ATO are giving additional time for STP to be put in place.

  • If you employ four or less employees (not including family members), you are able to lodge under the Micro-Employer rules and only lodge an STP report at the end of the quarter.  Under this scenario, the BAS and STP can be lodged at the same time.  It is only registered Tax or Bas Agents that can apply for this deferral (and also lodge the STP at the same time as the BAS).

  • If you have intermittent or poor internet service, this can be a reason for exemption from the STP system.

There are a number of other deferrals available that can be viewed in the link below, however it is important that you realise that any deferral after 30 September 2019 will need some deferral/exemption request to be lodged with the ATO.

Single Touch Payroll Deferrals


Incorrect Bank Account Details with the ATO

From 1 July 2019 to 30 November 2019, the ATO are sending SMS text messages to clients if incorrect bank account details are included in the tax return and they are entitled to a refund. If the client contacts the ATO with the correct details within 7 days, the ATO will issue their refund electronically, otherwise the ATO will send them a cheque. If you do happen to receive one of these text messages, be careful that it is not a scam.  The way you avoid scams is to ring the ATO directly and discuss the issue with them.  *Make sure you do not enter information directly in response to the text message.*


Increase in Fuel Tax Credit Rates

The ATO have just announced the change in Fuel Tax Credit rates.  From 5 August 2019, the FTC rate for general farm use is 41.8c/L and 16c/L for fuel used in heavy vehicles travelling on public roads.  These rates can be viewed in the link below.

Fuel Tax Credits


Car Claims

The ATO is making car claims the focus of attention for this tax year.  In the 17/18 year, there were $7.2bn of tax deductions claimed on car expenses so it is not surprising that the ATO are looking at this a little closer.  In the ATO words "While some people do make legitimate mistakes, we are concerned that many people are deliberately making dodgy claims in order to get a bigger refund.  We see taxpayers claiming for things like private trips, trips they didn’t make and car expenses their employer paid for or reimbursed them for.” Below are three golden rules for avoiding problems with the ATO in this area:

  • Generally trips between home and work cannot be claimed, unless the taxpayer has a work-related need to travel while performing their job (like travelling from job to job or transport of bulky equipment.)

  • Don’t double dip by claiming car expenses paid for or reimbursed by the employer;

  • Taxpayers should make sure they keep records to prove how they worked out their claim.  (Even cents per kilometre claim needs some rationale on how they arrived at the numbers they used for car travel in their tax return.)

As always, if you need assistance with anything to do with STP, we are here to help. 

Get in touch and we will be glad to assist.

(02) 6884 5542