What Single Touch Payroll means for customers

Most employers now report to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) through Single Touch Payroll (STP). This means the ATO sends us your payroll information each time you’re paid.

The benefits of using Single Touch Payroll

The ATO shares payroll data reported by employers with us, for use in our processes. Having this information means we can streamline employment income reporting for our customers.

These changes mean contact with us will be more streamlined. We share and exchange data with other Australian Government agencies. When we do this, we make it a priority to keep your data safe and private. Read more about how we collect information.

The ways we share and protect information

Our government receives data and information for a range of reasons such as:

  • taxation
  • Centrelink payments
  • bank interest
  • medical health insurance
  • fringe benefits.

To do this, there’s a range of laws such as tax, social security and privacy that everyone works within. This includes the ATO, you, employers and us to make sure everyone is doing things the right way.

You can read more about how we exchange employment data with the ATO. It means we can get payroll information about you from the ATO because you’re a customer with both of us.

We’ll always tell you how we manage your data. Read more about data collection and sharing in our Privacy Policy.

The improvements we’ve made

Pre filling employer details

If you get an income support payment you’ll see improvements in your Centrelink online account. You’ll no longer need to manually fill in your employer details. All you’ll need to do is confirm your employer information in your online account. The changes will make it easier for you to report employment income. Read more about income reporting and how there’s an easier way to report your employer details.

Enhancing Child Support processes

We use STP data to make sure we have the right details to contact employers. This means when an employer uses STP we can both:

  • establish child support payments from an employee’s pay more efficiently where it is appropriate to do so
  • reduce the employer burden so they don’t have to give data to government more than once.

This saves employers and us a lot of time and means data is more accurate.

Improving Family Tax Benefit (FTB) processes

To improve the FTB end of year reporting, we’ve contacted FTB customers to explain:

  • our new STP data sharing arrangements
  • what you need to do at tax time
  • why you should lodge a tax return.

This new process has had a positive impact in getting customers to lodge tax returns.

We’re also looking at ways to help prompt more timely updates to family income estimates. Where we get STP data that indicates a customer may have underestimated their family income estimate, we’ll send a text. This will prompt the customer to update their income estimate online. More timely and accurate updates will help customers avoid getting an overpayment.

Page last updated: 14 December 2020