What Single Touch Payroll means for customers

Your employer can now report to the ATO through Single Touch Payroll (STP). If they report through STP, 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 income reporting for our customers.

These changes mean contact with us will be faster and simpler. People understand that like banks, 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

Prefilling employer details

From September 2020 if you get an income support payment you’ll see improvements in your Centrelink online account. We are doing this by prefilling your employer details. The changes will make it easier for you to report employment income. Read more about income reporting and how we’re making reporting your employer details easier.

Enhancing Child Support processes

We used STP data in a pilot to make sure we had the right details to contact employers. This means that 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.

We learned the data was more accurate and this saved employers and us a lot of time.

Improving Family Tax Benefit (FTB) processes

We contacted a small number of FTB customers as part of a pilot to explain:

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

We’ll check these records again to see if this contact encouraged customers to lodge tax returns.

The pilot found people have a better idea of what to do at tax time when we combine both:

  • STP data
  • customer messages.

Page last updated: 14 October 2020