Single Touch Payroll for Micro Employers – Lodge Your Deferral Application Now

Single Touch Payroll, the new system for reporting wages, tax and superannuation information to the ATO, is well and truly here. Initially, the system was required for large employers only; however, from 1 July 2019 all employers must enter the system.

Businesses with over four employees must lodge the payroll data with the ATO each time employees are paid.
Small businesses with one to four employees may choose to report the payroll data quarterly at the same time as lodging the activity statement through a registered agent.
Registered agents who have eligible businesses must apply for this reporting concession by 30 September 2019.
Once the agent has applied for the reporting concession, it is the agent who must submit the payroll data quarterly. If the employer wishes to submit payroll data, they must report to the ATO at each pay event.


To make use of the reporting concession, businesses must meet certain criteria.
  • 1-4 employees (not including closely held payees such as family members or directors)
  • Business must lodge activity statements through the services of a registered agent
  • Business is up to date with lodgements and not subject to a payment plan.

How do you lodge your agent deferral application?

  • Log in to ATO online services (formerly the ATO portal)
  • From your practice dashboard, go to View client list.
  • Select the relevant client
  • From the client dashboard, select the Business drop-down menu then select STP deferrals and exemptions
  • Select the relevant reason for deferral, in this case, Small business reporting concession – Quarterly reporting. Enter the number of employees, sign and submit.

Repeat this process for all micro employers who wish to report quarterly.

Once the concession has been granted, even if employee numbers increase the business can continue to report quarterly until 30 June 2021.

Check the ATO STP Micro employers information for more detail.

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