Maitland Mercury Interview: Being the only tax practitioner on ATO’s new payroll working party

Oct 24, 2022

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by the Maitland Mercury on Single Touch Payroll. Below is a copy of the article that was published April 6th, 2018. To view the original article click here.

Maitland businesswoman Amanda Gascoigne has been selected as the only Australian tax practitioner to sit on the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) Single Touch Payroll (STP) Readiness Working Group.

STP is a new way business with more than 20 employees will start reporting to the ATO from July 1.

Mrs Gascoigne, a mother of two, started her accounting practice from scratch nearly 19 years ago at the age of 28.

Her brother joined her firm four years ago and last year Gascoigne Consulting and Keirs Carr merged to form Anova Chartered Accountants with offices in Green Hills, Cessnock and Newcastle.

She has been working with the ATO and other stakeholders closely since the new STP system was first flagged in November 2016.

STP Payroll is a reporting change for employers. Employers will report payments such as salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation information from their payroll solution each time they pay employees.

STP will be expanded to include employers with 19 or less employees from July 1, 2019. This is subject to legislation being passed in parliament.

“A lot of accountants I have spoken to over the last couple of months have made the observation that they’re not really doing much around STP because they fear the start date will just end up being pushed out like it was for SuperStream (the way businesses must pay employee superannuation guarantee contributions to super funds),” Mrs Gascoigne said.

“But the ATO would have learned a lot from the delayed launch of SuperStream, so betting on STP being delayed is somewhat of a fool’s game,” she said.

From April 1 all clients needed to do a headcount to determine their start date.

July 1 this year is the start date for employers with 20 or more employees as at April 1 this year.

July 1 next year will mark the start date for employers with 19 or fewer employees as at April 1 this year.

Mrs Gascoigne was invited to lodge an expression of interest to apply for a position with the STP project.

“I decided to put my hat in the ring to be considered for the “change management readiness working group” and sent off an email,” Mrs Gascoigne said.

“The group interested me because its purpose was to work collaboratively with the ATO to shape and influence delivery of the change management approach including stakeholder engagement, communication and business readiness and transition to STP.”

Fairfax Media has reported how employers who hang on to rather than pay workers super contributions will face up to 12 months in prison under the new legislation. STP will allow the ATO to detect breaches in real time. Until now the ATO has only been able to impose fines.

Published by Maitland Mercury – April 6th, 2018