Employer of 19 or Less Staff? The ATO is About to Complicate Your Life.

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The Australian Taxation Office is going to make you buy the latest computer technology and payroll software whether you want/need it or not, and to contribute prematurely to E-waste.

By July 1, 2019, if you have 19 or less employees, you will be required to comply with the Single Touch Payroll Legislation (Treasury Laws Amendment 2018 Measures No.4) introduced into Parliament last March with no publicity. STP will require you to provide the ATO with "real time" reporting of your wage, salary, PAYG withholding and superannuation payment obligations directly from your payroll software.

If you don't have the latest technology, the cost may shock you. My very small  company's existing computers and software serve our needs very well. However, we will have to spend more than $10,000 and also bear the cost of reduced productivity while we learn the new systems. A specialist engineering company with 4 or 5 staff advised it will cost them $25,000 to comply and also meet their factory operational needs.

This legislation is unfair and discriminatory. The Federal Government and the ATO justify it because some unscrupulous business owners don't meet their PAYG and Super Guarantee obligations. Therefore they are forcing all small businesses to pay so the ATO can try to monitor the cheats.

Spare some sympathy for those business owners who don't have any or adequate internet access, or aren't computer literate. What are they supposed to do?

The ATO also argue it will reduce your regulatory burden. It will not! For example, if you pay your staff weekly, you will have to accurately report each week, on or before payday, all your payments and obligations for that pay period and the year to date. You will need to verify the accuracy of all that data before you press "Send" instead of when you do your BAS and pay SG to the funds.

The Coalition Government campaigned that they would reduce red tape for small business which they once described as the "backbone" of the economy. They are about to break vertebrae in that backbone because many will not be able to afford, or have the skills, to comply with STP. The ATO should be properly resourced to pursue fraudulent employers and let the rest of us invest funds in our businesses in a manner which we judge will support their future success (including continuing to employ staff). 

STP for small employers must not succeed.  Please help by signing this petition and passing it on to all your business contacts and other supporters of small business. Alternatively, please write to the responsible Minister, The Hon. Kelly O'Dwyer, M.P.



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