Migrant businesses say they are struggling with new tax law changes that require those employing fewer than 20 staff to switch to a Single Touch Payroll (STP) system.
Almost one quarter of so-called ‘micro-businesses’, which employ less than five staff, do not use any software at all. But the new changes mean that they must now use STP-enabled software to report their weekly or fortnightly payroll online.
Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell said many small business owners are not even aware these changes.
“We believe that as many as 50 per cent of small business owners have no idea that this is happening, so the message needs to get out there,” Ms Carnell told SBS news.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) said it will provide resources for business owners who don’t speak English as a first language.
Meanwhile, NSW Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said that the new system will help make the payroll process more efficient.
“Single Touch Payroll will benefit employers by streamlining payroll processes to reduce business costs and provide protections for staff by giving greater visibility to the ATO on unpaid superannuation or late payments,” Mr Tudehope said.
“The new system will make completing paperwork easier for more than 250,000 businesses across the state by automating much of the payroll process and help them stay on top of their financial affairs,” he added.
“The good news is the ATO advises there will be no penalties for mistakes or late reports for the first year, and if you are experiencing hardship or operate in an area with limited internet capabilities, there will be exemptions available.”
Small businesses have until 30 September to switch their systems, while those in remote areas with poor internet connection can apply for an extension.
STP software from major suppliers via the ATO website is available for as little as $10, or free in some cases.
Katherine O’Chee / email@example.com
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