Get ready, because the first stage of Single Touch Payroll (STP) Phase 2 is right around the corner in Xero. For a quick refresher, STP Phase 2 will see Australian businesses build on their existing STP reporting to share more information with the ATO and other government agencies each pay run.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about what stage one will look like within Xero – and what you’ll need to do to prepare.
First things first, STP Phase 2 is the next evolution of STP reporting
Where phase one had you reporting employees’ tax and super directly to the ATO, STP Phase 2 expands the program to capture more detailed information. This reduces the compliance burden for employers and individuals and helps the admin side of things for the ATO and Services Australia.
The changes will start rolling out from late August within Xero
The rollout is kicking off in three key stages within Xero. While stage one is taking place as planned, so we can ensure that stages two and three are equally as streamlined, we’ll be pushing their delivery dates out (rest assured, everyone will have the time they need to transition). To help you work through the upcoming changes, we’ll also be launching transition tools at each stage.
Here is our updated timeline:
Stage one – Starting from late August: The first part of this process is transitioning your existing employee profiles to be STP Phase 2 compliant. This means providing new details on existing staff, like whether they’re an employee or contractor. Some of you may already be testing out the new employee set up process as part of our limited release so will be familiar with these fields.
Stage two – Coming soon: Next, you’ll need to identify and update pay items with the new earnings categories as defined by STP Phase 2. New earnings categories like Directors’ fees and Bonuses and Commissions are already available in Xero Payroll, if you want to get a head start.
Stage three – Coming soon: This is the final step in the STP Phase 2 transition and will break paid leave into additional subcategories. We’ll support you with a guided payroll experience to help update existing leave categories to meet the new reporting requirements.
Stage one involves some changes to new employee setup in Xero Payroll
As detailed above, with stage one, employee onboarding will be changing. As a result, all new employees set up in Xero Payroll will naturally be STP Phase 2 compliant. These changes will start rolling out from late August and as part of this process, the employment and taxes tabs will have a new look and some additional fields to complete.
We’ll be launching the employee profile transition tool to help you with stage one
Using this guided experience, you’ll be able to update existing employee profiles to capture relevant STP Phase 2 information.
There will be an improved STP Phase 2 Portal in Xero Payroll
As part of the August release, we’re updating the STP Phase 2 Portal within Xero Payroll. This will become the central point for customers to understand and action the steps for a successful STP Phase 2 transition over the coming months.
You will be notified within Xero Payroll when each stage is available
The transition to STP Phase 2 reporting will be gradual, and we encourage all customers to action the steps as soon as they become available within Xero Payroll. This will be made clear to you within your account, complete with guidance on what needs to be done (as will be the case for the stages to follow).
Start planning for your transition now
While you’ll have the time to make all relevant changes, the best approach is to set aside time to get started as soon as possible. This might require some planning to ensure you have all the information needed. If you’re unsure about updating your payroll data for STP Phase 2, speak to your advisor.
Xero’s educational resources and transition tools will help you through the process
- Register for our upcoming STP Phase 2 webinar
- Watch the employee transition video
- Download the employee transition fact sheet
Looking for more information on STP Phase 2? Check out our guide to STP Phase 2, timeline infographic and this handy checklist. You can also visit Xero Central or refer to the ATO’s employer reporting guidelines.
We’ll be sharing plenty of information and educational resources over the next few months as the transition continues. Keep an eye out in Xero Payroll, Xero Central and across our social media channels for further updates and reach out if you have any questions – we’re here to help.