CHANGE IS COMING: Planet 72 Icecreamery owner Dallas Harch is preparing for Single Touch Payroll, a system of reporting employees' tax and superannuation details to the Australian Taxation Office each payrun.
CHANGE IS COMING: Planet 72 Icecreamery owner Dallas Harch is preparing for Single Touch Payroll, a system of reporting employees' tax and superannuation details to the Australian Taxation Office each payrun. Blake Antrobus

Small businesses have until July to prepare for ATO change

SMALL business owner Dallas Harch is preparing for the "biggest compliance change since GST" after doing his own research.

From July 1, the Australian Taxation Office will impose Single Touch Payroll on employers with 19 or less employees.

It will mean business owners will have to report their employees' tax and superannuation details to the ATO each time they are paid.

For Mr Harch, who employs 10 staff to run his business Planet 72 Icecreamery, the change should be seamless because of the software program he uses to pay wages.

"It might level up the playing field, particularly businesses like hospitality where some people don't pay their staff right," Mr Harch said.

"It's going to be much easier for the ATO and government agencies to detect that.

"The only thing is, it might push them into darker territory, where they pay them in cash."

Mr Harch said he was only aware of Single Touch Payroll after reading a small article in The Courier Mail about eight months ago.

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"If I hadn't have read it in the paper or seen a little bit about it from the Chamber of Commerce, and then actually researched it, I would probably still be clueless as well," he said.

"Maybe the ATO did send out information months ago? I can't recall that. It would be interesting to see if they do correct us on that.

"This is probably the biggest compliance detail that's happened since the GST came in and I thought they would have made a bigger deal."

Ulton Charted Accountants assistant manager Melissa Charlton advised small business owners to prepare for the change now.

"There are some really good fact sheets on the ATO website, but it is going to be a bit of a process to make sure you are registered and ready to go come July 1," Ms Charlton said.

"Be proactive and contact your software provider now if you're using an existing software program or do your research because there are some transitional arrangements in place for micro-employers..."