Payroll FAQ: How do I self service my Single Touch Payroll (STP) needs during this EOFY period?

Question

 How do I self service my Single Touch Payroll (STP) needs during this EOFY period?

Answer

You can use the End of Financial Year (EOFY) hub to self service any Single Touch Payroll (STP) needs you may have during this period. We have listed below some common sub-questions and answers we get on this topic.

Glossary

  How do I create and lodge an update event and when/why should I do this?  

An update event is used to report changes to employee Year to Date (YTD) amounts that you previously reported to the ATO. We do not associate update events with any pay run and therefore you should only create one when you have not made an employee payment.

Other examples where you would create an update event include:

  • When transferring YTD payroll data from one payroll system to another, in order to align the latest employer BMS data with the last employee data reported to the ATO.
  • Upon transitioning from STP Phase 1 to STP Phase 2, and prior to lodging, the first pay event.
  • To assist with EOFY processes, including finalisation and amendments to STP. After the 30th of June, you must submit any changes made to employee data for the prior financial year via an update event.

Helpful Hint

If you have already included an employee in a finalisation event for the financial year, they will not show up in an update event. If you need to update STP data in these cases, you need to create an amended finalisation event for the appropriate pay schedule and add the employee to this event. To read further information on this process, refer to the following article.

  The ATO has reached out and indicated that we are not yet reporting for STP Phase 2. What should we do?  

Please lodge an update event to resolve this issue. To read further information on how to lodge an update event, refer to the following article.

  How do I get help from support?  

Authorised, full access users of the payroll platform can submit a help request to support via this online form. Ensure you use the email address listed in the Manage Users tab and that you are a full access user. To check that you are using an allowed email address, review your access on the Manage Users page. 

  What data checks can I perform to get ready before EOFY and creating and lodging the finalisation event?  

It is very important to check that you have recorded the correct information for your employees. In particular, you will need to check that you have recorded the correct name, TFN, email address, and home address for each employee. This will assist with validation and we will alert employees when their Income Statement is available. The Employee Details report will be the quickest and easiest way to collate and check this data. You should include the following selections:

  • Name.
  • Email address.
  • Postal address.
  • Single Touch Payroll.
  • Tax File Number.

Helpful Hint

Be sure to include any employees who have been terminated during the financial year.

 Important

Do you use our Employment Hero HR platform? If so, update the above details via your HR platform and they will sync automatically over to your payroll platform. If you have an already open update event, you can refer to the following FAQ on how to refresh the displayed data to so it reflects your employee changes.

  Do I need to review anything specific to pay categories and deduction categories?  

Yes, as with the preparation for STP Phase 2 reporting, you were required to review each pay category to ensure that the classifications were correct. Please review again to ensure they are reporting correctly. You can refer to the Single Touch Payroll (STP) Phase 2: Disaggregation of gross article for further information and for deduction categories you can read the Single Touch Payroll (STP) Phase 2: Child support garnishees/deductions article.

  I processed an ad hoc pay run and submitted it via STP. I tried to create an update event, and it came up as zero  

When you have earnings under an ad hoc pay run, the platform will include them within the finalisation event for the employee’s default pay schedule.

We transitioned to Employment Hero during this financial year and need to bring in employees who had earnings this financial year, but were terminated prior to our transition to Employment Hero.   

You can refer to the Payroll platform: Transition options available with STP reporting article under Scenario 2 for details on what you will need to do.

  Our previous payroll provider has lodged a zero balance for STP and marked the items as tax ready. Will Employment Hero override their data when I lodge the finalisation event?  

As long as you set up EH Payroll using the same ABN, BMS ID, Branch Number and employee's STP Payroll ID, and if your STP lodgements are going through successfully, then your finalisation event will also be successful in lodging your final figures.

You can check your STP lodgements via your ATO Portal. We also recommended that you ask 2-3 employees if they can spot check their reported YTD earnings listed on their myGov account and if that data is in line with the total listed on their most recent payslip, and showing no duplications or multiple listings. If you find anything concerning, please raise a ticket with our support team as soon as possible via this online form.

  Where can I review my FBT Settings?  

You can review your Fringe Benefit Settings via the ATO Settings page found on the Payroll Settings menu. By default, we will set the Is this employer exempt from FBT under section 57A of the FBTAA 1986 toggle switch to the No option .

Please be aware that if you have multiple employing entities, you can review and configure this setting for each employing entity as well via the Employing Entities page found on the Payroll Settings menu. 

  We are adding in our FBT data manually. When is the best time to input this data? During the finalisation process or as an update event?  

You can easily enter your Reportable Fringe Benefits Amounts (RFBA) via the Finalisation Event Wizard. Refer to the Creating a Finalisation Event premise and scroll to Step 8 for the specific details.

You can also export a template that you can use to bulk upload your data.. You can do this by downloading the template from the Employee Reportable Fringe Benefits section found within the Data Extracts feature. Ensure you have selected the correct financial year and that you click the Download button. To read more information on this feature, you can refer to the following article.

  Can I get the bulk import template now without starting finalisation?  

Yes, you can also bulk upload this data in advance by downloading the template from the Employee Reportable Fringe Benefits section found on the Data Extracts feature. Ensure you have selected the correct financial year, and that you click the Download button. To read more information on this feature, you can refer to the following article.

  Where do we select Closely Held Employees?  

You can set an employee as closely held via the Employee File module under the Employee menu within your payroll platform. To read further information on how to do this, you can refer to the following FAQ article.

  Can I produce a payment summary for my employees who still want a printed version?  

No, if you are reporting for STP, your employees will need to access their Income Statement via their myGov account. Ensuring their email address is correct is important, as they will receive an email when their Income Statement is available in their portal.

You may wish to communicate this in advance to your employees, especially if they may need to set up their myGov account access. If your employees need help to create a myGov account, you can send them this external link from Services Australia.

  What happens if I have not finalised a pay run? Will the platform include it?  

If you have not finalised a pay run, the platform will not report it or the data to the ATO. If you lodge your finalisation event before finalising all pay runs for the 2020-2021 Financial Year, you will then need to lodge an amended finalisation event so that the platform sends the correct figures to the ATO. This includes normal pay runs and ad hoc pay runs. If it relates to an employee's pay or is an adjustment to an employee's pay, you must finalise it in order to be reported via STP.

  Do I need to lodge all pay events successfully with the ATO before commencing the finalisation process?  

Yes! Please ensure you submit the latest pay events for the financial year with the ATO before commencing your end-of-year finalisation.

  There are pay events that are currently in a failed or submitted status. What should I do?  

The best practice is that you lodge successfully all your existing pay events before lodging any subsequent events. If you have any historical pay events that are not lodged in chronological order (from oldest to newest), then you should not lodge these out of order.

The reason is that if there were successful pay or update events subsequently lodged, the historical events will contain outdated YTD figures. If you have not lodged these events in order, the best practice is to leave them and process them as an update event.

  Do we need to lodge an STP event before lodging a finalisation event?  

Yes. You cannot lodge a finalisation event without first lodging a pay event or update event during the financial year.

  One of our monthly pay runs (pay event) has a status of failed, but we have successfully lodged all of our other pay runs with the ATO. Will the platform include the earnings from the failed pay event in the finalisation event?  

Yes, they will. So long as you have finalised the pay run regardless of whether you lodged it successfully with the ATO, the platform will include the earnings as part of the employees' YTD figures reported in the finalisation event.

  Our allowances pay categories are all set to default. How should we be reviewing these?  

For allowance-based pay categories, refer to the following articles to ensure you have set the correct classification for STP Phase 2 reporting:

If you have set a pay category's payment classification up incorrectly, you must first make the required correction to the classification. You can do this by referring to STP Disaggregation of Gross & STP Reporting. You will then refer to the End of Year Reconciliation for STP article under the heading Incorrect Pay Category Payment Classification for the next steps:

  • Please see the review pay categories section of the End of Financial Year Guide to see how you can check that you have set up the correct Payment Classification.
  • There is also a great article on the ATO website about how these allowances need to be categorised if you are unsure what to assign.

  Can we process the first pay run in July for the new financial year without having finalised the previous EOFY?  

Yes, you can continue processing pay runs as you normally would even before you process EOFY. The Finalisation Event will only capture pay runs with a paid date between the 1st July 2021 and the 30th June 2022. We will include a paid date on the 1st of July 2022 in the next financial year.

  If a previously terminated employee has not been brought across to EH, as we have lodged them via STP as final in their termination pay, how do you report their RFBA for EOFY purposes?  

This can be a complicated process and the answer will differ depending on a case-by-case basis. If you need to do this, please raise a request to support and note in the request:

  • The Employee STP ID from the previous payroll platform.
  • The BMS ID from your previous payroll platform.
  • Your ABN.
  • Your branch number.

  What happens to my RFBT Data for 1/4/2022 - 30/6/2022?  

You would enter this data into your finalisation event next year, as it relates to the next FBT Financial Year (2023).

  Where does it show the grossed-up RFBT?  

The grossed-up RFBA is a figure you will need to calculate and enter on your Finalisation Event for any employees with reportable fringe benefits. For steps on how to enter this data, refer to Step 3 in the following article STP: Processing Finalisation Events Using The EOFY Wizard. To read further information on Gross-up rates for FBT, please see this link from the ATO.

  How do we report on a permanent employee who was terminated and then reinstated in a casual position then?  

If you previously marked an employee as final because of a termination, but you have since reinstated them, then you will need to:

  • Create and Lodge an Update Event.
  • Then untick the Is Final tick box.
  • If they do not appear in the Update Event, you can use the Add Employee feature to include them and then untick the Is Final tick box.
  • Then once you lodge this event, they can continue to have their year-to-date figures reported to the ATO and they will appear in your Finalisation Event.

If you have already lodged your Finalisation Event and you excluded them from this lodgment, but you now have additional earnings to report for them, then you will need to create and lodge an amended finalisation event.

  How do we ensure we include any RESC payments, such as salary sacrifice super in the finalisation event for our employees?  

Any RESC payment, such as salary sacrifice super, that you have processed in the pay run for this financial year will automatically show in your finalisation event. We will generate this data from any pre-tax deduction that is paid to a super fund. You can set up any RESC payment incurred for an employee for this financial year prior to migrating to the Employment Hero payroll within the employee's Opening Balances screen.

Helpful Hint

We strongly suggest you audit all RESC amounts processed in your pay runs to ensure you have correctly assigned them to be paid to a super fund. The ramifications of any other allocation, i.e. other than to the superfund, will cause the employee amounts to show incorrectly on their Income Statement and the employee potentially being stuck with a tax liability. To read further information, please refer to the End of Financial Year Guide 2021/2022 - Reporting STP.

  If an existing Salary Sacrifice Super deduction category has been used to pay deductions manually or to a bank account in the past, will it update with the RESC deduction type ?  

Yes! Even if the existing Salary Sacrifice Super deduction category was previously used to pay super manually or via a bank account, the platform will update your deduction category with the RESC deduction type.

  What reports should we use to reconcile data before we process a finalisation event?  

You can download the STP excel report directly from the finalisation event.

  • Click on the Download button from within the event.
  • Select the Excel YTD option.
  • Open the Excel file.

When opened, it will have five tabs across the bottom and will contain your STP Year to Date data. This contains all your payroll earnings that you have reported for all employees attached to the selected pay schedule via STP for the financial year.

Itemised Gross:

This contains the earnings reported via STP for all employees for the financial year as above, but we have separated it out into individual payment classifications.

ETP

This contains all ETP earnings reported for all employees attached to the selected pay schedule via STP for the financial year.

Payroll Year to Date

This contains all payroll earnings processed in finalised pay runs for all employees whose primary pay schedule is the pay schedule selected when creating the finalisation event. To be clear, if you have created a finalisation event for the pay schedule Monthly, any employee whose default pay schedule is Monthly will appear in the worksheet.

All earnings processed in any finalised pay run for that employee will appear, even if you have included the employee in an ad hoc pay run throughout the financial year. Who will not appear in this worksheet, though, is any employee marked as a closely held employee. This is because we exclude them from STP events and therefore you should not include them for reconciliation purposes.

Variance

This compares the total YTD taxable earnings between the STP Year To Date and the Payroll Year To Date worksheets, which is basically a comparison of what you have reported via STP and what you have processed in pay runs

If your reported variance amount is $0, this confirms all figures match and you can comfortably proceed with lodging your finalisation event. If the variance amount is greater than a few dollars, to allow for rounding, you will need to investigate further and identify/resolve the discrepancy before proceeding with the finalisation event lodgement.

Not Reported referenced in the line minus Not Reported in the STP YTD calculations column on this tab refers to column V (Not Reported) on the STP Year To Date tab. The Not Reported figure/column is all earnings paid with the payment classification Exclude from Payment Summary (Income Statement).

Helpful Hint

You may find some of these earnings included on the ETP tab in this sheet. This is because we separately report ETP payments made with pay categories with this payment classification. This is also the reason why we add these amounts back into the calculation. The point of the exercise is to reconcile STP reporting to total pay runs processed. You can read more information on this in the End of Year Reconciliation - Single Touch Payroll article.

  Should we allow for some variance in our data?  

You should allow a few dollars of variance to account for rounding. You can find more information in the End of Year Reconciliation - Single Touch Payroll article.

  What should we do if we find a variance in our data?  

If your report shows a variance higher than a few dollars, the first thing to do will be to compare each employee's earnings stated between the STP YTD report and Payroll YTD reports. This will help pinpoint the specific affected employees, so you can then investigate further the reason.

The general rule of thumb is if the variance is a negative amount, this means what you reported via STP, which includes the finalisation event, is less than then what you processed in your pay runs. If the variance is a positive amount, then the opposite applies, i.e. what you reported via STP, which includes the finalisation event, is higher than the taxable earnings processed in your pay runs. You can find more information on this in the End of Year Reconciliation - Single Touch Payroll article.

  What may cause a negative variance?  

The main reason for a negative variance could be that you included one or more employees in a failed or partially successful pay event and you did not report their YTD earnings. Subsequently, you may have included one or more of these employees in another event, which means you never reported them successfully via STP or you have not reported their current YTD earning. This would cause an STP YTD amount that is less than their Payroll YTD amount.

  • If this is the case, create and lodge an update event for the affected pay schedule before lodging the finalisation event.
  • Once you confirm that you have lodged the update event successfully, return to the created finalisation event and refresh the displayed data.
  • Download an updated version of the Excel (YTD) report and check that there is no longer a variance before proceeding with the finalisation event lodgement.

You can find more information in the End of Year Reconciliation - Single Touch Payroll article.

  What may cause a positive variance?  

Closely held employees

If you included an employee in any successful STP events throughout the financial year and you subsequently marked as closely held, i.e. they were no longer being reported via STP. If this is the case, you must unmark the employee as closely held so that you can include them in the finalisation event. However, you must not generate/lodge payment summaries for these employees, as it will overstate their YTD earnings for the financial year.

To report on an employee who you marked as closely held:

  • Select the reporting option Report Employee Each Pay Run via the STP Income Types drop-down in the Employee File module Pay Run Defaults page.
  • Refer to the created finalisation event and refresh the data by clicking the Actions button and then clicking the Refresh Data button.
  • Download an updated version of the Excel (YTD) report and check that there is no longer a variance before proceeding with the finalisation event lodgement.

Incorrect pay category payment classification

There may be instances where you created PAYG exempt pay categories to reimburse expenses or for any other reasons and you paid these an employee when processing their normal pay. If this payment does not form part of an employee's wages/salary, you will need to review the payment classification of that pay category and you have selected the Default option.

Our platform will report any earnings associated with pay categories classified as default via STP. Reimbursements typically are not payroll-related and you should classify them as Exclude from Payment Summary (Income statement), although it is up to your business to make such an assessment.

For allowance-based pay categories, you should also refer to this article to ensure you have configured them correctly. If you have set up a pay category's payment classification incorrectly, you must first make the required correction to the classification. Then, what you do next depends on whether the whether you included the affected employees in the finalisation event or not:

  • If you can see all affected employees listed in the finalisation event, then you just need to refresh the data. You can do this by clicking the Actions button and then clicking the Refresh Data button. Next, download an updated version of the Excel (YTD) report and check that there is no longer a variance before proceeding with the finalisation event lodgement.
  • If you can not see all affected employees listed in the finalisation event for example, they may not display as you may have previously finalised some of them in a prior event. In this case you should create and lodge an update event for the affected pay schedule before lodging the finalisation event.
  • If the affected employees do not appear in the update event, you can manually add them in by using the Refresh Data feature.
  • Then, once you confirm that the successful lodgment of the update event refer to the created finalisation event and refresh the data by clicking the Actions button and then clicking the Refresh Data button.
  • Finally, download an updated version of the Excel (YTD) report and check that there is no longer a variance before proceeding with the finalisation event lodgement.

You can find more information in the End of Year Reconciliation - Single Touch Payroll article.

   Will the system automatically update the Superannuation Guarantee amount to 10.5% and remove the $450 per month threshold from 1 July 2022?  

Yes! For any pay runs with a paid date of the 1st of July 2022 onwards, the system will automatically apply the updated rate of 10.5% for any super accrued during the whole pay period. It will also remove the $450 per month threshold for any pay periods with a PAID DATE of 1 July 2022 onwards.

Helpful Hint

Please note by doing so, you will be required to manage this process manually in order to maintain compliance with your Super Guarantee. To read further information, please review the Changes to the Super Guaranteed Rate article.

  What action do I need to take to stop the system from automatically updating the Superannuation Guarantee amount to 10.5% and removing the $450 per month threshold from 1 July 2022?  

On the payroll platform, you will need to go to the Payroll Settings Menu and then select the Details Screen. Scroll to the bottom and untick Automatically Update Super Rates tick box and then click the Save button.

Helpful Hint

Please note by doing so, you will be required to manage this process manually in order to maintain compliance with your Super Guarantee. To read further information, please review the Changes to the Super Guaranteed Rate article.

  What action do I need to take if we pay some of our employees above the default Superannuation Guarantee amount?  

You can adjust this on the payroll platform, in the Employee’s Pay Rates Screen. In the super column, you need to select the Override tick box and then enter the new percentage amount that you wish the employee to be paid. To read further information, please review the Changes to the Super Guaranteed Rate article.

  What action do I need to take if we pay all of our employees on a particular pay rate template above the default Superannuation Guarantee amount?  

You can adjust this on the payroll platform in the Pay Rate Template. Please note that updating this information here will update it for all employees attached to this pay rate template. To read further information, please review the Changes to the Super Guaranteed Rate article.

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