08 Jul

Quarterly STP Reporting for Small Employers, Seasonal Operators and Closely Held Payees

Generally speaking, STP reporting now affects all Australian businesses with everyone expected to be compliant on 1st July 2019 or at least by the 30th September 2019 and to submit payroll data online to the ATO after each ‘pay event’ (pay run).

But the ATO has finally stated that there will be reporting concessions to certain types of employers.

Small Employers

If you’re an employer of between one and four employees (a ‘micro’ employer) and need more time to get set up with STP, the ATO will officially allow you to report payroll data quarterly via a registered tax or BAS agent until 30 June 2021.

Seasonal Employers

As for those businesses with ‘seasonal’ or intermittent operations who see an increase in employees for less than three months of the year, there are also some concessions according to business size.

If, at a maximum, they employ 19 or fewer short-term employees, then there’s a concession automatically available by application via the business’s registered tax or BAS agent.

For those seasonal businesses who employ more than 19 short-term staff during peak periods, then the ATO is saying they will review their application (via registered agent) on a case-by-case basis.

Closely Held Payees

According to the ATO, ‘closely held payees’ include family members of a family business, directors or shareholders of a company and beneficiaries of a trust. ‘Closely held payees’ are staff members who aren’t ‘held at arm’s length’.

The ATO has clarified that small employers with 19 or less employees that include ‘closely held payees’ are exempt from STP for the 2019-20 financial year.

For these employers, STP can be reported quarterly from 1 July 2020.


If you are one of these type of employers then your STP compliance and reporting timeline has finally been clarified.

For now, the most straightforward option remains taking up one of MYOB’s STP compliant payroll software solutions like Essentials or AccountRight Live.  If you think you’re in line for a reporting concession, or need to report quarterly instead, we recommend reviewing the ATO’s website to clarify your position or contact Bart Consulting to assess your situation.