New Rules On Your Payment Summary (Group Certificate)

Employers have to give employees a summary of their income for the past year at the end of each financial year (EOFY). This is ‘payment summary’, also known as ‘group certificate’ or ‘pay as you go (PAYG) payment summary’.

Payment summaries are required by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for record-keeping.

Currently, payment summaries are required to be issued to employees by 14 July — covering earnings in the previous year to 30 June.

The employer should lodge the information with the Tax Office, which allows the release of electronic information to myTax for taxpayers who lodge their own tax return online.

Those without a tax agent have to lodge their tax returns on or before the 31 October. Otherwise, most registered tax agents have a special lodgment program and can lodge returns for their clients after the usual October 31 deadline.

Part-year payment summaries

Employee leaving before the end of the financial year (30 June) may request a part-year payment summary be issued before the deadline (14 July).

The request must be in writing and made before 9 June, 21 days before the EOFY.

Employer has to provide the payment summary within 14 days, unless the employee has received a reportable fringe benefit — calculated at the end of the fringe benefits tax (FBT) year (31 March).

New rules on payment summaries

The way you get your payment summary is changing. Depending on how your employer reports your income, tax, and super information to ATO, you will be provided with either:

  • Income statement — if employers report their employees’ income, tax, and super information through Single Touch Payroll (STP), they are no longer required to give payment summaries to employees. This information will be made available through ATO online services via myGov and finalised by 31 July.
  • Payment summary — employers will continue to provide payment summaries by 14 July if they haven’t adopted the STP reporting system yet.

Chase up your employer if you haven’t received your payment summary by the due date, as advised by the Tax Office.

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Single Touch Payroll

Single Touch Payroll works by sending tax and super information from the accounting or payroll software to the ATO. STP reporting is currently available through accounting, payroll, and business management software. STP-enabled products are now offered by most software providers.

Most employers are now required to report your income, tax, and super information directly to ATO each payday via STP — which will phase out payment summaries.

STP applies to employers who have:

  • at least 20 employees (required to adopt from 1 July 2018)
  • 19 or less employees (required to adopt from 1 July 2019).

All employers will eventually adopt the STP reporting system, so all your relevant information can be found in one place. Tax agents will also have online access to this information.

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