GET READY: The Australian Taxation Office is warning small businesses to be ready for the transition to Single Touch Payroll.
GET READY: The Australian Taxation Office is warning small businesses to be ready for the transition to Single Touch Payroll.

Is your business at risk of being fined by the ATO?

WITH a large concentration of small businesses, the Australian Tax Office has flagged Bowen as an area that may not be prepared for the mandatory change to single touch payroll at the end of this month.

From September 30, small businesses across Australia will need to adopt Single Touch Payroll (STP) services for their payroll.

STP works by sending tax and super information from your payroll or accounting software to the ATO as you run your payroll.

STP became mandatory for small employers, with between 1-19 employees, from July 1 this year, however, the ATO granted an extension to businesses that needed more time to get ready until September 30.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Jason Lucchese said now is the time for small employers to be aware of their options and take the right steps to get ready.

"More than 400,000 employers are already reporting their employees' tax and superannuation information digitally through STP," Mr Lucchese said.

"But we understand all employers operate in slightly different ways and every industry has unique challenges which can affect their payroll processes."

Bowen Chamber of Commerce Chairman Bruce Hedditch said that he hasn't heard of any businesses in the region having issues, but it is something that 'must be addressed'.

"The bigger businesses have probably already made the transition through their accountants," he said.

"However it's those self-ran, smaller businesses that I would be concerned about."

Mr Hedditch said that he didn't want to see any small businesses in Bowen suffer from not being able to transition to the new model.

"Like a lot of regional communities across Australia, we are struggling a little," he said.

"I'd like to see someone from the ATO come to the region, and to a chamber of commerce meeting, to help with this changeovers, especially as there is an office in Townsville.

"I know it's a nuisance to come out to a regional town, but it's incredibly important that no one is left behind."

The introduction of the Vulnerable Workers Act last year increased award non-compliance and incorrect record-keeping fines to as high as $630,000.