Member Letter Advocating for Deferral
On Friday 11 December, following the release of the draft Single Touch Payroll (STP) Phase 2 Legislative Instrument, ABSIA sent the Hon. Stuart Robert MP and the Hon. Michael Sukkar MP a letter requesting a minimum 12 month deferral on the legislative instrument commencement date.
This letter conveyed the views of many ABSIA members and as a result, ABSIA had approximately 30 members co-signed the letter.
Please find a copy of the letter below.
Dear Minister Robert and Assistant Treasurer Sukkar,
The Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA) and it's members are dismayed with the Single Touch Payroll (STP) Phase 2 legislative instrument commencement date of 1 July 2021. This commencement date comes despite widespread acknowledgement from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) that neither software developers, intermediaries or employers will be ready for such a significant change by this date. Superseding the consultation period, ABSIA urgently seeks an immediate 12 month revision to the legislative instrument commencement date to 1 July 2022 with a clear transition period for employers and their trusted advisors.
ABSIA's members enjoy an extremely close working partnership with the ATO to deliver a host of crucial government initiatives. Most recently, in partnership with the ATO ABSIA members implemented JobKeeper, and are now in the process of progressing JobMaker. Without the immediate response from ABSIA's members in collaboration with the ATO, the delivery of JobKeeper under tight timeframes was impossible. ABSIA's members are proud of the outcomes achieved through its partnership with the ATO and the material contribution to the success of the JobKeeper initiative. However, prioritising JobKeeper, and now JobMaker, delayed the forward program of work for all ABSIA members, including STP Phase 2.
Proceeding with the STP Phase 2 commencement date of 1 July 2021 will result in entirely avoidable negative outcomes. JobMaker and the Fair Work Commission's Modern Awards Pay Database will be immediately deprioritised. Employers will not have access to the JobMaker rebate until the ATO designs a manual system. Wage theft will remain unchecked while honest mistakes will be met with higher penalties as proposed under the omnibus legislation. These outcomes, spread across the length and breadth of the recovering economy are entirely avoidable.
The Government will not achieve its expected $2.1 billion budget saving over five years by rushing STP Phase 2 implementation. Rather, rushing implementation compromises the accuracy of reported incomes and exposes the Government to the risk of incorrect income support decisions. Only through appropriate time for Digital Service Providers (DSPs) to develop and test application programming interfaces (APIs) will the foundations be in place to assure STP Phase 2 data quality. ABSIA considers it would be impossible for the Government to be making income support decisions based on compromised STP Phase 2 data received from 1 July 2021.
The Single Touch Payroll Phase 2 commencement date of 1 July 2021 is a blow to the economy and the business software community. ABSIA urgently seeks a 12 month extension to 1 July 2022, entirely separate from the consultation period. This extension will allow members to continue working with the ATO to deliver both economy-critical measures and STP Phase 2 for Services Australia.
ABSIA looks forward to your response at your earliest convenience. If you prefer to discuss any of the matters raise, please do not hesitate to contact Simon Foster or Matthew Prouse to arrange a meeting.
The letter was then co-signed by the following members:
- Code House
- Infinet Cloud
- Access Attaché
- Arrow Research Corporation
- Core IPS
- Advance Payroll Services
- Eagle Shared Services
- ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll
- Eziway Group
- Easy Payslip
- Australian Bookkeepers Association
- Frontier Software
- Envizion Systems
- The Alpha School System (TASS)
- Technology One
- The Association for Payroll Specialists (TAPS)