This article will guide you through completing your end of year processing for STP (ie processing a Finalisation Event) using the existing update event functionality.
Please be aware that there is also an STP EOFY Wizard available that provides a more streamlined process of undertaking your end of year obligations. The wizard also includes additional functionality not provided in an update events, such as:
- The ability to bulk import RFB amounts for employees;
- Sending notification emails from the platform once the finalisation event has been successfully lodged; and
- Accessing the amended finalisation event wizard if further finalisation events are required.
Instructions on utilising the wizard can be found here.
The ATO have extended their deadline on reporting finalisation events for the 18/19 FY - the deadline is 31 July 2019.
PLEASE NOTE: Employees will NOT be able to access their Income Statements from their employee portal or app. They will only be available via the employee's myGov account.
Creating a Finalisation Event via an Update Event
To commence this process, go to Reporting > Single Touch Payroll, then click on 'Create Update Event'.
The pop up modal will require that you select:
- the relevant financial year; and
- the relevant pay schedule.
Then click on 'Create'.
N.B. If employees have been paid using multiple pay schedules throughout the financial year, you DO NOT have to complete a finalisation event for each pay schedule for that employee. Rather, you only need to complete the finalisation event for the pay schedule the employee is assigned to. For eg, an employee is assigned to the 'Monthly' pay schedule - they have also however been paid in the 'Adhoc' pay schedule throughout the year. As the employee's default pay schedule is 'Monthly', all the employee's YTD earnings will be reported in the 'Monthly' finalisation event.
You will then be taken to the update event screen where are list of all employees and their YTD payroll data is displayed. The employees that will appear in this event are all employees paid in the financial year who have not previously been marked as 'is final' in an earlier event. If you want to add an employee who has previously been marked as 'is final', click on Actions > Add Employee.
What steps should I now take before I lodge the finalisation event?
There are a few actions to perform at this stage:
- Confirm Payroll Data: To access an excel version of the data shown in this event, click on Actions > Excel. You will then be able to reconcile this report with other payroll reports (such as the Detailed Activity Report) to ensure the figures match.
- Resolve Validation Errors: If you notice a 'Warnings' tab appear on the screen this means that there are issues with the lodgement that must be rectified before proceeding with lodgement. A list and explanation of potential validation warnings can be found here. Once all warnings have been fixed, you can refresh the data in this step by clicking on Actions > Refresh Data.
- Enter Reportable Fringe Benefits Amounts: This is only required if you have employees with reportable FBT amounts that need to be entered. You can enter the amount manually for each employee by clicking on the edit (pencil) icon to open the field, enter the grossed up amount and then click on the save (green tick) icon.
Please take note of the following:
- You must only enter the grossed-up taxable value of these benefits;
- Do not enter any cents in the amounts; and
- Do not include any FBT amounts in the employee's gross earnings; and
- The amount entered must be the YTD amount. If any amounts have previously been entered in other events, they will be displayed on the screen. If you need to update an employee's YTD amount enter the actual YTD amount in the field so that it overrides the existing amount, ie the amount added here will not be in addition to the existing amount showing for the employee.
You may need to seek advice on which FBT deductions are reportable. Further information on FBT can be found here. Lastly, you will notice that the above screenshots include 2 RFBA columns - one for Entertainment and another for Other. The number of columns that appear here for your business will depend on your FBT settings as configured in the ATO Settings screen.
- Mark employees as 'is final': This is an essential step in indicating to the ATO that the employees have no further payments to be made in this financial year. This will also update the employee's Income Statement to 'Tax ready' so they can then lodge their tax return. To mark employees as 'is final', click on Actions > Mark all as final. This action will bulk update all employees.
- Request Client Authority: Once all the above steps are complete AND if you are lodging as a tax/BAS agent you must obtain approval from your client to lodge the event prior to actually lodging the finalisation event. To be clear, if your ATO Settings are set to lodging as the employer or lodging as an intermediary for multiple employing entities, you are not required to complete this step and, in fact, the action will not be made available to your business. As per normal process, click on Actions > Request Client Authority to commence the process. Existing STP users will be familiar with this step in seeking client approval of the event and attaching that approval prior to lodging the event. As per normal practice, one or more STP event approvers can be added here. We also suggest you add a note to indicate the event relates to a finalisation event. The users added to the list will be notified via email that there is a finalisation event waiting to be actioned.
Lodging the Finalisation Event
Once the above steps, relevant to your business, are completed you can commence the lodgement process by clicking on 'Lodge with ATO'.
You will be required to acknowledge the declaration before clicking on 'Lodge Update Event'. If the business is set up to require two-factor authentication before lodging the event to the ATO, the user will be asked to enter a verification code after clicking on 'Lodge with ATO' and prior to the finalisation event being submitted to the ATO.
The user can choose to receive an email and/or sms (depending on their 2FA settings) and then click on 'Send Code'. Enter the code, when received, and click on 'Verify'. The finalisation event will then submit to the ATO.
At this stage, you can stay on this screen to keep track of the status of the event. If you have the notification setting 'Email me when there is a Lodgement error' switched on (via the My Notifications screen) you will be sent an email if there is an error with the lodgement.
Additional setting for tax/BAS agents
Before you are able to lodge the finalisation event, you must:
- select the 'Registered Tax Agent' option when choosing who is lodging; and
- assign the authority who has approved the event. If the selected authority's status is showing as awaiting authorisation, the 'Lodge Update Event' button will be disabled. This is intentional, because only an approved authority can be assigned to the event.
Lodging an amended Finalisation Event
If, after having successfully lodged a finalisation event for a specific pay schedule, you realise that an adjustment or adhoc pay must be processed for the same financial year, you MUST process an amended finalisation event. You must also do this as quickly as practicably possible to ensure the employee does not use an outdated Income Statement to lodge their tax return. If you're unsure of when you'll be able to do this, we strongly suggest you create and lodge an update event for the employee and mark as is not final so that the status of the employee's Income Statement is no longer 'Tax ready'.
To lodge an amended finalisation event, simply click on 'Create Update Event' from the Single Touch Payroll screen and complete the above process again.