Group Certificates (Payment Summaries)
Group certificates (officially referred to as Payment Summaries) are currently required to be issued to employees by 14 July of each year, covering earnings in the preceding year to 30 June.
Following their issue, the information should also be lodged by the employer with the Tax Office, which enables the release of the electronic information to myTax for taxpayers lodging their own returns online.
See links here for detailed information about payment summary forms and guidelines for employers.
Can payment summaries be issued electronically?
Yes, provided requirements are met. The Tax Office requires the employer to inform employees that they can receive the summaries either electronically or on paper, and if electronic, ensure that each employee can readily access and print the summaries, and provide secure distribution methods.
Most popular accounting software packages provide electronic payroll resources for the generation and transmission of payment summary data which meets the ATO’s requirements – both for the Tax Office annual report and individual summaries for employees.
If you don’t have a software package with the payroll reporting functions or a dedicated payroll software package which can handle the electronic lodgements, then a third party provider can fairly inexpensively provide an SBR lodgement for the Payment Summary lodged with the Tax Office. We recommend LodgeIT (no affiliation).
Payment summaries for employees can be provided electronically as a PDF or printed out using the Tax Office’s forms which can be downloaded here.
Payment summaries are being phased out
The introduction of “single touch payroll” by employers will lead to the phasing out of payment summaries and the associated annual reporting. This is because all the relevant information will be available online. The online payroll information will be uploaded by employers on a progressive basis via software lodgement.
Employees will be able to get the information they need from the mygov.gov.au portal, which will also have the current status of employer super contributions. The Tax Office will also use the payroll data to pre-load annual tax returns for online lodgment.
Larger employers (more than 19 employees) are required to adopt the new online payroll reporting system from 1 July 2018. Smaller employers (subject to legislation) must participate from 1 July 2019.
Regardless of size, individual employers can opt-in to the single touch reporting system earlier than the deadline if they so decide to. Whether they are able to will depend on the availability of functions in their payroll software system.
Single Touch Payroll and payment summaries 2018
Some employers may have commenced using the Single Touch Payroll system before the 1 July 2018 deadline. However 2017-18 income statements may not be available through myGov until 14 August 2018, because employers have until this date to finalise their STP data. For more on arrangements for 2018, see here and here.
For further info – see Single Touch Payroll
Payment summary not received
Summaries are often late simply because of the volume of work required of employers around year’s end, and some employers will be faster than others at getting the reports out.
Individuals without a tax agent have until 31 October to lodge their personal tax returns, otherwise lodging through a tax agent can enable an extension of time if needed.
Individuals without a tax agent would need to approach a tax agent by 31 October to be included in the agent’s lodgment extension arrangements.
If the payment summary is not received in good time, assistance of the Tax Office can be requested (see contact details at the foot of this page).
If the relevant information cannot be obtained from either the employer or the Tax Office (assuming they have it), other methods of proving the income may be necessary (for which see next paragraph).
Payment summary lost, missing or incorrect
If a payment summary has been received but subsequently lost, a signed replacement issued by the employer can be requested and used to complete the tax return. A letter from the employer setting out all the details can also be used to meet this requirement.
MyTax users or taxpayers with a tax agent can access the relevant data from the electronic pre-fill functions on myTax or the agent’s tax portal, if the necessary reports have been lodged by the employer, for which the due date is 14 August.
Alternatively, income can be estimated from available records, (for example, banking records, payslips) with the calculation details kept with tax records in support of tax return declared information. A statutory declaration is no longer required (it had been a requirement in past years).
The Tax Office also provides a gross pay estimator to help figure out pay calculations. The calculator enables you to enter a net pay amount, and returns the gross pay amount based on the parameters you enter.
For some calculations, a spreadsheet calculator may also be helpful for this purpose.
Employee working for part of the year – part year payment summaries
An employee leaving before the end of the financial year (30 June) may request a payment summary be issued in advance of the normal year-end 14 July deadline.
The request must be in writing and made no later than 21 days before year end.
The employer has 14 days to provide the payment summary unless the employee has received a reportable fringe benefit. Reportable fringe benefits are calculated at the end of the FBT year, which is 31 March.
- For Employees: PAYG payment summary lost or missing
- For Employers: Payment summaries and annual reports – due 14 August.
- For information about correcting a tax return which is already lodged – see here.
- To contact the Tax Office directly about any matter go here.
. This page was last modified 2018-07-03