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New – Proposed Changes to Single Touch Payroll including Jail Terms

The Federal Government has recently proposed legislation which formalises new payroll reporting obligations and which imposes greater penalties on employers and other individuals who refuse to remit PAYG withholding tax and superannuation contributions.

By way of recap:

  • in 2016 legislation was passed introducing Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting
  • STP reporting requires employers to report to the ATO payments such as salaries and wages, PAYG withholding and super information at the same time that wages are paid to employees
  • the legislation requires that all employers with 20 or more employees comply with STP reporting obligations from 1 July 2018
  • for initial purposes, the calculation of the number of employees is to be undertaken on 1 April 2018

However, recent legislation proposed by the Federal Government would require all businesses to comply with STP obligations from 1 July 2019.

The proposed legislation also:

  • grants the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) a suite of enforcement tools, including a strengthened regime of director penalty notices for unpaid superannuation and other tax-related liabilities
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Employment Law – Payroll Manager Jailed for Fraud

Employment Law – Background:

A payroll manager has been jailed for three-years after defrauding her employer of more than $737,000.

Employment Law – Facts:

  • Sally Ann Woodall was employed as the payroll manager of international architecture business Hassell Services Pty Ltd between April 2006 and December 2009, and from August 2010 to April 2016
  • Woodall made payroll payments to ex-employees of Hassell utilising bank accounts in her name
  • During her first period of employment, Woodall entered 72 transactions to obtain $126,879
  • In her second period of employment, Woodall obtained approximately $610,554 over 169 transactions
  • Woodall pleaded guilty to charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception under s82 of the Crimes Act 1958 (charges 1 and 2), and attempting to obtain a financial advantage by deception for failed transactions under s321M of the Crimes Act 1958 (charge 3)

Employment Law – Decision:

Judge Dean in the Melbourne County Court:

  • sentenced Woodall to a total of three years imprisonment for the 3 charges, to be served concurrently.
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