Agriculture, fishing and forestry industry

Agriculture, fishing and forestry industry

From the ATO

Date last changed 16 Sep 2020

If you are a micro employer in the agriculture, fishing or forestry industry and you need more time to move to real-time Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting, you can choose to report quarterly until 30 June 2021.

You will need to lodge your STP report through an STP-enabled solution.

If you are a seasonal or intermittent employer, you may be eligible for a different concession.

On this page:

Determining if you are a micro employer

To be eligible for the quarterly reporting concession, you must have 1–4 employees at the time of application. Work out how to count your employees.


To be eligible for this quarterly reporting concession, you must:

  • be a micro employer on the day you apply
  • be in the agriculture, fishing or forestry industry.

You must also meet both of the following:

  • all amounts owing to us are either not yet due or subject to a payment plan
  • all lodgment obligations are either not yet due or subject to a deferral.

Applying for the concession

You or your registered agent will need to apply for this concession by completing the following steps:

  • Log into the Business Portal, select Manage employees then STP deferrals and exemptions.

Your registered tax or BAS agent can also apply using the instructions above through:

  • Online services for agents – select Business then STP deferrals and exemptions.

Increase in employee numbers

If your application for this concession is accepted but your employee numbers increase after this date, you are still eligible to report quarterly until 30 June 2021.

Quarterly STP report due date

You will need to send your STP report once per quarter. The due date for STP lodgment will be the same as the due date of your activity statement.

Reporting more frequently

If you are approved to report quarterly but would like to report monthly, you can do so. You should report the monthly STP pay event on or before the 21st day of the following month. This is the same due date as monthly activity statements.

Payments included in your quarterly report

The quarterly report needs to include your:

  • employees’ year-to-date amounts – up to and including the last pay day of the quarter
  • total gross wages – same as the W1 label on you activity statement
  • total pay as you go withholding – same as the W2 label on your activity statement.

This quarterly report could be in two formats, either including:

  • each individual pay event for the quarter
  • one pay event which reports the information for the quarter.

Finalisation declaration due dates

You will need to finalise your STP information at the end of the financial year. This tells us your data is complete and we can change your employees’ income statement to ‘Tax ready’.

For the final quarter of 2020 (April to June), you will need to report and finalise your STP data before 31 July 2020.

For the final quarter of 2021 (April to June), you will need to report and finalise your STP data before 14 July 2021.

These due dates are earlier than the due date of your June activity statement. If a registered agent lodges your BAS, this may mean you need to visit them earlier than normal. However, the timeframe should align to the natural business process you previously had to ensure that payment summaries were issued to employees by 14 July each year.

See also:

How to lodge the quarterly STP report

The quarterly STP report is a separate obligation to the activity statement. It can only be lodged through STP-enabled software. It is not possible to lodge it via the Business Portal or Online services for agents.

If the STP-enabled solution you are using does not support a quarterly pay event, you may need to lodge multiple pay events to cover all of the pay dates in the quarter (that is, three pay events for a monthly payroll) by the same due date for the quarter.

Remember that your activity statement is not a replacement for the STP report. It must be lodged separately.

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