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  • ATO reporting categories for Single Touch Payroll



Before you can report payroll and super information to the ATO, you need to assign an ATO reporting category to each of your pay items. The ATO reporting category indicates the type of payment you're reporting (is it a gross wage amount or an allowance?).

While it's similar to how pay items were assigned to payment summary fields, there are some important differences. For example, some ATO reporting categories have been renamed and you now need to report superannuation amounts.

Below is a summary of the new ATO reporting categories. To help you assign the right category, we've included a comparison to the previous payment summary reporting fields.

Which ATO reporting category should I assign? We'd love nothing more than to answer this question for you. But every business, award and employee agreement is unique, and so are the names you give to your pay items.

We've provided general information below to guide you on what to assign. If you're still not sure of what's appropriate for your business, talk to your accounting advisor or the ATO. You can also refer to the ATO website for more information.

To assign ATO reporting categories

To assign ATO reporting categories

  1. From the Payroll menu, choose Pay items.
  2. Click the ellipses button ( ... ) for the pay item and choose  Edit .

  3. From the ATO reporting category list, choose the appropriate category.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Repeat for all pay items.


Learn about the ATO reporting category types

Earnings and allowances

Earnings and allowances


New ATO reporting categoryDescriptionATO reference
Gross Payments

Include pay items you use for paying salary and wages. This includes items for:

  • holiday pay
  • sick pay
  • overtime
  • bonuses
  • commissions.

There are more pay items and some exceptions to these.

Do not include salary sacrifice payroll categories. Gross payments are reduced automatically when you assign pre-tax deductions and pre-tax superannuation categories such as salary sacrifice.


Gross payments

Allowance - Car
Allowance - Transport
Allowance - Travel
Allowance - Meals
Allowance - Laundry
Allowance - Other

This includes payments you made to cover your employees’ work-related expenses, like tools or phone. For allowances that don’t sit into any of the main categories, assign them to Allowances – Other.

Typically, you wouldn't include amounts you paid for living-away-from-home allowance because these amounts are not assessable income (but check this with the ATO).

Withholding for allowances

Lump Sum A - Termination
Lump Sum A - Redundancy
Lump Sum B
Lump Sum D
Lump Sum E

Lump sum payments may include payroll categories such as:

  • redundancies
  • payments in lieu of notice
  • payments of annual leave on termination.

Lump sum payments are a complex area. Chat to your advisor or check with the ATO for more guidance.

 Taxation of termination payments

CDEP Payments

Assign payroll categories for:

  • Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) scheme wages
  • CDEP scheme participant supplement from a Centrelink payment.
 CDEP payments
Exempt Foreign IncomeThis could be assigned to payroll categories such as salary, wages, commissions, bonuses and allowances that are exempt from Australian tax. Exempt foreign employment income

ETP coming soon. You'll need to report any ETPs using a paper form from the ATO.




New ATO reporting categoryOld Payment Summary field nameMore information
Reportable Employer Super Contributions

Step 3, Assign earnings and deductions

  • Deductions, E





New ATO reporting categoryDescriptionATO reference

Deduction - Work Place Giving

Assign payroll categories that are donations made under a workplace giving arrangement. 

Workplace giving programs

Deduction - Union/Professional Assoc Fees

This might include payroll categories for:

  • union fees
  • memberships to professional associations.
Not Reportable

All other deductions are usually considered not reportable. This includes payroll categories like:

  • salary sacrifice (that are exempt from fringe benefits tax)
  • child support
  • loan or car payments

This is because they may not need to be itemised on an employee's tax return.

PAYG Withholdings

PAYG Withholdings


New ATO reporting categoryOld Payment Summary field nameMore information

PAYG Withholding

Step 4, Check assignments are correct

Total tax withheld

This is automatically assigned and can't be changed.