When STP messages are submitted from your portal, the ABN is the unique value that the ATO uses to identify the paying entity for an employee.
Different entities can use the same ABN if they are registered for GST branching. An entity that registers a branch for GST purposes is referred to as the ‘parent entity’. A GST branch accounts for GST separately from their parent entity.
As the parent entity and any GST branches will have the same ABN, each entity is configured in a portal with a unique Branch Number. This ensures that STP submissions are allocated to the correct payroll entity.
If branch numbers are not set for relevant entities, this can cause issues when STP events are submitted.
For example, an employee who is moved between two entities during the same financial year will have two STP Update Finalisation events. As there are no Branch Numbers to differentiate between the two events, the first submission will be overridden by the second when they are received by the ATO, based on the ABN.
Configure Branch Numbers for an Entity
To configure an entity with a branch number, you will first need to enable branching then set the Branch Number.
- Go to Config > Company Management > select entity > Entity Details.
- Tick the Registered for Branching checkbox. When the checkbox is ticked, an additional field for Branch Number will appear. This checkbox will only appear in Australian portals with STP enabled, and will be unticked by default.
- Enter a Branch Number value. This can be up to three integers length and is a mandatory field when the Registered for Branching checkbox is ticked.
- Click Save.
You will need to repeat the above steps for each relevant entity in your portal.
Please note that if the Registered for Branching checkbox is deselected in an entity, the Branch Number field will reset to a blank value.
Validate an Entity’s Branch Number Settings
There are a number of system validations to ensure that each of your entities are configured with different ABNs, or a unique ABN and Branch Number combination.
- If you have not ticked the Registered for Branching checkbox for an entity, and the ABN is entered or updated, the system will check that there are no existing payroll entities with the same ABN.
- If an entity is Registered for Branching, and the ABN or Branch Number are entered or updated, the system will check that there are no existing payroll entities with the same combination of ABN and Branch Number.
To ensure that your STP data is reported consistently, the Registered for Branching checkbox and Branch number field will lock after you submit your next STP event.
These fields will be read only once a STP message has been sent to the ATO.