Harmonisation of Payroll Tax in Australia

Australian state and territory governments enacted legislation aligning payroll tax provisions in the following key areas:

  •  timing of lodgement of returns;
  •  motor vehicle allowances;
  •  accommodation allowances;
  •  a range of fringe benefits; 
  •  work performed outside a jurisdiction;
  •  employee share acquisition schemes;
  •  superannuation contributions for non-working directors; and 
  •  grouping of businesses.

Since 2007, six of the Australian states and territories have enacted harmonised (template) payroll tax legislation with Queensland amending their existing legislation by introducing aligned provisions in the key areas. Western Australia has enacted similar aligned provisions within their payroll tax legislation from 1 July 2012.  

In addition to legislative harmony, Australian states and territories have also committed to greater administrative consistency.  As a result:

  • Payroll Tax Revenue Rulings / Public Rulings / Circulars have been harmonised and published. Access to these publications is provided on the Revenue Rulings page.
  • Where an employer operates in more than one harmonised Australian state and territory, the relevant revenue offices will consult one another and share relevant taxpayer information in determining private rulings and objections matters.

For the purposes of administering state and territory taxation laws, information is exchanged with other revenue offices, and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), to assist in the proper identification and accurate assessment of taxation liabilities.

In this regard the sharing of information with other revenue offices and the ATO across all taxation laws administered by the state or territory is carried out in accordance with the relevant Taxation Administration Act (TAA) enacted by the respective state or territory and under Schedule 1, Division 355-65 of the Commonwealth Taxation Administration Act 1953.

To obtain more specific payroll tax information, contact details for each revenue office are provided on the Contacts page with links to individual state and territory payroll tax websites being provided on the Links page.