Payroll Tax Definitions

Some of the terms used on this site are described below. These apply to the harmonised areas within Australian states and territories (unless indicated). They are provided for general information only. To view a description, select the letter your term begins with and then scroll through the listed definitions. For a more definitive definition, please refer to the indicated legislation or the Payroll Tax legilsation applicable in the state or territory you are interested in.

If a term is not listed please advise us using the Feedback facility at the top of the page.

Term Definition

Australian Business Number - used as part of the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 of the Commonwealth.

accommodation allowance

An allowance paid or payable to an employee in respect of a night’s absence from the employee’s usual place of residence. Usually includes a component for meals, incidental costs and the accommodation cost.

(See Exempt Rate – Accommodation allowance)

actual periodic deduction

This deduction is based on the actual amount of wages that an employer pays in a period if they only pay Queensland wages and are not in a group.

Section 17 of the Payroll Tax Act (Qld) deals with how to calculate this deduction.

actual wages

The amount of wages actually paid in any return period. These are compared to the estimated amounts in other returns, which were calculated in advance.


(a) a person who, in this jurisdiction, for or on behalf of another person outside this jurisdiction, holds or has the management or control of the business of that other person; and

(b) a person who, by an order of the Commissioner, is declared to be an agent or the sole agent for any other person for the purposes of the Payroll Tax Act (Pay-roll Tax Assessment Act 2002 in WA) and on whom notice of that order has been served.

aggregate interest

An entity has an aggregate interest in a corporation if: 

(a) the entity has a direct interest and 1 or more indirect interests in the corporation, or 

(b) the entity has more than 1 indirect interest in the corporation.

agreement / arrangement / undertaking

An agreement, arrangement or undertaking, whether formal or informal, whether expressed or implied, and whether or not the agreement, arrangement or undertaking includes provisions in respect of the supply of goods or services.


Employers often pay employees various types of allowances either to compensate them for unfavourable working conditions or to cover estimated expenses. Allowances are also commonly paid to comply with award requirements. Common examples of allowances include motor vehicle, tools, accommodation, tea, meal, travel, dirt and first-aid allowance.  Allowances are generally subject to payroll tax.

annual adjustment return

... see annual return.

annual deduction

When the amount of taxable wages paid in a year is calculated, a deduction may apply. If your wages are combined with those of other businesses, only the designated group employer can claim this deduction.