Last updated on: 01/07/2022
Payroll tax is self-assessed and you must register with each state and territory where you pay taxable wages when your taxable Australia-wide wages exceeds the threshold.
Registration thresholds and legislative requirements for each state and territory vary. For information on thresholds and links to registration documentation, click on the applicable state or territory below. Details will appear in a new window.
There are instances when the threshold amount is adjusted
If one of the following scenarios apply to you, click to expand for further information.
Wages in more than one state and/or territory
If you employ in more than one state or territory, you must register in the relevant states and or territories based on your total taxable Australia-wide wages.
Member of a group of employers
If you are an employer that is a member of a group of employers and the group's taxable Australia-wide wages exceed the payroll tax threshold applicable in a particular state or territory, you will be liable for payroll tax in that state or territory.
Employing for part of the financial year
The threshold will be adjusted if you (or your group of employers) employs for only part of the financial year. For employers who do not employ for the whole of the financial year, the threshold is calculated by taking into account the amount of year the employer operates.
For information on part-year threshold calculations in a particular state or territory you employ in, visit their revenue office website.
Cancelling your registration
You may cancel your registration if:
- you no longer employ in that state or territory;
- your, or your group’s, taxable Australia-wide wages are below the threshold for a state or territory; or
- you no longer employ under the ABN you are registered for payroll tax with and are now employing under a new ABN. You will need to complete a new registration for your new ABN.
For further information on the cancellation process, visit the relevant revenue office website by clicking on the state or territory below:
|Australian Capital Territory||South Australia|
|New South Wales||Tasmania|
Lodging a final return
If you cease to employ, change your grouping status or have another change of status (for example, an administrator or receiver is appointed or ceases), you may have to notify or lodge a final return in each state or territory you are registered in.
If you fail to register
Australian state and territory revenue offices regularly conduct audits and investigations to ensure all liable employers are complying with their legal requirements under payroll tax legislation. Sophisticated data matching and the regular exchange of information with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) also occurs.
Each year unregistered employers are subject to penalties for the following reasons:
- failing to register when total taxable wages paid in a state or territory exceed that state or territory’s threshold amount;
- failing to register in each state and territory in which they pay wages and your taxable Australia-wide wages exceeds that state’s threshold; and or
failing to register a related entity under the grouping provisions, including
- where a holding / subsidiary relationship exists (mandatory grouping),
- where two businesses are controlled by the same person or persons (e.g. common partners / shareholders / directors / trust beneficiaries or any combination of these), or
- the common use of employees.
Penalties may be imposed if an employer fails to register on time and/or when a revenue office identifies that an employer has provided false or misleading information when submitting payroll tax returns or in response to requests for information.
Employers who voluntarily declare their liabilities may receive significantly lower penalties than those who do not.
For information on specific state or territory compliance activities, click on the applicable state or territory name below: