Introduction to taxable wages

You will need to know what wages are taxable when lodging your payroll tax returns.

When completing your returns, make sure you correctly declare all your taxable wages, including:

  • allowances
  • bonuses
  • commissions
  • contractor payments
  • fringe benefits
  • directors remuneration
  • salary
  • superannuation contributions
  • wages (cash and non-cash).

Superannuation contributions

All superannuation contributions are taxable, including payments to non-employee directors. Include any superannuation payments paid outside your payroll system (e.g. top-up payments to a director's superannuation fund).

Directors remuneration

Directors remuneration is taxable and may include payments to a director's trust or incorporated entity.

Fringe benefits

Fringe benefits are taxable, calculated on the Type 1 and Type 2 aggregate amounts grossed up by the Type 2 gross-up factor.

Fringe benefits that have a nil taxable value under the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 will also have a nil taxable value for payroll tax purposes.

Read the public ruling on fringe benefits (PTA003) for information on how to apportion the Queensland component of your fringe benefits.

Contractor payments

Any payments you make to contractors, subcontractors and consultants are taxable unless they meet one of the 9 contractor exemptions.

If you are required to pay payroll tax on payments to a contractor who provided materials and equipment, you may be eligible to apply an approved non-labour deduction.

You should also consider if your contractor is a common law employee.

Use our contractor provisions interactive help to determine if your contractor payments are taxable.

Apprentices and trainees

Payments to apprentices employed under the Further Education and Training Act 2014 (FET Act) are generally exempt.

Payments to trainees registered under the FET Act are exempt unless before commencing the traineeship, the trainees worked for you for either:

  • 3 months or more full time
  • 12 months or more, part time or casually.

The exemption applies for any certificate registered under the FET Act, including certificate IV. Other rules apply for certificates II and III.

You may also be entitled to a payroll tax rebate.

Interstate employees

Learn how payroll tax applies for employees working in multiple states. You can also use our taxable wages interactive help to determine if you should declare your wages in Queensland or another state or territory.

Read the public ruling on payroll tax nexus provisions (PTA039).

Also consider...