Payroll tax lodgement essentials

You need to know how to lodge your payroll tax returns, calculate your tax and apply any deduction correctly. In some cases, you may need to lodge a return even if you do not owe any tax for that period. The following tips will help you understand and meet your obligations.

Returns

If you are registered as an employer in Queensland, you must lodge periodic returns and annual returns. You also need to lodge a final return if you cease employing or change your employer status.

The designated group employer (DGE) and all group members must lodge separate returns.

Records must be kept for 5 years from the date the record was made.

Periodic return

Your periodic return is due by the 7th day after the end of the return period. If this day is on a weekend or a public holiday, it is due by the next business day. You must lodge a periodic return, even if you have no tax to pay for the period. Your notice of registration has details of your lodgement frequency and the first periodic return you must lodge.

There is no periodic return for the period ending 30 June. All wages paid in June are declared in your annual return.

Periodic returns can be lodged through OSRconnect.

We have tutorials with step-by-step instructions for:

Annual return

Your annual return is due by 21 July each year. This is a reconciliation of wages for the year ending 30 June.

Annual returns can be lodged through OSRconnect.

We have tutorials with step-by-step instructions for:

Final return

A final return is due within 21 days after the date you cease employing or change your status (for example, become a group member).

Final returns can be lodged through OSRconnect.

Read our final return tutorial for step-by-step instructions.

Grouped businesses

Related businesses are treated as a group for payroll tax purposes. One business, the designated group employer (DGE), claims any deduction entitlement on behalf of the whole group.

The DGE and all group members must lodge separate returns.

Employers can apply for an exclusion from grouping for payroll tax.

Calculating your payroll tax liability

Our online lodgement system, OSRconnect, will calculate your payroll tax liability.

Depending on your employer type and if you employ interstate, you may need to calculate a fixed periodic deduction.

Learn how to calculate payroll tax.

Deductions

A deduction may be available if your total annual Australian taxable wages are less than $5.5 million. It works on a sliding scale - for every $4 in wages you pay over $1.1 million, the deduction entitlement reduces by $1.

Fixed periodic deductions

You may be able to claim a fixed periodic deduction if you are a:

  • non-grouped employer who pays interstate wages
  • designated group employer.

Use the fixed periodic deduction calculator to work out your deduction for the current financial year.

Designated group employer (DGE)

If you are a DGE, you can claim a deduction for the whole group if the group's annual Australian wages are between $1.1 million and $5.5 million. You need to calculate a fixed periodic deduction (based on your group's Australian wages), which you then apply to your periodic returns.

Group member

If you are a group member, you are not entitled to claim a payroll tax deduction. The DGE of your group claims the deduction for all group members.

Non-grouped employer

If you are a non-grouped employer, you can claim a deduction if your annual Australian wages are between $1.1 million and $5.5 million.

If you employ in Queensland and at least 1 other state or territory, you need to calculate a fixed periodic deduction, which you apply to your periodic return each month.

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