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.
If you are registered for payroll tax in Queensland, you must lodge 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.
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 OSR Online.
Read our periodic return tutorial for step-by-step instructions.
Changing your lodgement frequency
To change your lodgement frequency (e.g. from monthly to half-yearly), you must apply in writing, and include:
- the full facts and circumstances
- an estimate of your wages for the next year.
We will assess your request and send you a letter advising the outcome. Until then, you must continue to lodge your returns at the current frequency.
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 lodgement system, OSR Online, will calculate your payroll tax liability.
Depending on your employer type and if you employ interstate, you may be eligible to claim a fixed periodic deduction in your periodic returns. Use the fixed periodic deduction estimator in OSR Online to work out and apply the deduction amount.
Learn how to calculate payroll tax.
A deduction may be available if your total annual Australian taxable wages are less than $6.5 million. It works on a sliding scale - for every $4 in wages you pay over $1.3 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.
To work out the deduction amount, you can use the fixed periodic deduction estimator in OSR Online.
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 $1.3 million and $6.5 million. You need to calculate a fixed periodic deduction (based on your group's Australian wages), which you then apply to your periodic returns.
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.
If you are a non-grouped employer, you can claim a deduction if your annual Australian wages are between $1.3 million and $6.5 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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- Payroll tax: Introduction to payroll tax in Queensland 28/04/2021
- Payroll tax: Contractor provisions 29/04/2021