Annual returns for payroll tax
Find out about COVID-19 payroll tax relief - refunds and deferring payments for 2020.
JobKeeper payments are exempt from payroll tax.
The annual payroll tax return breaks down the year's taxable wages, and is used to calculate your liability for the year.
You must lodge your annual return by 21 July each year for the previous financial year and pay any outstanding amounts.
If you have overpaid tax for the year, we will apply the amount to other outstanding liabilities you may have, then we will refund you any remaining amount.
The annual return is due by Tuesday 21 July 2020.
You do not lodge a separate return for the period ending 30 June; include these wages in the annual return. If you lodge:
- half-yearly, include January-June wages
- monthly, include June wages.
Log in to OSR Online to lodge your return.
Coronavirus payroll tax relief
Include all taxable wages paid during refund or holiday periods. When your annual liability is calculated online, it will include the coronavirus relief amounts.
Calculating your annual liability or refund
If you lodge your annual return online, your annual deductions and liability or refund will be automatically calculated. You will need to have ready your Australian taxable wages, including interstate wages.
You can use the annual liability calculator to calculate your liability or refund before lodging the return.
If you are not grouped, you will need the following information to prepare the annual return:
- Queensland taxable wages (e.g. commissions, superannuation, allowances)
- interstate wages.
If you are part of a group, you must still lodge your own annual return. You will need the following information:
- Queensland taxable wages
- interstate wages.
If you are not the designated group employer (DGE), you are not usually entitled to a deduction.
At the end of the financial year, you must inform the DGE of your total wages (this is required to calculate the deduction amount for the DGE).
Designated group employers
If you are the DGE, you will need:
- your Queensland taxable wages
- the total group Queensland taxable wages
- your interstate wages
- the total group interstate wages.
If your status changed and you were not the DGE for the whole year, your annual return will only cover the part of the year that you were a DGE. This is because you should have submitted a final return when your status changed.
If your annual deduction is greater than your taxable wages, you can nominate other members of your group to share the excess. If you do not nominate anyone, the Commissioner of State Revenue will decide which group member will receive this amount.
If a refund of payroll tax is due at the end of the financial year, we will process the refund after we process your return.
This example demonstrates calculating the annual deduction for a DGE in 2019-20. It uses group Australian taxable wages of $1,789,776 and group Queensland taxable wages of $1,356,789.
Lodging an annual return
At the end of a financial year, you must:
- lodge an annual return for taxable wages paid or payable during the year
- compare your periodic return liabilities (excluding interest and penalties) with your annual liability amount
- pay any outstanding amounts (known as your annual liability) by the due date.
You cannot lodge your annual return until all your periodic returns for the financial year have been submitted. You include any taxable wages for the June period in the annual return (i.e. you do not need to lodge a separate periodic return for the period ending 30 June).
You still need to lodge an annual return if you have paid taxable wages after lodging a final return. However, you do not declare any wages already included in the final return.
If your status changes on 1 July, you do not need to lodge a final return - indicate your change of status on your annual return.
You must keep copies of your annual returns and all supporting documentation for at least 5 years.
You can lodge your annual return online through OSR Online. See the step-by-step instructions for:
- Find out how to pay your tax liability.
- Learn about exemptions for payroll tax.
- Discover how we handle complaints and objections.
- Report a change of business conditions to meet your payroll tax obligations.
- Search the events calendar to find a payroll tax webinar.
- Subscribe to email alerts for payroll tax updates.
- Download the payroll tax user guide.
- See the due dates for payroll tax returns.