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Coronavirus payroll tax relief

Coronavirus (COVID-19): JobKeeper payments

JobKeeper payments are exempt from payroll tax.

You may be eligible for one or more of a range of payroll tax relief measures as a result of the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

These include:

  • refunds of payroll tax for 2 months
  • a payroll tax holiday for 3 months
  • deferral of paying payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year.

As part of this relief package, the refund and payroll tax holiday do not have to be repaid.

Eligibility

If you are an employer (or part of a group of employers) who pays $6.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages, you may have received an email about a:

  • refund of your payroll tax for 2 months (November and December 2019); for half-yearly lodgers, this will be a pro-rata refund for November and December
  • payroll tax holiday (i.e. no payroll tax to be paid) for 3 months (January to March 2020); for half-yearly lodgers, pro-rata relief for January-March applies to the annual return.

If you do not receive an email, or you are unsure about your eligibility, complete the refund/holiday application form.

If you are an employer (or part of a group of employers) who pays more than $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages and have been negatively affected (directly or indirectly) by coronavirus, you can apply for a refund of your payroll tax for 2 months (January and February 2020). For half-yearly lodgers, pro-rata relief for January and February applies to the annual return.

A business is directly or indirectly affected by coronavirus if their current turnover, profit, customers, bookings, retail sales, supply contracts or other factors are negatively affected compared with normal operating conditions.

Annual lodgers

If you are an employer (or part of a group of employers) who will pay $1.3 million or less in Australian taxable wages this financial year, you don’t have to worry about applying for the relief measures. You will not be liable for payroll tax for 2019-20.

If you (or your payroll tax group) will pay more than $1.3 million in Australian taxable wages this current financial year:

  • complete the refund/holiday application form
  • use our online enquiry form to request a change of your lodgement frequency from annual to half-yearly. Include details of
    • your Queensland taxable wages July-December 2019
    • total Australian wages July-December 2019
    • an estimate of your Australian wages for the 2019-20 financial year
    • an estimate your group's Australian wages for the 2019-20 financial year (if you are a member of a group).

How to apply

Have your 7-digit client number ready before you apply. You can find your client number under the Lodgement Obligations tab in OSRconnect.

If you are waiting to hear about your application for payroll tax registration, you won’t yet have a client number. We will contact you as soon as possible.

There are 2 online application forms.

Apply for deferral

Apply for refund/holiday (You must apply for this one by 31 May 2020.)

What happens next

Refunds

If you received an email confirming your eligibility for coronavirus payroll tax relief, follow the instructions to submit a request for a reassessment of the eligible months. We aim to process these refunds within 5 business days.

Deferrals

Once your applications have been processed, we will send an email with instructions on what you need to do.

  • You won’t need to pay payroll tax returns for the 2020 calendar year.
  • You must continue to lodge returns in OSRconnect - without paying them - during this time.
  • You can resume paying returns at any time during the deferral period.
Return period Lodgement due date Deferred payment due date
March 7 April 2020 14 January 2021
January-March quarter 7 April 2020 14 January 2021
April 7 May 2020 14 January 2021
May 8 June 2020 14 January 2021
2019-20 annual 21 July 2020 14 January 2021
July 7 August 2020 14 January 2021
August 7 September 2020 14 January 2021
September 7 October 2020 14 January 2021
July-September quarter 7 October 2020 14 January 2021
October 9 November 2020 14 January 2021
November 7 December 2020 14 January 2021
December 14 January 2021 14 January 2021
October-December quarter 14 January 2021 14 January 2021
July-December half-year 14 January 2021 14 January 2021

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