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Periodic returns for payroll tax

Find out about the payroll tax relief package for businesses affected by the coronavirus.

The payroll tax periodic return captures taxable wages paid during the return period. A return period is either monthly or half-yearly.

If you lodge monthly, you will lodge periodic returns for the months July through to May. You won’t need to lodge a periodic return for June - your June taxable wages will be included in your annual return instead.

If you have been approved to lodge your returns half-yearly, you will lodge one periodic return for the July to December period. You will also need to lodge your annual return in July, which will include your wages for the January to June period.

See the due dates for payroll tax returns for more information.

Changing your lodgement frequency

If your estimated annual payroll tax liability is $20,000 or less, you might be able to lodge half-yearly returns instead of monthly. You need to apply by email or post, outlining the full facts and circumstances, and an estimate of your wages for the financial year.

You must continue to lodge your returns at the same frequency until you receive a letter from us confirming the change.

Calculating your periodic liability

When you enter your wage information in OSRconnect, it will calculate your liability based on the wages you enter and any discounts or rebates that you declare you are eligible for.

Non-grouped employers

If you are not part of a group and pay between $1.3 million and $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages, you can claim the:

If your calculated fixed periodic deduction is more than your taxable wages, you cannot credit the extra amount to your next return.

Grouped employers

If you are part of a group but not the designated group employer (DGE), you will be liable for payroll tax on the full amount of your taxable wages and must lodge your own periodic returns. The payroll tax rate is determined by the total of your group’s wages.

Designated group employers

If you are a DGE, you may be eligible for a fixed periodic deduction based on the total Australian taxable wages that the group pays. Calculate this deduction at the start of each financial year and subtract it from your Queensland taxable wages in your periodic returns.

You must recalculate your fixed periodic deduction when any of the following occurs:

  • you first become the DGE
  • a fixed periodic deduction determined by the Commissioner of State Revenue is revoked or lapses
  • a change to your lodgement frequency takes effect
  • you have a significant wage change for the group during the periodic return period.

A significant wage change happens during a periodic return period for a group if the previous estimated wages differs by more than 30% from your current estimated wages.

Lodging a periodic return

You can lodge your periodic return online through OSRconnect. We have tutorials with step-by-step instructions for:

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