Periodic 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 payroll tax periodic return captures taxable wages paid during the return period. A return period is either monthly or half-yearly.
See the due dates for payroll tax returns for more information.
If you lodge monthly, you will lodge:
- 11 periodic returns for the months July through to May
- 1 annual return in July, which will include your wages for June.
If you have been approved to lodge your returns half-yearly, you will lodge:
- 1 periodic return for the July to December period
- 1 annual return in July, which will include your wages for the January to June period.
Changing your lodgement frequency
If your estimated annual payroll tax liability is $30,000 or less, you might be able to lodge half-yearly returns instead of monthly. You need to apply by email 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 OSR Online, it will calculate your liability based on the wages you enter and any discounts or rebates that you declare you are eligible for.
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:
- actual periodic deduction if you only pay Queensland wages
- fixed periodic deduction if you pay interstate wages.
If your calculated fixed periodic deduction is more than your taxable wages, you cannot credit the extra amount to your next return.
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
Correcting errors in periodic returns
For a reassessment of a self-assessed or default periodic return, or final returns, send an email with your client number and revised wages information to email@example.com.
- Find out how to pay your tax liability.
- Understand how payroll tax is calculated.
- Learn about exemptions for payroll tax.
- Get help using OSR Online.
- 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.