Grouping for payroll tax

If your business is related or connected to another business, you will be treated as one unit for payroll tax purposes. This is called 'grouping'.

'Business' means an activity that is:

  • a profession or trade
  • carried on for fee, gain or reward
  • employing one person, or more, who performs duties for another business
  • operating a trust, including a dormant trust
  • holding money or property used for another business.

A group exists if:

  • corporations are related bodies corporate
  • employees are used in more than one business
  • the same person, or set of persons, has a controlling interest in 2 or more businesses
  • an entity has a tracing interest in corporations
  • a person is part of 2 or more groups.

Your business only needs to fit into one of these categories to be grouped.

If a group of businesses meets the criteria for registration, then all members who have employees in Queensland must register for payroll tax.

A group's payroll tax amount is calculated on the members' combined Australian taxable wages. Each group member registered in Queensland must lodge returns, and all group members are liable for any payroll tax liability that other members have not paid (including unpaid tax interest and penalties).

If the group is eligible for a deduction, one employer from the group, known as the designated group employer, claims the deduction.

This guide provides information on the grouping rules in Queensland and when they apply.