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Payroll tax for employees working in multiple states

All wages paid to an employee for a month's service are taxable in one jurisdiction (state or territory). This is known as the 'nexus provisions' or 'nexus rules'.

The nexus rules began on 1 July 2009 by amendment to the Payroll Tax Act 1971 and they identify the jurisdiction in which to declare wages for payroll tax, to prevent double-taxing (i.e. charging tax in more than one jurisdiction).

Read the public ruling on payroll tax nexus provisions (PTA039) for more information.

The table below explains when wages are taxable in Queensland under the nexus provisions, from 1 July 2009.

Nexus rules


Wages paid or payable for services performed entirely in Queensland

Taxable in Queensland

Wages paid or payable in Queensland for entire overseas employment - up to 6 months

Taxable in Queensland

Wages paid or payable in Queensland for entire overseas employment - more than 6 months

Not taxable if the employment is in another country for a continuous period of longer than 6 months

The 6-month period starts on the date of the first wage payment for the overseas service

Wages paid or payable in Queensland for services performed in more than one state or territory

Apply the 4 tiered tests to determine whether wages are taxable in Queensland:

  1. the employee's principal place of residence
  2. the employer's registered ABN address or principal place of business
  3. the place where the wages are paid to the employee
  4. the place where the services are mainly performed

Use our taxable wages interactive help to determine whether wages for a given month are taxable in Queensland