Payroll tax annual return tutorial

This tutorial will help you lodge a payroll tax annual return in QRO Online.

The last few days before the due date can be very busy and if you have difficulties and need to contact us, you may experience delays. For this reason, we recommend you lodge your return as early as possible.

Find out how to correct errors after lodging.

Before you start on the annual return, make sure that:

  • you have submitted all your periodic returns for the financial year. You cannot lodge your annual return until all your periodic returns have been submitted
  • you have checked your employer status. If your status changed before 30 June and you haven't lodged a final return, you must lodge one before lodging your annual return
  • your contact details are correct. Learn how to update contact details in QRO Online
  • you have your taxable wages ready
    • categorise your Queensland taxable wages (e.g. allowances, contractors)
    • identify your non-taxable wages (e.g. exemptions)
    • calculate your interstate wages and group members' wages (if applicable).
  1. Log in to QRO Online.
  2. Select View accounts and select the business from the client list. It will take you into your client's account dashboard.
  3. Select Returns tab on the left-hand menu.
  4. Locate the annual return from the Period column.
  5. Select Lodge returns to display the return.

If you see a transaction number in the Transaction No. column, the return has been saved in draft. You can select Lodge returns to open and lodge the draft return.

Your employer status and period details will appear automatically.

Employer status

  1. Check that your Employer status is correct. If it is not correct because it changed:
    • before 1 July, do not continue with your annual return. Complete a final return instead. Select Lodge final returns from the top of the Returns page
    • on 1 July, continue with the annual return and record the change of status at the Status change stage.

Start date

The start date of the annual return will pre-fill. In most situations this will be 1 July. If you have lodged a final return or become liable for payroll tax during the financial year, the start date will adjust accordingly.

You can select Save as draft at any time. This will generate the transaction number (payment reference code).

  1. Click Next to continue.

The Lodgement date will prefill with today's date.

Queensland taxable wages

  1. Enter your Queensland taxable wages for the period of the return for each of the 10 categories. Do not include non-taxable wages in this section.
  2. Include any wages paid or payable in June.

Do not leave any fields blank. Enter 0 for any nil amounts.

  1. Group members will be asked if they pay, or are a member of a group who will pay, more than $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages for this financial year.

Gross salary and wages must be the gross figure for Queensland taxable wages (before any deductions have been applied). Interstate or group member wages are entered later in the return.

  1. You will be asked if you are eligible to claim the regional employer discount.
    If 'Yes', the regional employer discount will be applied to the tax rate.

Queensland non-taxable wages

  1. Enter your Queensland non-taxable wages for the period of the return for each of the 3 categories.

Do not leave any fields blank. Enter 0 for any nil amounts.

  1. Include non-taxable wages such as workers' compensation payments, exempt allowances and leave (e.g. maternity leave) in Other non-taxable wages.

Interstate wages

  1. Answer the question: Did you pay wages that are taxable in other states or territories of Australia?
    If 'Yes', enter your Total interstate wages.

Do not leave any fields blank. Enter 0 for any nil amounts.

Include only your interstate wages. Do not include wages for group members.

Group wages

This section will only appear if you are a designated group employer (DGE).

  1. Enter the Total Queensland taxable wages for all group members and Total interstate taxable wages for all group members for the period of the return including your DGE figures.

Do not leave any fields blank. Enter 0 for any nil amounts.

  1. Select Next to move to Liabilities.

This section shows the payroll tax calculation details and total amount payable.

  • Queensland taxable wages is the total of the taxable wages entered in the QLD wages section.
  • Less deduction is the annual deduction amount you are entitled to.
  • Taxable amount is the taxable amount for the year after the deduction.
  • Calculated tax is the payroll tax liability for the year before rebates are deducted.
  • Less rebates is the total amount of rebates entitlement for the year.
  • Payroll tax amount is the liability for the year after rebates are deducted.
  • Less total periodic amounts is the combined liability of your periodic returns. It does not include interest or penalty tax.
  • Payroll tax liability/credit is the liability or credit after the periodic payments have been accounted for.
  • Unpaid tax interest (UTI) is the amount of interest if the return is lodged late.
  • Payments/credits received is the amount of payments/credits on the account for the annual return period.
  • Total amount payable is what is owing on this return.

If there are errors in the return, they will appear as an exclamation mark in the top-right corner and will explain the areas you need to review.

Credit from the annual return

  1. If your annual return results in a credit balance, you will be asked if you want a refund paid into your bank account.
    If 'Yes', you will be asked to provide the details of the bank account.

Excess deduction

This section relates to designated group employers.

If your annual deduction is greater than your wages, you can nominate a group member (who is registered for payroll tax in Queensland) to receive your excess deduction. If you do not nominate anyone, we will decide which members of the group receive this amount.

  1. Select Add group member.
  2. Enter the Group member name and Client number.
  3. Select Add group members or Delete to add or remove group members.

Status change

Answer all questions in this section.

The default answer is 'No'. If you answer 'Yes', you may be asked to provide more information.

  1. Select Next to continue.


Depending on your annual liability, you may be given an option to change your lodgement frequency for the next financial year.

  1. Enter your personal details.
  2. As an authorised lodger, you must confirm that the information provided is true and correct.
  3. Select Save as draft.
  4. To review the information entered in the return so far, select Review. If you need to make changes, select Edit. You will need to save the return and confirm the information is true and correct again.

If you have an error on the form, it will be shown as an exclamation mark at the top-right corner of the screen.

  1. To print a summary of the return, select Review. Once the return opens, you can:
    1. print a copy by selecting Print
    2. save a copy as a PDF.
  1. After you have completed the review and corrected errors (if any), select Submit. The return will then disappear from the list.

While still in the Returns section, you can get a copy of the form by using Advanced search to find the return and clicking View form.