COVID-19 payroll tax relief

News story
Additional payroll tax measures have been introduced to support businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Last updated:
Coins on a chart background.

The Government has announced a range of payroll tax measures  to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

  1. The payroll tax threshold will be increased to $1 million on 1 July 2020. This brings the increase forward from the planned date of 1 January 2021 and will result in approximately an additional 300  businesses  no longer being liable for payroll tax. The threshold increase will be reflected in Revenue Online when it comes into effect.
  2. A one-off grant of $17,500 will be given to employers, or groups of employers, whose annual Australian taxable wages are more than $1 million and less than $4 million.
  3. Payroll tax will be waived for March to June for employers who have Australian taxable wages of less than $7.5 million at 30 June 2020. This waiver replaces the previously announced option to defer payment of payroll tax until July.
    • Employers, or groups of employers, with Australian taxable wages less than $5 million at 29 February can automatically claim the waiver by:
      • declaring WA taxable wages as normal in Revenue Online and
      • recording the value of WA taxable wages as exempt wages using the ‘Other Exempt Wages’ field.
    • Employers, or groups of employers, with Australian taxable wages of $5 million or more at 29 February, or new employers registered for payroll tax from 1 March 2020, can apply to defer lodgment and payment of returns. Payroll tax for March to June 2020 will be waived at annual reconciliation if Australian taxable wages are less than $7.5 million at 30 June 2020.

      The Treasurer encourages eligible businesses not negatively affected by COVID-19 to keep paying tax as normal so the funds allocated to this initiative can be used to assist other businesses that are not so fortunate.
  4. Under the Australian Government’s JobKeeper Payment scheme, wage subsidies will be paid to employers impacted by COVID-19 to help them continue paying their employees. On 9 April 2020, the Premier announced that these payments would be exempt from payroll tax. See the Treasurer’s media statement for more information.

The Pay-Roll Tax Relief (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 20 April 2020 and is deemed to take effect from 1 March 2020. The Act deals with the payroll tax waiver and the exemption for payments made under the JobKeeper Payment scheme. See the Parliament website for information about the Act and the Explanatory Memoranda.

See the Minister’s Media Statements for more information: