A public ruling, when issued, is the published view of the Commissioner of State Revenue (the Commissioner) on the particular topic to which it relates. It therefore replaces and overrides any existing private rulings, memoranda, manuals and advice provided by the Commissioner in respect of the issue(s) it addresses.
Where a change in legislation or case law (the law) affects the content of a public ruling, the change in the law overrides the public ruling—that is, the Commissioner will determine the tax liability or eligibility for a concession, grant or exemption, as the case may be, in accordance with the law.
Amy is an electrician. She does not advertise and instead tends to learn about jobs through word of mouth. Amy typically provides services to the same principal for relatively long periods. She does not work for other principals concurrently. During a financial year, Amy provides services to Principal A only. Based on these facts, the Commissioner is not satisfied that Amy ordinarily provides electrical services to the public generally in that financial year, and as a result the payments made by Principal A to Amy for the performance of work are wages subject to payroll tax.
Oliver is a carpenter. He tenders for small advertised jobs. During the first half of a financial year, Oliver concurrently provides carpentry services to three principals; and during the second half of the financial year, he provides carpentry services to one principal only. Based on these facts, the Commissioner is satisfied that Oliver ordinarily provides carpentry services to the public generally in the financial year, and as a result the payments made by each principal to Oliver for the performance of work in that financial year are not wages subject to payroll tax.
Michael is a computer programmer. During the financial year, he provided the same type of services to Principal B and Principal C. Under his contract for service with Principal B, he provided his services as follows during the financial year.
|Months||Number of days worked for Principal B|
In that financial year, Michael worked for a total of 100 days for Principal B, which is an average of 8.3 days per month (100 days ÷ 12 months). As a result, the Commissioner will be satisfied that Michael ordinarily performed services of that kind to the public generally in that financial year.
Principal B can exclude the payments it makes to Michael from its taxable wages without seeking a determination from the Commissioner.
Shelly is also a computer programmer. During the financial year, she provided the same type of services to Principal D and Principal E. Under her contract for service with Principal D, she provided her services as follows during the financial year.
|Months||Number of days worked for Principal D|
In that financial year, Shelly worked for a total of 108 days for Principal D. This worked out to be 18 days per month (108 days ÷ 6 months). The circumstances do not meet the criteria for Principal D to exclude the payments to Shelly from its taxable wages without seeking a determination from the Commissioner.
Commissioner of State Revenue
Date of issue: 17 December 2020
|Public Ruling||Issued||Dates of effect|
|PTA021.3||17 December 2020||17 December 2020||Current|
|PTA021.2||1 July 2019||1 July 2019||16 December 2020|
|PTA021.1||18 February 2013||1 July 2008||30 June 2019|