Payroll tax

The Office of State Revenue is responsible for administering Queensland payroll tax under the Payroll Tax Act 1971.

If you are an employer, or part of a group of employers, who pays taxable wages in Queensland and your weekly Australian wages exceed $21,153, you must register for payroll tax with us.

Find out more about registering for payroll tax and calculating your liability.

Once you are registered, you need to lodge periodic returns and an annual return through our online system, OSRconnect. You also pay any tax and other amounts you owe when lodging your returns.

There are many payroll tax exemptions available, including those for employee allowances and leave, payments to contractors, and wages for apprentices and trainees. Charitable institutions registered under the Taxation Administration Act 2001 can claim exemptions for a range of activities.

Public rulings for payroll tax

Public rulings set out the Commissioner’s interpretation of the laws that are administered. The rulings clarify how potentially ambiguous provisions will be applied, or outline circumstances where the Commissioner can exercise discretion to waive certain requirements. Rulings may also list which factors the Commissioner will consider when making a decision, or the evidence required to establish a fact.

Harmonised public rulings

Queensland's payroll tax public rulings include a number of harmonised rulings published in other states and territories.

However, because harmonisation has been legislated for at different times in different jurisdictions, and there may be variations on some aspects between jurisdictions, you should check the publication in each jurisdiction where you may be liable when considering your payroll tax obligations.

PTA027 and PTA036 have not been adopted in Queensland.

Search rulings


Number Name Description Type
PTA003.4 Fringe benefits

Wages—clarifies a number of issues associated with fringe benefits, including determining the value of fringe benefits for payroll tax purposes and outlining methods of declaring fringe benefits

PTA004.2 Termination payments

Wages—clarifies which termination payments are subject to payroll tax

PTA005.3 Exempt allowances: motor vehicle and accommodation

Allowances—clarifies a number of issues associated with exempt motor vehicle allowances and accommodation allowances

PTA006.2 Payroll tax exemption for payments to owner–drivers

Contractors—outlines the conditions to be satisfied in order for payments made to owner–drivers and couriers to be exempt from payroll tax

PTA007.2 Contractor provisions—door-to-door sale of goods

Contractors—outlines the conditions to be satisfied in order for payments made to contractors engaged in the door-to-door sale of goods for domestic purposes to be exempt from payroll tax

PTA008.2 GST considerations for the calculation of payroll tax liability

GST—clarifies how GST impacts on the calculation of an employer’s liability for payroll tax, including GST in relation to fringe benefits payments to contractors

PTA010.2 Wage subsidies

Wages—clarifies the amount of wages which are subject to payroll tax where a wage subsidy has been received by the employer

PTA011.2 Allowances and reimbursements

Allowances—clarifies the payroll tax liability arising from allowances and reimbursements paid by an employer

PTA012.3 Exemption for parental and adoption leave pay

Exemptions—outlines the exemption from payroll tax for maternity leave, paternity leave and adoption leave pay

PTA013.2 Fees paid to golf professionals by golf clubs

Clarifies a golf club's payroll tax liability on payments made to a golf professional

PTA014.2 What constitutes a day’s work?

Contractors—clarifies what the Commissioner considers to be ‘a day’ for the purposes of the 90-day exemption and the 180-day exemption for contractors

PTA015.2 Workers’ compensation payments

Wages—clarifies how workers’ compensation payments are treated for payroll tax purposes

PTA016.1 Profit distributions and loan accounts

Profit distributions and loan accounts—clarifies the payroll tax treatment of certain payments and loans made to the proprietor of a business who is also an employee of that business

PTA017.2 Grouping of professional practices and administration businesses

Grouping—clarifies the circumstances in which professional practices (such as legal, medical or accounting practices) and an administrative services business are regarded as a group for payroll tax purposes

PTA018.2 Contractor deductions

Contractors—outlines the amounts that the Commissioner will allow as a deduction for materials and equipment from payments to certain types of contractors, and the manner in which new deductions may be sought

PTA019.2 Contractors—labour and non-labour components

Contractors—clarifies the payroll tax consequences of a contractor providing separate invoices or charging separately for labour and non-labour components of services rendered

PTA020.2 Contractors—180-day exemption

Contractors—outlines the operation of the 180-day exemption for contractors, and provides examples of its application

PTA021.1 Exemption for contractors ordinarily rendering services to the public

Exemption for contractors ordinarily rendering services to the public—provides a non-exhaustive list of factors that the Commissioner takes into consideration in exercising discretion under s.13B(2)(b)(iv) of the Payroll Tax Act

PTA022.1 Contractors—services not ordinarily required

Contractors—services not ordinarily required—explains the criteria that must be met for a contract to be excluded under s.13B(2)(b)(i) of the Payroll Tax Act

PTA023.2 Contractors engaging others

Contractors—clarifies the payroll tax consequences of a contractor hiring employees or engaging other contractors to perform some or all of the work required under the contract

PTA024.2 Overnight accommodation allowances paid to truck drivers

Allowances—clarifies the payroll tax treatment of overnight allowances paid to truck drivers

PTA025.2 Motor vehicle allowance paid to real estate salespersons

Allowances—clarifies the payroll tax treatment of a motor vehicle allowance paid as a fixed amount to a real estate salesperson where no records of kilometres travelled are kept

PTA026.1 Employment agency contracts—declaration by exempt clients

Employment agency contracts—clarifies the requirements for a declaration made by a client of an employment agent for the exemption of certain payments by the employment agent to workers on-hired to the client

PTA028.2 Employment agency contracts—workers on-hired to government

Employment agency contracts—workers on-hired to government—clarifies the correct payroll tax treatment of payments made by an employment agent to a worker on-hired to a government department

PTA029.2 Recruitment agencies / placement agencies / job placement agencies

Wages—clarifies which party bears the payroll tax liability when a recruitment agency places a worker with an employer who is a client of the agency

PTA030.2 Penalty charges under superannuation guarantee charge

Wages—clarifies which components of a superannuation guarantee charge are subject to payroll tax

PTA031.2 Commissioner’s discretion to exclude from a group

Grouping—provides guidelines as to how the Commissioner will exercise discretion to exclude employers from a group

PTA032.2 Payroll tax exemption for schools

Exemptions—clarifies the exemption from payroll tax available to certain teaching institutions

PTA033.2 Contractors—services ancillary to the supply of goods

Contractors—outlines the operation of the exemption from payroll tax for contracts where the provision of labour is ancillary to the provision of materials and/or equipment

PTA034.2 Contributions to the construction industry long service leave & redundancy funds

Wages—clarifies whether payroll tax is payable on contributions made to portable long service schemes and redundancy funds in the building and construction industry

PTA035.1 Contractors—90-day exemption

Exemptions—explains the exemption from payroll tax for payments made under a relevant contract where the person provides services to the principal for no more than 90 days; also sets out the 'replacement method' for determining application of the 90-day exemption where the principal is unable to determine the actual number of days that a contractor has rendered services

PTA037.1 Paid parental leave

Wages—clarifies how paid parental leave payments are to be treated for payroll tax purposes

PTA038.1 Determining whether a worker is an employee

Employees—clarifies whether a worker is considered to be an employee or an independent contractor

PTA039.1 Payroll tax nexus provisions

Nexus provisions—clarifies the circumstances when wages must be declared in Queensland for payroll tax purposes, as well as the liability for wages paid for services performed outside all Australian jurisdictions

PTAQ000.2.1 Remission of penalty tax and UTI—relevant contracts

Contractors—outlines the circumstances in which the Commissioner will exercise the discretion to remit penalty tax and unpaid tax interest for unpaid payroll tax on payments made to contractors

Queensland specific
PTAQ000.3.1 Temporary increase of payroll tax rebate for wages paid to apprentices and trainees

Apprentice and trainee rebate—outlines an administrative arrangement that temporarily increases the payroll tax rebate from 25% to 50% for wages paid to apprentices and trainees in the financial year ending 30 June 2017

Queensland specific
PTAQ014A.1.2 Exemption for surrogacy leave pay

Queensland-specific ruling that explains the application of the Queensland payroll tax exemption for surrogacy leave pay

Queensland specific
PTAQ014A.2.2 Exemption for parental, adoption or surrogacy leave pay

Queensland-specific ruling that explains how the maximum entitlement of 14 weeks' leave is calculated for both full-time and part-time employees, for the payroll tax exemption for parental, adoption and surrogacy leave

Queensland specific

What do the ruling numbers mean?

Public rulings are numbered consistently to help you search by Act and section. Using PTAQ014A.2.2 as an example: PTA = Payroll Tax Act, Q = Queensland specific, 014A = section 14A, 2 = second ruling, 2 = version 2.