COVID-19 Relief

JobKeeper Payment (Commonwealth)

Under existing payroll tax legislation, the JobKeeper payment – part of the Commonwealth’s stimulus measures to keep eligible businesses connected with their workforce during the coronavirus crisis - would attract payroll tax.

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill 2020 (SA), which was assented to on 9 April 2020, includes an amendment to the Payroll Tax Act 2009 to ensure South Australian businesses whose employees qualify for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper support payments will be exempt from paying any payroll tax on the wage subsidy.

Payroll Tax Waiver/Deferral

The South Australian Government has announced that businesses and business groups with Australian (annualised grouped) wages up to $4 million will receive a payroll tax waiver. Businesses and business groups with wages over $4 million can apply to defer their payroll tax.

Businesses & Business Groups with wages up to $4 million

Eligible employers will not be required to pay any payroll tax for the months of April to December 2020 (for the return periods of March 2020 to November 2020).

The Annual Reconciliation will need to be lodged by all employers (regardless of return cycle) and if there is an amount outstanding for 2019-20 after completion of the Annual Reconciliation, this amount will remain payable.

This relief does not extend to government organisations.

Who is eligible for this waiver?

To be eligible for this waiver, your business must have Australian (annualised grouped) wages up to $4 million for 2018-19. Please note, that identification of whether your business is eligible for a waiver of payroll tax will be based on the actual wages declared during the 2018-19 financial year.

Do I need to apply for the waiver?

If your business WAS REGISTERED for payroll tax for the 2018-19 financial year and you COMPLETED the 2018-19 Annual Reconciliation, with declared Australian (annualised grouped) wages below $4 million for 2018-19, or you were previously approved for a waiver, you will automatically receive the waiver.

Functionality that will waive your payroll tax for the September to November 2020 monthly returns is still to be released in RevenueSA Online. Payroll taxpayers will be advised once this is available. The due date for the September monthly return has been extended to 21 October 2020,

All employers must continue to lodge their monthly payroll tax returns to capture wages for the month, even if no payroll tax payment is required to be made.

Monthly returns during this waiver period are as follows:

  • March 2020 - Extension to 30 April 2020
  • April 2020 - due 7 May 2020
  • May 2020 - due 9 June 2020
  • June 2020 - Incorporated into the annual reconciliation, due 14 August 2020
  • July 2020 - due 14 August 2020
  • August 2020 - due 7 September 2020
  • September 2020 – extension to 21 October 2020
  • October 2020 – due 9 November 2020
  • November 2020 – due 7 December 2020
  • December 2020 – due 14 January 2021

What happens after my waiver period?

When your waiver period ceases, your regular payroll tax responsibilities will resume. If you experience any difficulty meeting your payment obligations, please contact RevenueSA's Debt Management Services Team by email at revenuesadms@sa.gov.au as soon as possible.

Businesses & Business Groups with wages above $4 million

Businesses with Australian (annualised grouped) wages above $4 million who are adversely impacted  by COVID-19 can elect to defer their payroll tax payments for the March to November 2020 returns periods until 14 January 2021.

Still adversely impacted by COVID-19?

If you defer your payroll tax liabilities you will still need to lodge your monthly payroll tax returns for:

  • September 2020 (due 21 October 2020),
  • October 2020 (due 9 November 2020) and
  • November 2020 (due 7 December 2020)

No longer adversely impacted by COVID-19?

Businesses who previously deferred their payroll tax liabilities (relating to the March 2020 – August 2020 return periods and 2019-20 annual reconciliation) but are no longer adversely impacted by COVID-19, or elect not to further defer their liabilities, will have the option to enter into an extended repayment arrangement, over 9 months to June 2021, for their deferred liabilities.

You will be required to lodge your September 2020 return as usual, in addition to making your extended payment arrangement repayments.

This relief does not extend to government organisations.

Do I need to apply for the deferral?

Yes, any business with Australian (annualised group) wages above $4 million will need to apply for the deferral of payroll tax each month. It will not be automatically applied by RevenueSA.

Functionality to defer your payroll tax for the September to November 2020 monthly returns is still to be released in in RevenueSA Online. Payroll taxpayers will be advised once this is available. The due date for the September monthly return has been extended to 21 October 2020,

You may be required to provide evidence to show the adverse impact COVID-19 has had on your business, including a reduction in turnover. A deferral may be subject to an audit by RevenueSA and businesses will be required to retain evidence that their business has been adversely impacted, including a reduction in turnover, for a period of five years. Examples include Statement of Cash Flows, evidence that you have received the JobKeeper payment, BAS Statements, Quarterly Profit & Loss or Balance Sheets which compare figures from last year to this year.

Please note that actual wages declared in the 2018-19 financial year will be used for RevenueSA’s assessment of your application for deferral.

Monthly payroll tax returns must still be lodged to capture wages for each month, with payment deferred to January 2021.

How do I apply for an extended payment arrangement?

Requests for an extended payment arrangement until June 2021 must be lodged via RevenueSA Online as part of your September 2020 monthly return (due 21 October 2020).

Functionality to request an extended payment arrangement is still to be released in in RevenueSA Online. Payroll taxpayers will be advised once this is available.

Monthly returns

  • March 2020 - Extension to 30 April 2020
  • April 2020 - due 7 May 2020
  • May 2020 - due 9 June 2020
  • June 2020 - Incorporated into the annual reconciliation, due 14 August 2020
  • July 2020 - due 14 August 2020
  • August 2020 - due 7 September 2020
  • September 2020 –  extension to 21 October 2020
  • October 2020 – due 9 November 2020
  • November 2020 – due 7 December 2020
  • December 2020 – due 14 January 2021

Cancellation of Payroll Tax Registration

If your business has ceased to employ in South Australia please email RevenueSA at payrolltax@sa.gov.au advising that you wish to cancel your registration, indicating your taxpayer number and date of cancellation. RevenueSA will email you when you are able to complete your final lodgement in RevenueSA Online. For more details see our RevenueSA Online page.

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