COVID-19 Relief

JobKeeper Payment (Commonwealth)

Under existing payroll tax legislation, the JobKeeper payment – part of the Commonwealth’s $130 billion stimulus measure 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 $1500-a-fortnight JobKeeper support payments will be exempt from paying any payroll tax on the wage subsidy.

Payroll Tax Waiver/Deferral

The South Australian Government recently announced that businesses and business groups with Australian (annualised grouped) wages up to $4 million will receive a six month 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 are not required to pay payroll tax through April to September 2020 (for the return periods of March to August 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 below $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, you will automatically receive the waiver.

You do not need to apply and will receive notification directly through RevenueSA Online that the waiver has been applied.

If your business WAS NOT REGISTERED for payroll tax for the 2018-19 financial year or YOU DID NOT COMPLETE the 2018-19 Annual Reconciliation,

You will need to apply to RevenueSA to determine whether you are eligible for a waiver of payroll tax. To apply, please complete the Online Application.

Once your application is reviewed, RevenueSA will be in contact to advise whether a waiver has been granted.

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 will be due as follows:

  • March 2020 - Extension to 30 April 2020
  • April 2020 - due 7 May 2020
  • May 2020 - due 7 June 2020
  • June 2020 - Incorporated into the annual reconciliation, due 28 July 2020
  • July 2020 - due 7 August 2020
  • August 2020 - due 7 September 2020

Businesses & Business Groups with wages above $4 million

Businesses with Australian (annualised grouped) wages above $4 million who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 can defer their payroll tax payments for the March to August 2020 returns periods until October 2020.

Businesses who continue to be impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19 and who face ongoing difficulties in meeting their deferred payroll tax obligations will be able to negotiate a repayment plan with RevenueSA for the deferred tax liabilities. More information will be available on RevenueSA's website shortly.

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.

The application can be done within RevenueSA Online when submitting your monthly payroll tax return.wages.

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 October 2020.

Monthly returns

  • March 2020 - Extension to 30 April 2020
  • April 2020 - due 7 May 2020
  • May 2020 - due 7 June 2020
  • June 2020 - Incorporated into the annual reconciliation, due 28 July 2020
  • July 2020 - due 7 August 2020
  • August 2020 - due 7 September 2020

Cancellation of Payroll Tax Registration

If your business has ceased to employ in South Australia after 29 February 2020, your request to cancel the registration will be required during the lodgement of your 2019-20 Payroll Tax Annual Reconciliation.

When submitting the Annual Reconciliation, indicate the last date employment occurred in the 2019-20 financial year. The reconciliation will be calculated on the period of employment.