Payroll Tax Online Registration - Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I go for help if I need it when completing the Online Registration?

If you are experiencing difficulties with the Online Registration, On-line Help is available by clicking on the 'Help' icon at the top right hand corner of each screen.

Underlined text in RevNet indicates a hyperlink (link to another section of RevNet or the Internet) and have been used throughout RevNet to explain keywords. To view these definitions, move your mouse over the hyperlink and click on the left mouse button.

Further information regarding payroll tax is available in the Payroll Tax Guide to Legislation.

It is recommended that you print a copy of the Payroll Tax Guide to Legislation for information about payroll tax; it will be a useful reference tool for your organisation.

If you continue to experience difficulties please contact RevenueSA on (08) 8204 9880 during business hours (Monday to Friday) 8.30 am to 5.00 pm.

Basis of the Tax

Payroll tax is a self-assessing tax, which requires employers to establish whether the level of their wages paid or payable requires them to register. An employer who is required to apply for registration must:

  1. Make an application to register as an employer.
  2. Lodge returns on a periodic basis (either monthly or annually) as determined by the Commissioner, calculating the actual tax payable for each return period and remit the tax due when the return is lodged.
  3. Perform an Annual Reconciliation at the end of each financial year to ensure the correct liability has been paid.

Does my organisation need to register for payroll tax?

Generally, an employer is liable to register for payroll tax where their taxable wages, either paid or payable throughout Australia, exceeds the full South Australian deduction entitlement and the employer pays wages in South Australia.

However, in the case where a member of a group of employers pays taxable wages in South Australia and the groups taxable wages exceed the threshold, registration is required, regardless of the wage level of the particular group member, as group members are not entitled to a direct deduction entitlement. Refer to the information regarding calculation of the deduction entitlement below for a detailed explanation.

What are taxable wages in South Australia?

Wages liable to payroll tax in South Australia are wages that are paid or payable anywhere by an employer to an employee in a particular month (the “relevant month”) provided those wages:

  • Are paid or payable in South Australia and relate entirely to services performed or rendered (or to be performed or rendered) wholly or partly in the State; or
  • Are paid or payable in South Australia in the relevant month and are related in their entirety to services performed or rendered (or to be performed or rendered) outside Australia and the employee has, during the six months preceding the relevant month, performed or rendered services for the employer in the State; or
  • Are paid or payable in Australia (but outside South Australia) in the relevant month and relate in their entirety to services performed or rendered (or to be performed or rendered) wholly in the State; or
  • Are paid or payable outside Australia and relate in their entirety to services performed or rendered (or to be performed or rendered) mainly in South Australia; or
  • Are not exempt from payroll tax under Division 9, Part 4 of the Payroll Tax Act 2009 (the "PRT Act"), refer to the Payroll Tax Guide to Legislation.

What is the definition of 'wages' in South Australia?

For full details on the definition of wages in South Australia it is recommended that you look at the Payroll Tax Guide to Legislation.

A checklist of taxable items is available in the Payroll Tax Guide to Legislation.

The PRT Act defines wages as being:

‘any wages, remuneration, salary, commission, bonuses or allowances paid or payable to a person in relation to his or her capacity as an employee’

The definition of wages has been extended to include:

  • Superannuation payments;
  • Fringe benefits;
  • The value of any payments made in kind;
  • Payments deemed to be wages under the 'Employment Agents' provisions in Division 8 of the PRT Act;
  • Payments deemed to be wages under the 'Contractor' provisions in Division 7 of the PRT Act;
  • Termination Payments; and
  • Shares & Options.

As stated above this list does not cover all aspects of taxable wages, it is intended as a brief guide. It is important that you refer to the PRT Act and the Payroll Tax Guide to Legislation before declaring taxable wages to RevenueSA.

How do I calculate the deduction from taxable wages?

Deductions are not available to all employers.

In respect of a group of employers, the deduction can only be claimed by the Designated Group Employer.

Where the employer has not employed for a full financial year the deduction is calculated on a pro-rata basis based on the number of days that the employer employed in Australia.

  1. Employers who are not group members and employ in South Australia only, are entitled to a full deduction, this being $600 000 from 1 July 2009.
  2. Employers who are not members of a group and employ in South Australia and in other states and/or territories other than South Australia are entitled to claim a proportion of the deduction entitlement based on the percentage of their wages that were paid in South Australia compared to their Australia wide wages. This is calculated (for a full year) as follows:

    South Australian Wages x Maximum deduction (currently $600 000)
    Australian Wages

  3. Employers who are a member of a group (but who are not the Designated Group Employer) are not entitled to claim any deduction.
  4. Employers who are the Designated Group Employer where the whole group only employs in South Australia, are entitled to a full deduction, this being $600 000 from 1 July 2009.
  5. Employers who are the Designated Group Employer with the group employing both in South Australia and in other states and/or territories other than South Australia are entitled to claim a proportion of the deduction entitlement based on the percentage of their groups wages that were paid in South Australia compared to their Australia wide wages. This is calculated (for a full year) as follows:

    South Australian Group Wages x Maximum deduction (currently $600 000)
    Australian Group Wages

When is my payroll tax return due?

Employers on a monthly return frequency are required to remit their payroll tax by the seventh day of the month following the month to which the return relates.

In July each year all registered employers are required to lodge a return detailing the full taxable wages for the previous financial year. Tax for the month of June will be incorporated in this return known as the Annual Reconciliation. The Annual Reconciliation is required to be lodged via RevNet and is due by 21 July each year.

How do I remit payroll tax to RevenueSA?

The preferred method of payment is via RevNet. See more information about remitting payroll tax via RevNet.

Other payment methods available are cheque, Bpay or via cash at the ground floor of the State Administration Centre, 200 Victoria Square, Adelaide.

My organisation’s total taxable wages are below our estimated annual deduction entitlement for a period. Do we still need to lodge a return with RevenueSA?

If your organisation’s total taxable wages are below your estimated deduction entitlement for a particular return period you are required to lodge a nil return prior to the due date of the return. You can lodge a nil return via RevNet if your organisation has been registered for the Payroll Tax Payment Facility, alternatively you can remit a nil return by completing the return slip and forwarding it to RevenueSA.

What is the current payroll tax rate and deduction entitlement in South Australia?

The payroll tax rate has been 4.95% since 1 July 2009. The annual deduction entitlement has been $600 000 since 1 July 2009. 

Are there any rebates available to my organisation?

Details of the current rebates available are described in full on our Rebates page.

What constitutes a group for payroll tax?

A group is constituted where:

  • Corporations are related companies, by reason of Section 50 of the Corporations Act 2001.
  • Employees are used in another business, i.e. where employees of an employer are solely or mainly used for or in connection with another business or where an agreement exists between their employer and a person who carries on another business for their use in that other business.
  • Businesses are commonly controlled, i.e. where the same person (or persons) has a controlling interest in two or more businesses.

Refer to the Groupings Information Circular for more details on the grouping provisions of the PRT Act.

Can I be excluded from being grouped for payroll tax?

Under Section 79 of the PRT Act, the Commissioner may exclude a member from a group where he is satisfied that the business carried on by the member is carried on substantially independently of, and is not substantially connected to, the business carried on by any other member of that group. Refer to the Groupings Information Circular IC004 for further information.

Are there any exemptions from payroll tax available?

There are certain situations where wages paid to employees engaged in certain activities or specific organisations can be exempted from payroll tax. Refer to the Payroll tax Guide to Legislation.

I have been asked to nominate an Administrator for the RevNet Payroll Tax Payment Facility. What is their role?

If you choose to pay your payroll tax via RevNet, you need to provide RevenueSA with details of at least one person which is to have 'Administrator' level of access in RevNet. Administrators are authorised to make payroll tax payments in RevNet, lodge the organisation’s annual reconciliation and can create and maintain general access users for their organisation.

I have finished the online registration, how will RevenueSA contact me to advise that it has been processed?

If you apply to remit payroll tax via RevNet as part of the online registration your nominated Administrators will be sent a username and password to the email address provided for them once your application for registration has been actioned.

If you wish to remit payroll tax through any other method RevenueSA will send you a payment booklet through the mail once your application for registration has been actioned.