Frequently Asked Questions - Payroll Tax


What is payroll tax?

Payroll tax is a State tax that is calculated on wages you, as an employer, pay to your employees or deemed employees.  Employers liable to pay payroll tax must register with RevenueSA.

How and when do I register for payroll tax?

An employer (or a member of a Group of employers) who, in any month, pays wages which are liable to payroll tax in South Australia must register for payroll tax when the Australian wages bill of the employer or group exceed the registration threshold.

If you are required to register for payroll tax, you will need to complete an online registration application.

How is payroll tax calculated?

Payroll tax is generally paid monthly. The tax payable is calculated by subtracting an approved deduction (if applicable) from the gross taxable South Australian wages and multiplying the difference by the relevant tax rate for that period.

(Gross Taxable South Australia wages – Deduction) x Tax Rate = Payroll Tax Payable

You are advised how frequently payroll tax returns are to be submitted in a confirmation letter and email issued by RevenueSA.

The payroll tax rate is 4.95%, however a reduced rate is available for employers with Australia wide wages below $1.7 million per annum. See the rates and threshold page for information.

link to calculate your payroll tax rate

A rate table is available to provide an indication of the new payroll tax rates.

How is the deduction entitlement calculated?

The annual deduction entitlement is calculated using the formula below:

South Australian WagesXMaximum DeductionXNo. of Days Employing in SA
Taxable Australia Wide Wages  365

To calculate the monthly deduction the annual deduction is then divided by 12.

What is RevenueSA Online?

RevenueSA Online is an Internet based system that allows an easy, flexible and more effective way for you to do business online with RevenueSA.

Further information about RevenueSA Online - Payroll Tax.


When is my monthly payroll tax return due?

Your monthly payroll tax return and payment of your tax liability for the return period is due on or before the 7th day of the month following the applicable return period (e.g. your payroll tax return and payment for the month of January will be due on 7 February). Monthly returns are submitted through RevenueSA Online.

Failure to submit your payroll tax return (and associated payment of your tax liability) prior to the due date may result in a default assessment being calculated by RevenueSA and penalties and/or interest being levied in accordance with the Taxation Administration Act 1996.

If you are unable to make a payment by the due date please contact RevenueSA for advice.

Do I need to lodge the June monthly return separately?

No. As the annual reconciliation is due on 28 July, the June lodgment is not required to be submitted separately. The wage components for June should be submitted in the total wage component in the annual reconciliation.

What payment options are available?

You can pay your payroll tax via:

  • Electronic Payment Authority (EPA)
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
  • BPay
  • Cheque

Electronic Payment Authority (PRT EPA)

If you pay via Electronic Payment Authority all payments are via an electronic transfer of funds from your nominated bank account. The electronic payment is initiated and authorised by a user within RevenueSA Online after they have submitted a monthly or annual return.

Multiple bank accounts can be nominated. RevenueSA does not independently access a taxpayer's bank account.

This facility ensures that your tax is allocated to your account correctly each month thereby avoiding non-payment penalties and/or interest for incorrect allocation.

More details on registering for Electronic Payment Authority is available on the RevenueSA Online – Payroll Tax page.

If you do not elect to pay via Electronic Payment Authority, payment of returns can be made via Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), BPay or cheque. Once you submit your return, a payment advice will be generated which will provide you with details on how to make the payment.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

Payment Advice is generated you will be able to use the details to make payment via EFT with your financial institution.


If payment is made by BPAY it is important that the correct biller code and reference number printed on the payroll tax payment slip or assessment payment advice is used. Please note the payment reference details will differ for each return. This will ensure correct allocation of the payment. If the incorrect number is used, the payment may not be allocated as intended and penalties may result.


Cheque payments should be made payable to the Commissioner of State Taxation. Payment can be made by mail. In all cases the cheque must be accompanied with the payroll tax payment slip or assessment payment advice.

What happens if I can’t make a payment on time?

If you believe that you will not be able to make a payment on time please contact RevenueSA before the due date for advice.

If you fail to submit a return and you do not notify RevenueSA beforehand a default notice of assessment will be generated based on the wage estimates provided by you during the annual reconciliation or if you have not yet submitted an annual reconciliation, your registration. A default notice of assessment will include penalty tax at a rate of 25% and the market rate of interest plus a premium component of 8% in accordance with the Taxation Administration Act 1996.

What if there is no payroll tax payable for a return?

If there is no payroll tax due for any month, a ‘NIL’ liability must be submitted through RevenueSA Online to RevenueSA on or before the 7th day of the month following the applicable return period.

I have overpaid my payroll tax, can I get a refund?

Yes. Completing the annual payroll tax reconciliation will indicate if tax has been underpaid or overpaid for the year. If you have overpaid submitting the annual reconciliation will automatically notify RevenueSA. The annual reconciliation will then be reviewed and once approved a refund will be provided

If, during the year, an overpayment occurs for a monthly return you can either have the overpayment credited to the next month’s tax due or request a refund. If this happens please contact RevenueSA.

I have received a default assessment, what are my options?

If you have received a default assessment and would like RevenueSA to review any penalties and/or interest, please email RevenueSA at the taxpayer number, a request for the remittance and the reason why the payment was late.

RevenueSA may remit or partially remit any penalties and/or interest on a default assessment. Remissions are assessed on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee that a remission may be approved.

It is important to note RevenueSA will not consider any remittance of penalties and/or interest until a payment for the monthly lodgement has been made.

Annual Reconciliation

How do I submit the annual reconciliation?

Each financial year, all registered employers must lodge an annual reconciliation return. The annual reconciliation gives employers the opportunity to review their tax paid for the financial year, make any necessary adjustments to correct overpayments or underpayments made during the year and confirm a registered employer’s status.

Tax for the month of June will be incorporated in the annual reconciliation return. The annual reconciliation should include details of taxable wages, and the various components that make up these wages. The wage components that are required for the annual reconciliation are shown on the top portion of the monthly payroll tax payment worksheets.

The due date for completion and lodgement of the annual reconciliation return is 28 July. Completion of the annual reconciliation return is an online process conducted on RevenueSA Online at Information about the annual reconciliation process is sent to registered employers in June each year.

Penalty tax and/or interest may be applied to the late lodgement of an annual reconciliation.

Can I amend my payroll tax annual reconciliation once it has been submitted on RevenueSA Online?

Yes, you can modify your annual reconciliation in RevenueSA Online once submitted. See RevenueSA Online – Payroll Tax page for guidance on how to modify.

How do I change the Australian Business Number(ABN)?

If you have ceased to employ under the ABN currently registered for payroll tax and are employing under a new ABN, the new employing ABN will need to complete a new registration. To cancel the old ABN’s registration, please email RevenueSA and we will send you instructions on how to lodge the non-employing ABN’s final return.