Wage subsidies

Status: Current
Version Number: 1
Legislation: Payroll Tax Act 2009
Date Issued: 1 July 2009

Revenue Rulings do not have the force of law.


The Payroll Tax Act 2009 (the “Act”), which commenced on 1 July 2009, rewrote and repealed the Pay-roll Tax Act 1971 and provides fully harmonised legislation with New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Northern Territory.

From time to time, an employer may be eligible to receive a subsidy or partial reimbursement of wages paid from government authorities where the nature of employment accords with particular government policies. Under these circumstances, uncertainty may arise as to the amount that must be declared as wages.

The purpose of this Revenue Ruling is to clarify that where a wage subsidy has been received, the full amount of gross wages paid or payable to employees is subject to payroll tax.


If an employer receives a subsidy from a government authority (whether state or federal) in respect of wages paid to workers (for example, a subsidy under the Wage Assistance Programme), the gross wages remain subject to payroll tax. The source of the funds used to pay wages to employees is not relevant in determining the payroll tax liability. In addition, the employer does not cease to be an employer merely because a wage subsidy has been received.

View this Revenue Ruling as a PDF (PDF 237KB)