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.

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 and pay 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.

All Australian states and territories have harmonised a number of key areas of payroll tax administration. For more information on the harmonisation of payroll tax refer to the Payroll Tax Australia website.

How is payroll tax calculated?

Payroll tax in South Australia is administered under the following legislation:

  • Payroll Tax Act 2009
  • Taxation Administration Act 1996

Does my organisation need to register for payroll tax?

An employer must register for payroll tax when their Australian wide taxable wages exceeds the South Australian threshold and the employer pays wages in South Australia.

Where an employer is a member of a group of employers and pays taxable wages in South Australia and the groups Australian taxable wages exceeds the South Australian threshold, registration is required, regardless of the wage level of the particular group member.

Find out more on our Register for payroll tax page.

Tax rates, wage thresholds and deduction

The payroll tax rate is calculated on the Australia wide annual wages (or group wages), this means, your wages before the deduction entitlement is subtracted.

View the rates and thresholds.

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