Businesses with Australian (annualised grouped) wages above $4 million who are adversely impacted by COVID-19 can elect to defer their payroll tax payments for the March to November 2020 returns periods until 14 January 2021.

Still adversely impacted by COVID-19?

If you deferred your payroll tax liabilities you were still required to lodge your monthly payroll tax returns for:

  • September 2020 (due 21 October 2020),
  • October 2020 (due 9 November 2020) and
  • November 2020 (due 7 December 2020)

If your employees qualified for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper support payments you were exempt from paying any payroll tax on the wage subsidy.

See our JobKeeper Payment (Commonwealth) page for more information about this exemption.

In addition, if any of your employees qualified for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper support payments between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021 you also received a waiver of the payroll tax payable on all your declared paid wages for the months of January to June 2021 (for the return periods of December 2020 to May 2021).

No longer adversely impacted by COVID-19?

You were required to lodge your monthly returns as usual, in addition to making your extended payment arrangement repayments (if you applied for an arrangement).

This relief did not extend to government organisations.

Concerned about meeting your deferred payroll tax obligations?

Businesses who continued to be impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19 and who faced ongoing difficulties in meeting their deferred payroll tax obligations were able to negotiate a repayment plan with RevenueSA for the deferred tax liabilities.

If you are struggling to meet your payment obligations because of COVID-19, please contact RevenueSA's Debt Management Services Team by email at as soon as possible


Did I need to apply for the deferral?

Yes. You could nominate to defer your obligation when submitting your monthly return in RevenueSA Online.

If your business reported Australian (annualised grouped) wages over $4 million for 2018-19, and you were  adversely impacted by COVID-19, you could defer your payroll tax obligations.

You may be required to provide evidence to show the adverse impact COVID-19  had on your business, including a reduction in turnover. A deferral may be subject to an audit by RevenueSA and businesses would be required to retain evidence that their business had 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 was be used for RevenueSA’s assessment of your application for deferral.

What does adversely impacted mean?

If your turnover, profit, customers, bookings, retail sales, supply contracts or other factors were negatively affected, compared to normal operating conditions you were considered ’adversely impacted’.

If I received the deferral, were monthly payroll tax returns still required?

Yes, monthly payroll tax returns were still required to be lodged to capture wages for each month, with payment deferred to January 2021.

This was for reporting purposes only.

Monthly returns

  • March 2020 - Extension to 30 April 2020
  • April 2020 - due 7 May 2020
  • May 2020 - due 9 June 2020
  • June 2020 - Incorporated into the annual reconciliation, due 14 August 2020
  • July 2020 - due 14 August 2020
  • August 2020 - due 7 September 2020
  • September 2020 –  extension to 21 October 2020
  • October 2020 – due 9 November 2020
  • November 2020 – due 7 December 2020
  • December 2020 – due 14 January 2021

Which wages were used to determine if my business was eligible?

We used your ‘total Australian (annualised grouped)’ wages for 2018-19. This was the SA and interstate wages paid to your employees.

The $4 million was the gross wages for the group (before deduction entitlement).

Was this relief only for businesses that closed because of COVID-19?

No, the business did not need to be closed to be eligible for the relief.

Any business with over $4 million in grouped wages which has been adversely impacted could apply for a deferral. These businesses were required to declare that they had been adversely impacted by COVID-19, but they did not have to be on the verge of closing or already closed.

Was an Annual Reconciliation still required?

Yes, an Annual Reconciliation was still required to be lodged.

If the monthly tax liability was under the threshold, did a nil return need to be lodged?

Yes, businesses still needed to lodge a nil return.

If I deferred my payments, could I still make a monthly payment?

Yes, businesses could continue to pay their monthly returns if they preferredto reduce the amount required to be paid at the end of the deferral period.

What information do I need to retain to show my business has been adversely impacted by COVID-19?

If your business had Australian (annualised grouped) wages over $4 million, you may be requested to provide documentation to demonstrate you were adversely impacted, which could include the following:

  • BAS Statement
  • Financial statements
  • Sales figure comparisons from this year compared to last year
  • Evidence that you have received JobKeeper payments.

This is not a comprehensive list. Other evidence may be provided if it clearly shows your business has been adversely impacted.

My business closed due to COVID-19. What does this mean for my payroll tax obligations?

If your business has ceased to employ and won’t recommence trading in the future, you may cancel your payroll tax registration.

Cancellation of Payroll Tax Registration

If your business has ceased to employ in South Australia please email RevenueSA at advising that you wish to cancel your registration, indicating your taxpayer number and date of cancellation. RevenueSA will email you when you are able to complete your final lodgement in RevenueSA Online. For more details see our RevenueSA Online page.