Payroll Tax support for businesses impacted by Coronavirus


The WA Government has announced a range of Payroll Tax measures to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus, including an important amendment to the previous “option to defer”:

  1. The Payroll Tax threshold will be increased to $1 million on 1 July 2020. This brings the increase forward from the previously planned date of 1 January 2021. The threshold increase will be reflected in Revenue Online when it comes into effect.
  2. Payroll Tax will be “waived” from March to June for employers who have Australian taxable wages of less than $7.5 million at 30 June 2020. This waiver replaces the previously announced “option to defer” payment of payroll tax until July.

Employers, or groups of employers, with Australian taxable wages less than $5 million at 29 February 2020 do not need to apply for the waiver. Your Payroll Tax for March to June will be automatically waived.

  • Lodge and pay all returns up to and including your February return.
  • If your Australian taxable wages (including WA taxable wages and interstate taxable wages) are less than $5 million, lodge your returns for March to June, entering your WA taxable wages as normal. Then record your WA taxable wages in the ‘exempt (other) wages’ field to apply the waiver.

Employers, or groups of employers, with Australian taxable wages of $5 million or more at 29 February 2020, or new employers registered for Payroll Tax from 1 March 2020, can apply to defer lodgement and payment of returns. Payroll tax for March to June 2020 will be waived at annual reconciliation if Australian taxable wages are less than $7.5 million at 30 June 2020.

If your application is approved, your due date for lodgement and payment will be extended to 21 July. Your approval advice will include instructions for completing annual reconciliation.

  • If your 2019-20 annual Australian taxable wages are less than $7.5 million, payroll tax for the March to June returns will be waived.
  • If your 2019-20 annual Australian taxable wages are $7.5 million or more, you will need to complete your returns and pay tax for the months that were deferred.

If you expect your annual Australian taxable wages will be $7.5 million or more and you are concerned about meeting your payroll tax obligations, you can apply online for an interest-free payment arrangement.

The Treasurer encourages eligible businesses not negatively affected by COVID-19 to keep paying tax as normal so the funds allocated to this initiative can be used to assist other businesses that are not so fortunate.

  1. A one-off grant of $17,500 will be given to employers, or groups of employers, whose annual Australian taxable wages are more than $1 million and less than $4 million. You do not need to apply for the grant.
  2. If you were not previously registered for payroll tax, your 2019-20 Australian taxable wages will be used to determine your eligibility for the grant.  Your grant will automatically be paid by cheque at the completion of the annual reconciliation process
  3. For a group of employers, a single grant will be payable to the designated group employer.

Please do not hesitate to Brealey Quill Kenny Canning Vale, should you have any questions with the above on 9256 2777.

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