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Queensland Government - Queensland Revenue Office
Queensland Government - Queensland Revenue Office

How groups are formed for payroll tax

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    If your business—with an Australian business number (ABN)—is related or connected to another business (with a different ABN), you will be treated as one unit for payroll tax purposes. This is called ‘grouping’.

    You can still be considered grouped even if the other business does not employ in Queensland.

    ‘Business’ includes an activity that is:

    • a profession or trade
    • carried on for fee, gain or reward
    • employing one person, or more, who performs duties for another business
    • operating a trust, including a dormant trust
    • holding money or property used for another business.

    When you are grouped, the Australian taxable wages for each business are taking into consideration when determining your payroll tax liability.

    Payroll tax groups

    A group exists if:

    Your business only needs to fit into one of these categories to be grouped.

    Single businesses

    You are not grouped if you are a single business (with an ABN) employing in multiple states.

    When lodging payroll tax returns, you declare your Queensland taxable wages separately to your Australian taxable wages. This will ensure that you only pay payroll tax on the Queensland component of your wages.

    Registering and lodging returns

    If a group of businesses meets the criteria for registration, then any members who employ in Queensland must register for payroll tax. One member of the group becomes the designated group employer (DGE).

    Each member of the group must lodge their own returns, and all group members are liable for any payroll tax liability that other members have not paid (including unpaid tax interest and penalties).

    If the group is eligible for a deduction, the DGE claims the deduction.

    Read more about lodging returns as a group member or DGE.

    Changes to group structure

    A change to your group structure is known as a ‘change of status’; for example:

    • adding or removing group members
    • becoming or changing a DGE.

    You must report a change of status for payroll tax within 21 days by completing a final return.

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    Last updated: 28 November 2023