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

Register for payroll tax

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    If you employ in Queensland and pay (or are part of a group that pays) Australian taxable wages that are above the threshold, you must register for payroll tax.

    You have to register within 7 days after the end of the month in which your wages (or your group wages) exceed $25,000 a week, even if you think that you will pay less than $1.3 million in Australian taxable wages in a year.

    If you are a tax agent or representative for a business, you can register on their behalf if you have authority to do so .

    What you need to do

    1. Determine your employer status.
    2. Have this information ready:
      • your Queensland taxable wages figures up to the most recent month
      • your interstate taxable wages figures
      • the name, ABN and client number of the designated grouped employer (DGE)—if you are a member of a group
      • the name, ABN and client number (if applicable) of all group members—if you are the DGE
      • the past year wage details of all group members—if you are the DGE.
    3. Create an individual QRO Online account. (You cannot set up a generic account for a company.)
    4. Register online for payroll tax.

    If the business is already registered for payroll tax but you have just created your personal account, you can now link your account to the business.

    See instructions on how to

    Employer status

    The type of employer you are will have its own rules and requirements that may differ from the others. Before you register for payroll tax, you need to determine which of the 3 types of employer status applies to you.

    A designated group employer (DGE) is a member of a group of employers. They are nominated by the group members to claim any deductions applicable for the group.

    If you are registered as the DGE:

    • your wages are combined with that of related businesses to determine if you need to register
    • you can claim a deduction if the group’s total Australian wages are less than $10.4 million
    • you are responsible for lodging your own returns and paying payroll tax on your taxable wages
    • you are responsible for reconciling the annual mental health levy liability for the group and sharing information with group members.

    A group member is a member of a group of employers. If you are a group member, your wages are combined with those of related businesses to determine if you need to register.

    You lodge your own returns and pay your payroll tax and any mental health levy, based on your own taxable wages, but cannot claim a deduction.

    A non-grouped employer is not a member of a group and is not related to or connected to another business—with an Australian business number (ABN)—in Australia.

    If you are a non-grouped employer, your wages are not combined with those of another employer to calculate payroll tax and any mental health levy.

    How to register online

    Follow these steps to register an employer for payroll tax.

    1. Log in to QRO Online.
    2. Select the Registration tile on the home page.
    3. Select Payroll tax registration form.
    4. Enter the ABN of the employer you are registering and click on the magnifying glass icon to search.

    The ACN and company name will be displayed.

    1. Answer the question: Is the name correct?
      If you select ‘No’, you will be prompted to enter the correct name.
    2. If the employer is already registered with Queensland Revenue Office, you can enter their 7-digit client number.
    3. Click Save as draft, or Next to continue.

    1. Select the employer status.
      • Designated group employer (DGE)
        Enter in all grouped members in Australia. (You will need the ABNs for all members.)
      • Group member (GM)
        Nominate the DGE for your group. (You will need their ABN.) The DGE must be employing and registered for payroll tax in Queensland.
      • Non-grouped (NG)
    1. Answer the question: Have any of the employer’s Queensland employees been hired or taken on because of the employer acquiring a business in the last 5 years?
      If you select ‘Yes’, you will be asked for further details.

    The Payroll tax service address can be a street or postal address.

    • If the business address and service address are the same, tick the box.
    • If the business address and service address are not the same, enter the address in the search field or complete the business address fields.
    1. Click Save as draft, or Next to continue.

    1. Enter the earliest date you employed in Queensland.
    2. Enter the earliest date you employed interstate (if applicable).
    3. If you are registering as a designated group employer (DGE) or group member (GM), you must tell us when you first became liable to pay Queensland taxable wages as a member of a group.
    4. If you are a non-grouped employer (NG), you will need to enter the earliest date you employed in Queensland and exceeded the Australian weekly taxable wages threshold.

    1. Enter your Queensland taxable wages (excluding non-taxable wages) into the monthly breakdown for the current financial year.
    2. Answer the question: Are you eligible to claim the regional employer discount?
      If you select ‘Yes’, the regional employer discount will be applied to the tax rate.
    3. Enter the Employer’s preceding years wages for the previous 5 financial years (both Queensland and interstate).
      If there are no taxable wages for a financial year, enter 0 (nil).
    4. Enter the Group’s preceding years wages for the previous 5 financial years (both Queensland and interstate).
      If there are no taxable wages for a financial year, enter 0 (nil).
    5. If you are a group member, you will be asked if you or your group will pay more than $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages for this financial year.
      If you answer ‘Yes’, the higher payroll tax rate will be applied to assessments raised by us.
    6. You will be asked if you employ interstate in the current financial year.
    7. Answer the question: Did you employ apprentices or trainees?
      If you answer ‘Yes’, enter the apprentice or trainee wages in the months for this financial year and any relevant previous years.
    8. Click Save as draft, or Next to continue.

    1. Select your preferred lodgement frequency (if options are provided).

    Your contact details will be displayed if you have a contact card for your QRO Online account.

    1. Save the form and select Review from the lower-right corner.
    2. Resolve any errors before continuing. (Errors will display as an exclamation mark in the top right-hand corner.)
    3. Select Submit to lodge the registration.
      Once the form has been submitted, it cannot be edited or deleted.

    A pop-up window will display if the form was submitted successfully. If we haven’t finalised your registration it will display as ‘Pending’. You can view the application by selecting View form.

    What happens next

    Once we have processed your registration, we’ll send a confirmation letter with instructions for your QRO Online account and when to lodge returns. We’ll also include assessment notices for past returns.

    An application for registration that includes past assessments will usually take about 4 weeks to process. This can take longer during peak periods.

    You don’t need to lodge a return or pay until we have issued your notice of registration. You won’t be penalised for the time your application is with us for processing.

    To check the status of your application, select the Registration tile.

    • Draft: Your application has been saved but not submitted for processing. Select Register to continue with the form and submit.
    • Pending: We are processing your application and you don’t need to do anything yet. You can select View form to see the details.
    • Submitted: Your application has been processed. After you receive our confirmation letter, you can select Activate to finalise the registration process so you can start lodging returns.

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    Last updated: 30 August 2023