Periodic returns for payroll tax
The payroll tax periodic return captures taxable wages paid during the return period. A periodic return is typically monthly, but for some employers it is half-yearly.
You must lodge a periodic return even if you have no tax to pay for the period. Your notice of registration has details of your lodgement frequency and the first periodic return you must lodge.
When preparing your periodic return, you do not provide a breakdown of wage details (or interstate wages paid during the period). You give us a breakdown of wage figures when you lodge your annual return or a final return (for a change of status) or if we request them.
See the dates returns are due.
If you lodge monthly, you will lodge:
- 11 periodic returns for the months July through to May
- 1 annual return in July, which will include your wages for June.
You don’t need to submit a separate June return—any wages paid in June must be included in your annual return.
If you have been approved to lodge your returns half-yearly, you will lodge:
- 1 periodic return for the July to December period
- 1 annual return in July, which will include your wages for the January to June period.
Changing your lodgement frequency
When you lodge an annual return, your periodic lodgement frequency is automatically reviewed. Depending on your annual liability, you might have the option to change how often you lodge periodic returns.
If you want to change your lodgement frequency before then, use our enquiry form to send an email with your details and an estimate of your wages for the next year.
You must continue to lodge your returns at the same frequency until you receive a letter from us confirming the change.
Calculating your periodic liability
When you enter your wage information in QRO Online, it will calculate your liability based on the wages you enter and any discounts or rebates that you declare you are eligible for.
If you are not part of a group and pay less than $10.4 million in Australian taxable wages, you can claim the:
- actual periodic deduction if you only pay Queensland wages
- fixed periodic deduction if you pay interstate wages.
If your calculated fixed periodic deduction is more than your taxable wages, you cannot credit the extra amount to your next return.
If you are a DGE, you may be eligible for a fixed periodic deduction based on the total Australian taxable wages that the group pays. Calculate this deduction at the start of each financial year and subtract it from your Queensland taxable wages in your periodic returns.
You must recalculate your fixed periodic deduction when any of the following occurs:
- you first become the DGE
- a fixed periodic deduction determined by the Commissioner of State Revenue is revoked or lapses
- a change to your lodgement frequency takes effect
- you have a significant wage change for the group during the periodic return period.
A significant wage change happens during a periodic return period for a group if the previous estimated wages differs by more than 30% from your current estimated wages.
Lodging a periodic return
You can lodge your periodic return through QRO Online. It will be available from the middle of each month.
We have tutorials with step-by-step instructions for:
Printing the return
You can print a copy of your return before or after you have lodged it. See our step-by-step instructions for printing payroll tax returns.
- Find out how to pay your tax liability.
- See how to print from QRO Online.
- Understand how payroll tax is calculated.
- Learn about exemptions for payroll tax.
- Get help with QRO Online.
- Discover how we handle complaints and objections.
- Report a change of business conditions to meet your payroll tax obligations.
- Download the payroll tax user guide.