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

Periodic returns for payroll tax

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    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.

    Monthly lodgers

    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.

    Half-yearly lodgers

    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:

    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 part of a group but not the designated group employer (DGE), you will be liable for payroll tax on the full amount of your taxable wages and must lodge your own periodic returns.

    The payroll tax rate is determined by your group’s Australian taxable wages.

    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.

    Also consider…

    Last updated: 16 March 2023