Grouping of employers

Grouping provisions for payroll tax purposes apply in all jurisdictions throughout Australia and are designed to prevent taxpayers using a number of business entities to avoid or diminish their payroll tax liability.

Under the grouping provisions, two or more employers may constitute a group if:

  • they are related bodies corporate within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cwth);  or
  • they use the same employees, or have an agreement for shared use of employees, or an employee is hired by one employer to work in another business;  or
  • the same persons have controlling interests in a number of businesses (whether conducted by persons, partnerships, corporations or trusts);  or
  • one has a controlling interest in the other (being a corporation) under the tracing provisions.

If an employer is a member of two or more groups, all the members of those groups will constitute one group.

Employers who constitute a group are required to advise the details of employers in their group on the Online Payroll Tax Registration: Notification (external site).  You must notify the ACT Revenue Office in writing if the group details alter during the year.

To nominate an ACT group member as the Designated Group Employer or a Joint Return Lodger, use the Application to nominate a Designated Group Employer (DGE) or a Joint Return Lodger (JRL) for ACT Payroll Tax (external site).

The Commissioner may exclude a person from group membership for payroll tax purposes upon written application.