Employer status information

What is my employer status?

When registering for payroll tax and lodging returns, you must declare your employer status. Your employer status relates to whether you are or are not part of a group, and affects your ability to claim the threshold, and how much of the threshold you can claim.

The 3 Employer Status Categories are:


An independent is not part of a payroll tax group and is entitled to claim the threshold.

Designated Group Employer

As only one member of a group is allowed to claim the threshold, the members of the group can nominate one member to claim the payroll tax threshold. This is known as the Designated Group Employer (DGE). The DGE must be approved by the Commissioner.

A group may elect for the DGE to lodge a Joint Return on behalf of particular or all group members. In this instance, the DGE is known as a Joint Return Lodger (JRL). Where a DGE is a JRL, all members taxable wages are recorded on the one return and this member is entitled to claim the threshold. Only an approved DGE can apply to be a JRL.

Those members of the group included in a JRL nomination are not required to lodge monthly and annual returns. All other taxpayers who part of the group, but not included in the JRL nomination, are required to lodge monthly and annual returns as an Ordinary Group Employer.

Ordinary Group Employer

Is an employer who pays taxable wages in the ACT and is part of a group. An Ordinary Group Employer is not allowed to claim the threshold and payroll tax is calculated at the relevant rate multiplied by their ACT taxable wages.

Declaring your employer status

Incorrectly declaring your employer status, or not disclosing all members of your group, may result in your business over-paying or under-paying its payroll tax liability. Where you under-pay your payroll tax liability, depending on the circumstances and nature of the tax default, the Commissioner may apply penalty tax and interest.

Your elected employer status should be reflected when lodging your monthly returns. Should your employer status change you must notify our Office by emailing returntaxes@act.gov.au. Once you have been advised that this information has been updated, your new employer status should be reflected on all future returns.

More information on how to determine your employer status is available on the grouping webpage, together with a questionnaire find out if my business is part of a payroll tax group.