Payroll tax

Lodging returns

Employers who exceed the monthly tax-free threshold need to lodge monthly returns for every month excluding June. They also need to lodge one annual reconciliation return, which includes the June wages. The purpose of the annual return is for you to declare the correct figures, which could include any necessary adjustments to figures you’ve declared throughout the financial year.

Payment dates

ACT monthly tax returns and payments for July through November and January through May are due by the seventh day of the following month. The December return is due by 14 January to allow for the Christmas/New Year shutdown period. When the due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, the lodgement and payment due date moves to the next working day. There’s no separate monthly return form for June; simply include June wages in your annual reconciliation return.

The due date for lodging your annual reconciliation return – and paying any additional tax calculated in the return – is 21 July of the same year. Once our office has processed your annual return, we’ll send you an annual payroll tax assessment notice, which will detail any underpaid tax liability or let you know whether you’re entitled to a refund for overpayment.

Making payments

If you have been provided access to the Self Service Portal (SSP) you will need to login to this service to lodge your monthly returns and annual reconciliation. More information about the SSP is available here.

Otherwise, lodgement of your monthly returns and the annual reconciliation must be made using the Online Payroll Tax Return Form.

These services provide a customised tax calculation based on your employer status.

When you complete the annual reconciliation return, the form automatically adjusts the tax-free threshold based on the period you were liable to pay, or paid, taxable wages or interstate wages in the year of the return.

Once you submit a payroll tax return, a copy of the submission displays the payment details. You can make payments separately by either electronic funds transfer or BPAY.

Lodging joint returns

Even though a number of employers may be in a group for payroll tax purposes, each employer registers separately for payroll tax. Each employer must lodge separate returns except in cases in which an approved joint return lodgement covers the return.

A Designated Group Employer (DGE) may apply to the Commissioner for ACT Revenue to lodge a joint return that covers stated members of the group. Once the commissioner approves this application, the DGE must lodge one return on behalf of all stated group members, including itself. The DGE needs to declare consolidated ACT wages in each return, along with the Australia-wide wages that all group members have paid.

To nominate a DGE as a joint return lodger, use the Application to Nominate a Designated Group Employer (DGE) or a Joint Return Lodger (JRL) for ACT Payroll Tax form.

As an employer, you may apply to the Commissioner for ACT Revenue in writing to ask for a change to the period for lodging your payroll tax returns. Your application should specify why you’re seeking the variation. The Commissioner will consider varying the lodgement period for employers who anticipate that their annual ACT payroll tax liability will be $6,000 or less or whose circumstances otherwise justify the change.

You can apply to the Commissioner through our Contact us form or in writing to:

ACT Revenue Office
PO Box 293