Payroll tax

COVID-19 and payroll tax relief

Information on the Business Hardship Package, including how to apply, can be found at

As part of this package, payroll tax relief is available for eligible businesses that can demonstrate substantial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief has been extended and is now available for 14 months from April 2020, which aligns with the 14 returns between March 2020 and April 2021.

Payroll tax is a tax imposed on wages paid by employers with taxable wages in excess of $1 500 000. The rate of tax is 5.5 per cent. The Territory Revenue Office administers payroll tax and employers are able to register and lodge their returns electronically through the online payroll tax system, INTRA.

For a summary of the Northern Territory payroll tax scheme and obligations of employers, refer to:

Payroll Tax Guide for Northern Territory Employers and Businesses DOCX (345.7 KB)
Payroll Tax Guide Appendix 4: Relevant Contract Analysis Schedule XLSX (25.5 KB)

Hiring resident employees

From 1 May 2018, a payroll tax exemption was introduced to encourage the employment of additional Territory residents. Government announced on 17 March 2020 that the hiring resident employee exemptions have been extended to new hires up to 30 June 2021. All other criteria and conditions remain the same for the extended period.

Employers may be eligible for a payroll tax exemption for up to two years in relation to wages paid to:

  1. a Territory resident who, when hired, increases the total number of Territory residents employed by that business
  2. an existing employee of a business, who relocates from living interstate or overseas to reside in the Territory as their principal place of residence
  3. or a Territory resident hired to replace a former employee who resides interstate or overseas.

Commissioner’s Guideline CG-PRT-008: Hiring resident employees PDF (243.3 KB) provides further details on this exemption.

The Territory Revenue Office has also published a series of commonly asked questions in respect of this exemption under Frequently Asked Questions: Hiring Resident Employees Exemption.

Last updated: 01 May 2020

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