COVID-19 hardship support for small business – payroll tax relief

The Northern Territory Government is providing additional support to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 Omicron variant. The Business Hardship Register 2.0 has reopened and payroll tax relief is available for eligible businesses experiencing substantial hardship. Payroll tax relief is available for the January to March 2022 return periods provided certain eligibility criteria are met.

What is hardship?

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT) has reopened the Business Hardship Register. A business can apply to be included on the Business Hardship Register if it has an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $10 million and it can demonstrate a reduction in turnover of at least 40% in December 2021 or January 2022, when compared with the corresponding period in 2019-20.

To be included on the Business Hardship Register, an assessment of eligibility will be managed by DITT and is a prerequisite for payroll tax relief. Find out more information about the register and how to apply. Applications close at 5pm on 21 March 2022.

Businesses with an earlier listing on the register during 2020 or 2021, and previous hardship certificates, will need to reapply to DITT to have the updated eligibility criteria assessed.

DITT can be contacted by email: and phone: 1800 193 111.

You should know

If you are in a payroll tax group for payroll tax purposes, you do not apply as a group to be listed on the Business Hardship Register. Each group member will need to apply and meet the hardship requirements individually to be listed on the register.

Payroll tax waiver – January 2022 to March 2022 returns

Payroll tax waivers are available for the January 2022 to March 2022 return periods for employers with a:

  • confirmed listing on the DITT Business Hardship Register
  • total Australian taxable wages for 2020-21 of under $5 million.

Confirmation of eligibility and what happens next

An employer must be listed on the DITT Business Hardship Register from February 2022 to access payroll tax relief.

DITT will issue you with a 2022 business hardship certificate once your business has been listed on the Business Hardship Register. To access payroll tax relief, you should immediately provide the 2022 certificate to the Territory Revenue Office. Previous hardship certificates issued in 2020 or 2021 have lapsed.

The Territory Revenue Office may contact you if further supporting documentation is required.

It is a condition of participation in the Business Hardship Package that Businesses comply with all relevant laws. This includes compliance with the Payroll Tax Act 2009 and Taxation Administration Act 2007.

All employers must continue to lodge payroll tax returns through INTRA, the online lodgement portal, by the respective due dates, that is, the 21st of the following month. This will enable monthly waiver amounts to be processed.

Hardship register and January 2022 payroll tax return

If the due date for the January return occurs while you are awaiting consideration of your submitted business hardship application by DITT or your payroll tax relief waiver by the Territory Revenue Office, you do not have to pay payroll tax for this return unless requested by Territory Revenue Office.

How to lodge your certificate with the Territory Revenue Office

Please email your certificate to

Other payroll tax relief

If your business does not qualify for payroll tax relief under the Business Hardship Package, and you are concerned about your ability to meet your continuing payroll tax obligations, please contact the Territory Revenue Office by email: or by phone: 1300 305 353 to request outstanding amounts of tax to be paid in instalments. Flexible payments can be arranged over an extended period, at a concessional interest rate, where temporary cashflow difficulties are evident.

Last updated: 07 March 2022

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