You play an important role in meeting your own payroll tax obligations. Our job is to make it easy for you to understand your obligations and comply with them.
Our tax systems rely on you to voluntarily self-assess and comply with your payroll tax obligations.
We regularly conduct audits to make sure you’re paying the correct payroll tax. We'll audit you if you fail to register with us for payroll tax or have understated your wages.
Sometimes errors occur because you do not fully understand legislative requirements. We’ll help you bring your tax affairs up to date and understand any future payroll tax obligations.
Our audits also help us identify customer education needs or issues that need improvements in policy and legislation.
We select audits from research, data mining and data matching programs. Some cases are selected randomly from a particular industry or customer group.
If you’re selected for an audit, we will:
Our auditor will conduct interviews and make enquiries to establish if you’re complying with the legislation.
We will examine and test some of your business and financial records. After the audit, we’ll let you know the outcome and any proposed action.
Our officers are bound by legislative secrecy provisions. Information gathered during an audit is treated with the strictest confidence and will not be used or divulged, except for purposes required by law.
The Taxation Administration Act 1996 and other legislation allows our auditors to:
If you fail to comply with an auditor’s legal requests, it can result in greater penalties or prosecution.
Make sure that all records the auditor requests are ready for examination.
If you find any discrepancies or undeclared tax liabilities, and voluntarily tell the auditor about them before the interview, penalties may be reduced.
For complex matters, ask your agent (legal or financial representative) for advice. We encourage you to do this if it helps you understand the issues involved.
If you have any questions about the audit or the processes involved, ask the auditor for assistance.
You may be asked to provide the following:
If you’re a member of a group for payroll tax, you must have copies of the above records for all group members.
The length of an audit often depends on the information you provide, how quickly you provide it, its accuracy and completeness.
Penalties will generally apply if the tax is underpaid. The penalty depends on the level of fault and is outlined in the Taxation Administration Act 1996.
Penalties can range from nothing, where you’ve taken reasonable care to comply or where circumstances occurred beyond your control, through to 75 per cent of the unpaid tax when you’ve intentionally disregarded the law.
Voluntary disclosure before or during the audit can give you a reduced penalty. On the other hand, hindering or obstructing the auditor or concealing information will result in increased penalties.
If you have any questions about how penalties are applied, ask the auditor for assistance.
Payment is due 21 days after the issue date of an assessment notice. Failure to pay, or make alternative arrangements by the due date will result in interest charges and the matter being referred for debt recovery.
The auditor will negotiate an appropriate payment arrangement if you’re unable to pay the amount in full by the due date. A written application accompanied by financial information, including detailed cash flow projections, is required for an extension to your payment arrangements.
Interest is generally charged on amounts payable between the time the debt should have first been paid and when it’s paid in full.
If you’re not satisfied with any assessment of liability or decision, you can lodge a formal objection in writing. You have 60 days from the date of the assessment, or the decision, to lodge an objection. Your objection will be considered by independent staff who work in a separate review unit.
If you remain dissatisfied after the determination of your objection, you can ask for further review either through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or the NSW Supreme Court within the required timeframe.
For more information, read the objections and reviews page.
When an audit is finished, we conduct a customer survey to make sure our level of professionalism and customer service is maintained.
If you’re not registered for payroll tax and receive a notice of investigation from us, you must use our online service to access and complete the employer questionnaire. When you finish, upload the questionnaire together with your records.
You must provide the following:
You must provide the following:
If your business is a member of a group, you must provide copies of the above records for all group members.
Download a copy of the employer questionnaire and save it to your computer by entering your client ID and correspondence ID in the login box.
Log in using your client ID and correspondence ID and upload the questionnaire together with the required business records. If your business is a member of a group, you must upload copies of records for all group members.
It should take about thirty minutes to complete and submit this form.
We need this information to help us determine if you have a liability or entitlement. The information may be provided to third parties with your consent or as required or permitted by law. We will correct or update your personal information at your request. For more information, read the privacy page.
If you have a question about our compliance activities and cannot find the answer on this website, contact us.