One of the ways we ensure compliance with the Payroll Tax Act 2007 is by conducting audits.
We audit customers already registered for payroll tax to ensure the correct amount of payroll tax has been paid. We also audit unregistered employers who we believe should be registered as their wages are above the tax-free threshold.
We use specialised data matching programs to identify risks or errors in your payroll tax returns. We also select audits based on research and risk profiling, information sharing with other government agencies as well as tip-offs and referrals.
The most common reasons why we select customers for audit include:
For unregistered employers, you’ll receive a notice of investigation via mail. This document formally confirms that an audit has commenced, contains important information on why you were selected for audit and includes a link to a payroll tax employer questionnaire you need to complete. One of our auditors will contact you once we receive the completed questionnaire and other information requested in the Notice of Investigation.
For registered customers, one of our auditors will call you first to discuss the audit and explain the:
We may also schedule a meeting with you to clarify information and discuss any issues identified. Your accountant or tax agent is welcome to attend this meeting.
We’ll then send you a notice of investigation via email. This document formally confirms that at audit has commenced, and also includes details of what information you need to provide.
You may also need to complete an audit questionnaire and return this with the information requested in the Notice of Investigation. Instructions on how to complete the audit questionnaire are provided in the first sheet and your auditor will also be available to provide guidance if needed.
You should read the Notice of Investigation carefully and ensure you provide all the information requested by the due date. Follow the instructions in the payroll tax employer questionnaire and audit questionnaire carefully and contact your auditor to clarify anything.
We recommend you perform a review of your payroll tax returns to confirm the correct amounts have been reported. You should pay careful attention to the common errors we find during audits. You may qualify for a reduced rate of penalty tax if you make a voluntary disclosure of any errors.
To avoid unnecessary delays, we ask that you promptly provide additional information we request. You should contact us as early as possible to request additional time or clarify any aspect of the audit.
We will review the information as soon as possible after you provide it. The focus of our review will be on validating what you reported in your payroll tax returns. We do this by comparing the information you provide to information obtained from various sources, such as other state and Commonwealth government agencies.
Where required, we will then contact you to clarify or request additional information and discuss any issues. We do this via phone, video call or by a face-to-face meeting with you.
You will receive preliminary findings (usually via email) before any assessments are issued. Once the outcome of the audit is agreed we will issue you with assessment notice(s) and audit finalisation letter which details our findings.
We will be fair, objective and professional in all dealings with you. Read more about our commitment to you in our Customer Charter.
During an audit, you can expect that we:
The vast majority of customers comply with requests we make during an audit. If you don’t comply with a reasonable request made by your auditor, we may exercise one or more of our powers under the Taxation Administration Act 1996, such as:
You will receive a post audit survey after the audit has been completed. We request you please provide us with your candid feedback so we can continually improve our audit process and also address any issues you experienced during the audit.
If you disagree with any of our findings you can lodge an objection. You must lodge the objection in writing within 60 days of an assessment or decision being made.