JobKeeper and payroll tax

There is some confusion around the interaction of payroll tax and the JobKeeper subsidy. This is in part due to the differing treatments between Australia’s various states and territories. The following table is a simple explanation of the treatments, as confirmed with the revenue authority in each jurisdiction (the phone numbers of which are included).

This is a guide only and taxpayers should consider their particular circumstances when completing their payroll tax obligations.

Amounts to include for payroll tax


  • NT: All amounts in the three examples would be initially included in the calculation (e.g. $8,000), the total amount of the JobKeeper subsidy received (e.g. $4,500) is then deducted as exempt wages, leaving a payroll tax liability on the net amount of $3,500 (effectively the payments above the $1,500 subsidy).
  • Table does not take into account thresholds, grouping, Australian wages calculations, etc.
  • The way the above outcomes are achieved on the payroll tax returns may be different between the various states and territories (e.g. NT’s gross-up then deduct JobKeeper method, versus complete omission in some other jurisdictions). Additionally, terminology may differ between jurisdictions.

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