Stamp Duty and Payroll Tax

Stamp duty – also known as ‘duty’ in some states – is a tax on written documents (‘instruments’) and certain transactions, including

  • motor vehicle registrations and transfers
  • insurance policies
  • mortgages
  • Transfers of property such as businesses, real estate and certain shares.

The types of instruments that are issue to responsibility vary between the states and territories. The rate of duty varies according to the type and value of the transaction concerned and may not be charged on all transactions listed above in every jurisdiction. Depending on the nature of the transaction, certain concessions and exemptions may be available.

Payroll tax is levied by state and territory governments on the salary paid by employers. Employers are liable for payroll tax when their total Australian wages exceed the tax-free threshold. Tax-free thresholds vary between states and territories.

Don’t confuse payroll tax with the pay as you go (PAYG) withholding system. Payroll tax is payable to the state/territory by an employer, based on the total wages paid to all employees. Wages include salary, allowances, superannuation contributions, fringe benefits, shares and options and certain contractor payments.

Under the PAYG withholding system, amounts are usually withheld from payments made to an individual and sent to us to offset the individuals’ end-of-year income tax liability.

Some NFP organizations may be exempt from payroll tax provided specific circumstances are satisfied. These organizations may include religious institutions, public benevolent institutions, public or NFP hospitals, NFP non-government schools and charitable organizations.

For more information on Etax, myTax ATO and online tax return, please contact us at 1300768284 or you can email us at