For more complete information go to Northern Territory Department of Treasury and Finance
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Relief Measures
See Payroll Tax Covid relief measures – payroll tax waivers and extension of time to pay until July 2021.
Northern Territory Payroll Tax Rate
The current payroll tax rate is 5.5% of taxable wages in excess of the threshold of $1.5 million.
NT Payroll Tax Threshold
The current payroll tax annual threshold is $1,500,000.
For monthly returns and the necessary monthly tax calculations, the annual threshold deductible amount is converted to a monthly deduction amount of $125,000 per month.
The above payroll rate and thresholds have been in place since 1 July 2011. For earlier years see NT Payroll tax rates and thresholds
NT Payroll Tax Return Due dates
Monthly returns and payment are due twenty one days after the end of each month.
Annual adjustment returns are due 21 July.
Wages and Exemptions
Taxable wages for payroll tax purposes includes not only wages/salaries, but also employer superannuation contributions, commissions, bonuses, allowances, directors’ fees, fringe benefits, the taxable component of termination payments and payments to relevant contractors.
The definition of wages is also expanded to include a range of contractor payments, allowances and fringe benefits as they are defined under the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986.
From 1 May 2018 wages paid to new hires employed in the Territory are exempt from payroll tax for 2 years (subject to qualifying conditions). The measure is available until 30 June 2021. See in detail Payroll tax exemption
There is a list of exempt employers and exempt wages here.
NT Payroll Tax and Contractors
The definition of wages for payroll tax purposes includes payments contractors who provide predominantly labour, and who mainly work for one person. The contractor provisions can apply whether or not the services are provided through another entity such as a company or trust, and deemed wage amounts exclude any GST component.
Contractor payments is a complex area, and there are anti-avoidance provisions. Professional advice is strongly recommended.
Detailed information on determining the taxability of contractor payments is set out in the section headed Contractor Payments in the Employers Guide to Payroll Tax in the Northern Territory.
NT Payroll Tax Grouping Provisions
Payroll values of grouped entities are added together for taxing purposes so that the deductible threshold is only available once within groups of related parties. Relationships (and hence aggregation of payroll amounts) are determined on the basis of :
- Related companies according to the Corporations Act definition
- Use of common employees
- Common control by one or more persons
- Tracing of aggregate controlling interests
A member of a group can apply to be excluded.
See in detail: Grouping and payroll tax
NT Payroll Tax Registration
There is online registration for lodgment of returns and payment of payroll tax.
Registration is required when taxable wages exceed the exemption level of $125,000 per month.
See Employers’ Guide to Payroll Tax in the Northern Territory
This page was last modified 2021-06-25