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Tax Facts - State Taxes

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Payroll Tax
Payroll tax is a State tax on the wages paid by employers. When the total wages exemption threshold is exceeded, employers are liable for payroll tax. Exemption thresholds vary between States.

Payroll tax is not the same as PAYG withholding tax, collected by the Tax Office. PAYG is the tax deducted from an individual’s income and forwarded to the ATO. Payroll tax is payable to the State by an employer, based on the total wages paid to all employees. The following organisations are generally exempt from payroll tax provided specific qualifying conditions are satisfied:

  • religious institutions
  • public benevolent institutions
  • public or non-profit hospitals
  • non-profit non-government schools or colleges providing education at secondary level or below
  • municipal councils
  • charitable organisations.

Land Tax
Land tax is imposed throughout Australia except in the Northern Territory. It is a tax levied on landowners, except in the ACT where it is levied on lessees under a Crown lease. Land tax is generally required when the unimproved value of taxable land exceeds certain thresholds.

Stamp Duty
Stamp duty is a State tax on written documents and certain transactions, such as:

  • motor vehicle registration and transfer
  • insurance policies
  • leases and mortgages
  • hire purchase agreements
  • transfers of property (such as businesses, real estate or shares).

The rate of stamp duty varies according to the type and value of the transaction involved. Certain concessions and exemptions may be available depending on the nature of the transaction.

Particular deductions and exemptions vary between states for all duties. For more state specific information, visit the appropriate website:


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