Payroll tax applies when the total wages expense for a business equals or exceeds $1.5 million in a financial year. Medical clinics in South Australia have not previously been paying payroll tax for payments made to General Practitioners (GPs) who provide services to those clinics.
However, following the recent case of Thomas and Naaz v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue  NSWCATAD 2591 and Commissioner of State Revenue v The Optical Superstore Pty Ltd  VSCA 197, RevenueSA has released a Ruling changing how payroll tax will be applied to payments made to contractors engaged by medical clinics in South Australia. For example, medical clinics who engage GPs as contractors will be likely liable for unpaid payroll tax unless an exemption applies.
In light of this, RevenueSA has announced that medical clinics that successfully apply for the amnesty will not be required to pay payroll tax on payments made to contracted general practitioners between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2024.
Who does the amnesty period apply to?
The amnesty is limited to payments made to contracted GPs. For the purposes of the amnesty, a GP is a doctor registered as a general practitioner with the Medical Board of Australia.
When does the amnesty period end?
The registration must be made with RevenueSA by 30 September 2023. Once a clinic has registered for the amnesty, RevenueSA will review the practice’s agreements and structure to advise whether it believes that the payroll tax will apply.
How we can help
If you run a clinic which contracts GP doctors to provide medical services to the public (otherwise known as the Associate Model), we strongly recommend you review your business model and associated agreements and if required, register to be a part of the amnesty program.
We can help by providing you with advice about the current status of payroll tax administration as it relates to the Associate Model and review your current agreements in light of the new payroll tax policies. Contact us on 1300 654 590 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The information contained in this post is current at the date of editing – 14 September 2023.