Employers need to record service for their eligible employees by submitting quarterly returns to the Authority.
Returns must be submitted electronically through the Employer Portal. Employers can either directly enter their return information or, alternatively, download, complete and upload their information using a CSV file instead.
Once a return is submitted, employers will receive a confirmation of the levy due and instructions on how to make a payment.
Returns must be submitted and paid by the end of the month following each quarter.
Which employees to include in a return?
Each return must include a list of all covered employees that have worked for the employer in the ACT in that quarter.
The following employees should not be included on an employer’s return:
- Working directors and sub-contractors (should be reported through a separate Contractor return)
- Employees not performing relevant work (e.g. office workers)
- Employees who did not perform work in the ACT in that quarter
- Employees that were ceased in previous quarters (unless they are returning to work for the employer, in which case the new start date should also be included)
What information to include in a return?
For each employee, the return must specify:
- Employee registration number with the Authority (if known)
- Employee name (should be the employee’s legal name, not a nickname, etc.)
- The start date and/or termination date of the employee (if applicable)
- The gross ordinary wages in relation to the days worked in the ACT
For further information, refer to the Return Checklist and Calendar.
How to register a new employee?
To register a new employee, employers simply need to add them to their next return. This can be achieved by pressing the “Add new employee” button when editing the return through the Employer Portal, or by adding a new row in the CSV file.
Adding an employee on a return will automatically register the employee with the Authority, if they haven’t already been registered through a previous employer.
In addition to the information above, employers need to provide the following information when registering a new employee:
- Date of Birth
If a registered employer no longer has any employees working in the ACT, they are still required to lodge a nil return for as long as their registration remains active. Failure to lodge a quarterly return by the due date may result in penalties for late lodgement.
Alternatively, the employer can contact the Authority to stop their registration, however if an employer subsequently has employees working in the ACT the employer must reapply for registration.
Employees working in multiple jurisdictions
If an employee performs work in multiple jurisdictions, only the days worked in the ACT should be reported in the quarterly return. Also, only the gross ordinary wages related to days worked in the ACT should be reported.
For example, if a worker worked 20 days in the ACT and 45 days in NSW in a quarter, the quarterly return should specify 20 days and the gross ordinary wages related to those 20 days.
Late Submission of Quarterly Returns
From 1 January 2020, employers who fail to submit their returns by the due date will be liable to pay the Authority late submission fees and may also be issued an infringement notice if they fail to submit their return within 3 months after the end of the quarter.
|1st late submission fee||1 month after the end of the quarter||$200|
|2nd late submission fee||2 months after the end of the quarter||$200|
|Infringement notice||3 months after end of the quarter||$640 for individuals
$3,200 for corporations
To assist employers in transitioning to the new arrangements, the Authority will NOT be issuing infringement notices for the Oct-Dec 2019 quarter, which is due by 31st January 2020. However, the late submission fees will apply.
Late Payment of Quarterly Returns
From 1 January 2020, the Authority will no longer apply late payment fees for returns paid after the due date. Instead, the Authority will start charging interest on any outstanding levy amount.
The interest rate to be used is currently being determined and the Authority will send further information once the interest rate is finalised.
The Authority will start applying interest on outstanding levies payable for the Jan-Mar 2020 quarter onwards, noting that the Jan-Mar quarter payment is due on the 30th April 2020. The Authority will not retrospectively charge interest on unpaid levies from previous quarters.
The Authority urges any employer who may be experiencing difficulties in either submitting or paying their quarterly return to contact the Authority before the due date for each quarter to discuss what options are available to avoid incurring penalties.
The Authority sends automatic email reminders to all registered employers about a week before the returns are due.
Extensions of time
Employers who are unable to submit or pay a return by the due date may request an extension of time by contacting the Authority before the due date.