• Voluntary use of PAYG instalments

    The pay as you go (PAYG) instalments system is for individuals and businesses to pay instalments towards their income tax liability.

    In your first income year of business, you are generally not required to pay PAYG instalments. This is because we may not receive your tax return and assess your eligibility to pay PAYG instalments until some time after the end of your first income year.

    However, you may need to budget for the total amount of income tax you are liable to pay. An alternative is to voluntarily enter the PAYG instalments system.

    The option to voluntarily enter the PAYG instalments system is available due to recent improvements in our systems and following feedback supporting it.

    Once you enter the PAYG instalments system, any instalments you pay during the income year are credited towards your final tax assessment after you lodge your tax return.

    Who would enter the PAYG system?

    Taxpayers who are likely to choose to pay PAYG instalments include:

    • individuals who are normally excluded from PAYG instalments but are entitled to the seniors and pensioners tax offset (SAPTO)
    • businesses that want to pay instalments towards their expected income tax liability
    • companies that would like to access franking credits to pay franked dividends to their shareholders but who do not meet the administrative entry rules.

    How to estimate the amount of tax you are liable to pay?

    Soon after starting a business, you should be able to work out your taxable income periodically - perhaps weekly, monthly or quarterly - using the following formula:

    Assessable income - allowable deductions = taxable income

    You can use weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly tax tables to see how much tax you need to put aside. If you operate your business as a partnership or trust, refer to the tax rates for individuals to work out your total amount of tax you are liable to pay for the income year.

    How do you enter the system?

    If you want to enter the PAYG instalments system, you need to call us. Our customer service team will ask you a few questions about your income and deductions. You must advise whether you want to remain in the PAYG instalments system until the end of the income year or until you are manually exited.

    Once you have entered the PAYG instalments system, you should receive a letter from us telling you your quarterly instalment rate or amount. At the end of each quarter you will receive an activity statement with the amount you need to pay.

    Further Information

    For more information about activity statements, visit Activity statements - home.

    End of further information

    If you enter the PAYG instalments system you will remain in the system until the end of the current income year unless you have been re-entered under the PAYG instalments standard entry rules.

    • Last modified: 04 Mar 2013QC 26950