PAYG withholding labels on your activity statement

PAYGW labels on your activity statement.

Ensure the amounts that have been withheld are reported at the correct label.

W1 – Total salary, wages and other payments

Include at W1 total gross payments from which you are usually required to withhold amounts. These payments include:

  • salary, wages, allowances and leave loading paid to employees
  • director fees
  • salary and allowances paid to office holders (including members of parliament, statutory office holders, defence force members and police officers)
  • payments made by a labour hire firm to labour hire workers under a labour hire arrangement
  • employment termination payments
  • payment for unused annual or long service leave
  • payments to religious practitioners
  • superannuation (super) income stream
  • super lump sum
  • Commonwealth education and training payments.
  • attributed personal services income.

Include all payments subject to withholding, even if you weren't required to withhold any amount. For example, if you pay an employee $80 a week, and they claim the tax-free threshold, there is generally no obligation to withhold as long as they have previously provided their tax file number, but you still need to report the total payment at W1.

Do not include:

  • amounts subject to salary sacrifice arrangements
  • super contributions
  • departing Australia superannuation payments
  • payments from which you withheld an amount because an ABN was not quoted (see W4)
  • an investment distribution from which you withheld an amount for non-quotation of a tax file number
  • interest, dividends or royalty payments from which you withheld an amount for a payment to a foreign resident
  • payments to foreign residents for entertainment, sports, construction and casino gaming junket activities.

If you did not make any payments, leave the boxes blank.

W2 – Amounts withheld from salaries or wages and other payments shown at W1

Include at W2 the total amount you withheld from salaries, wages and other payments shown at W1. If you didn't withhold any amounts, leave the box blank.

This is the main type of withholding. If you have no other withholding obligations, go to W5.

W4 – Amounts withheld where no ABN is quoted

Where you make payments to suppliers who do not quote their ABN to you, you must generally withhold 49% of the invoice amount and pay this to us. Not quoting their ABN means that there was no ABN on the invoice and the supplier did not provide it to you in any other way.

For more information on no ABN withholding, refer to Statement by a supplier not quoting an ABN.

Include at W4 the total amount you withheld from payments to suppliers who did not quote their ABN to you. If you have nothing to report, leave W4 blank.

W3 – Other amounts withheld (excluding any amount shown at W2 or W4)

W3 covers other types of withholding. Include the total amount you withheld from:

  • interest, dividends, unit trust or other investment distributions you made, where the person you are paying has not filled in a tax file number (TFN) declaration form or otherwise provided you with a TFN (includes a foreign resident)
  • interest, dividends or royalty payments you made to a foreign resident
  • any departing Australia superannuation payments you made
  • any payments you made to foreign residents, for
    • entertainment and sport activities
    • construction and related activities
    • arranging casino gaming junket activities.

Do not include amounts withheld under the tax file number withholding rules for closely held trusts. For more information refer to TFN-withholding-for-closely-held-trusts.

If you have nothing to report, leave W3 blank.

W5 – Total amounts withheld (W2 + W4 + W3)

Include at W5 the total of W2 + W4 + W3.

Do not include W1 in your W5 total.

Copy the total at W5 to 4 in the 'Summary' section of your activity statement. If your activity statement only asks you to report PAYG withholding, you will not have a summary section. Your total withholding will be reported at 9 in the 'Payment or refund' section of your activity statement.

Large withholders

You are a large withholder if you either:

  • have withheld amounts totalling more than $1 million in a previous income year
  • are part of a company group which has withheld more than $1 million in a past income year.

If you are a large withholder, you only need to complete W1 on your activity statement. Do not complete W2, W3, W4, W5 or 4 in the 'Summary' section.


  • Do not include amounts for super on your activity statement.
  • Large withholders must pay the amounts they withhold to us electronically.

Lodging and paying

The due date for lodging and paying is pre-printed at the top right-hand corner of your activity statement. You can lodge and pay electronically, by mail or in person, but you need to do it on time to avoid interest and penalties. Even if you have no amounts to report for the period or are having difficulty paying, it is still important to make sure we receive your activity statement on time.

How to lodge


You can lodge online using:

  • the business portal
  • Standard Business Reporting (SBR)
  • electronic commerce interface (ECI) over the internet
  • your registered tax agent.

For more information on online lodgment, visit online services or phone us on 13 28 66.

Standard Business Reporting

Standard Business Reporting (SBR) is an Australian Government initiative, allowing secure online lodgment directly from your financial, accounting or payroll software.

We accept lodgments via SBR-enabled software for the following forms:

  • Activity statement
  • Fringe benefits tax (FBT) return
  • PAYG payment summaries, including
    • Employment termination payment summary data record
    • Superannuation income stream payment summary data record
    • Superannuation lump sum payment summary data record
    • Individual non-business
    • Business and personal services income
  • Tax file number (TFN) declaration.

To find out whether your software is SBR-enabled, you can view the SBR product register at Link or talk to your software provider.

By mail

Mail your original, completed activity statement with your cheque using the pre-addressed envelope provided.

If you misplace the envelope, you can send your activity statement to:

Australian Taxation Office
Locked Bag 1936


Send us your original activity statement. Do not send a copy or a version generated from a commercial software package. If you do use a commercial package, make sure you copy the information onto your original statement.

How to pay

You can pay the amounts you withhold to us using any of the following methods:

  • BPAY ®
  • direct credit
  • direct debit
  • mail (cheque or money order).

®  Registered to BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518.

For more information, refer to How to pay.

What if I can't lodge and pay on time?

You must phone us on 13 28 66 to check whether alternative arrangements can be made. You must still lodge your activity statement by the due date, even if you can't pay on time.

The general interest charge will apply to any amount not paid by the due date. A penalty may also apply if you fail to lodge on time.

Expecting a refund?

Generally, if you have an Australian business number (ABN), we can only pay refunds directly into your nominated financial institution account, so it is essential that we have your correct account and branch (BSB) numbers. Your nominated account must be at a branch of the institution in Australia.

Contact us on 13 28 66 if you need to change your financial institution account details. You must provide proof of identity. This includes your name and either your TFN or ABN as well as specific identifiers (such as information from a previous tax notice).

If you don't have an ABN, we will pay your refund by cheque. We may not issue a refund if you have not lodged a previous activity statement or if you have provided incorrect bank details.

If you are due a refund, we may apply it to offset any Commonwealth Government debt that you may have, such as a Child Support Agency debt.


Have you:

Filled in the PAYG withholding boxes that apply to you?


Checked your calculations?


Copied amounts correctly between boxes?


You may need to:

Complete any other sections that apply to you and copy the totals to the summary section.


Calculate whether you must make a payment or if you're entitled to a refund.


Complete the payment or refund details.


Contact us to update your address (see How do I update my address?).


You must:

Sign and date your activity statement.


Lodge your original activity statement by the due date.


Pay any amounts you owe by the due date.


Record keeping

You should keep a copy of your activity statement and the records you used to prepare it for five years after they are prepared, obtained or the transactions completed, whichever is the later, in writing and in English.

Information stored on magnetic tape or computer disk is not in a written form: such records must be in a form that is readily accessible and easily converted into English.

If you do not have access to a photocopier, you can download a copy of the form from our website and copy the information from your original activity statement onto this form and file it for your records.

    Last modified: 12 Oct 2015QC 16735