ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Employers of Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme workers

If you have workers in the PALM scheme you need to be an approved employer, withhold tax and provide income statements.

Last updated 23 April 2024

SWP and PLS consolidation

From July 2023 the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) have been consolidated under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.

While the PALM scheme consolidates the SWP and PLS, some of your workers might remain on these schemes for the duration of their visa.

You can continue to apply the SWP or PLS rules to workers who were issued their visa prior to 4 April 2022.

You can check your worker's visa status using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online systemExternal Link.

PALM scheme approved employer

You can apply to be a PALM scheme approved employerExternal Link under the PALM scheme by going through the assessment process.

Tax file number

Once PALM scheme workers have entered Australia, they can apply for a tax file number (TFN) using their passport and visa details. They will need to provide you with their TFN. Their TFN can also be given to their super fund.

Withholding rate

If you are a PALM scheme approved employer, you must withhold tax at a flat rate of 15% on all payments made to PALM scheme workers who are foreign residents for tax purposes.

If you're not a PALM scheme approved employer, you must withhold tax at foreign resident rates for workers who are foreign residents for tax purposes. Your employee will need to lodge a tax return.

You should use our tax tables under 'Regular payments' to work out how much to withhold from payments you make to PALM scheme workers who are Australian residents for tax purposes.


You must provide payment summaries (or income statements if reporting under Single Touch Payroll (STP)) to PALM scheme workers if you have withheld tax from payments. Foreign resident PALM scheme workers employed by a PALM scheme approved employer are not required to lodge tax returns unless they earn other Australian income outside of the program. They should not include their income from the PALM scheme in their tax returns.

At the end of each financial year, you will need to include these payment summaries, and any others that you have issued, when you lodge your pay as you go (PAYG) withholding payment summary annual report.

If you report under STP, the income statements for PALM scheme workers will need to be included along with all your other employees.