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Employer registration for temporary employees due to COVID-19

PAYG withholding registration for employers with employees working in Australia temporarily because of COVID-19.

Last updated 26 July 2020

If you're a foreign employer and your employee was working in Australia temporarily because of the COVID-19 effect on travel, you were not expected to register for pay as you go (PAYG) withholding if both of the following applied:

  • your employee left Australia before 30 June 2020
  • the only reason your employee was working in Australia was because of the effects of COVID-19 on travel.

You may need to register for PAYG withholding, withhold amounts from your employee's wages (and report and pay them to us) if your employee:

  • continues to work in Australia after 30 June 2020
  • is an Australian resident or a foreign resident who is not exempt from income tax under the double tax agreement.

Your employee may not be taxed in Australia if they are a non-resident of Australia and a double tax agreement applies. You will need to check the applicable tax treaty. If the employee's income is not taxable in Australia, you do not need to withhold tax from their wages.

You will also need to continue to pay the super guarantee for your employees, unless an exemption applies, such as a certificate of coverage for international social security agreements.

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