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TPAR for courier and road freight services – Easier to read information

Information about Taxable payments annual reporting (TPAR) for businesses paying courier and road freight contractors.

Last updated 11 August 2021

How to use this document

This information will help you work out if you need to complete a Taxable payments annual report (TPAR).

If your business paid contractors to provide courier or road freight services you may have to fill in a TPAR and send it to us. This is called lodging a TPAR.

If your business provides both courier and road freight services, you need to count payments for both services when working out if you need to lodge a TPAR.

This information is written in a way that is easy to read.

This document has been written by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

When you see the words ‘we’, ‘our’ or ‘us’ it means the ATO.

This easier to read document is a summary of longer documents about:

What is a TPAR?

A TPAR is a Taxable payments annual report.

It is a report about payments businesses make to contractors or subcontractors who provide services for them.

The TPAR must be lodged by 28 August each year.

Why TPARs are important

Payments reported in a TPAR help us make sure that contractors pay the right amount of tax.

Our government uses tax money to pay for services like:

  • hospitals and schools
  • public transport and roads
  • unemployment benefits and pensions.

How we use the information in a TPAR

We use the information in TPARs to put income information into the online tax returns of contractors.

We also use it to help contractors work out if they have:

  • put all their income in their tax return
  • lodged all the tax returns or activity statements they need to
  • to register for goods and services tax (GST)
  • put the right Australian business number (ABN) on their invoices.

Do you need to lodge a TPAR?

You will need to lodge a TPAR if your business matches these 3 rules. Your business:

  • provides courier or road freight services to other people or businesses
  • pays contractors to provide these courier or road freight services on your behalf. This means the contractor provided the courier or road freight service for your business.
  • has an ABN.

If courier or road freight services are only part of what your business does you may still need to lodge a TPAR.

You need to work out how much of your business income came from courier or road freight services.

Add up all the money your business was paid for providing courier or road freight services for the financial year. A financial year is from 1 July to 30 June.

Include payments for services provided by both employees and contractors.

Work out the total amount of your business income for the year.

You must lodge a TPAR if you meet these 2 rules:

  • 10% or more of your total business income was for providing courier or road freight services.
  • You paid contractors to provide courier or road freight services.

We have some examples to help you work out if you need to lodge.

What are courier services?

Courier services involve picking up small items from one place and delivering them to another place in Australia. Courier services can also be called delivery services.

Items delivered by courier services can include packages, letters and food.

If the main activity of your business is picking up or delivering small items you are a courier service.

For many businesses, delivery is a service they offer for the items they sell.

If delivery is the only way the customer can get the item, the business has not provided a courier service.

If the customer can pick up the item but chooses delivery, then the business has provided a courier service. 

If you are not sure if your business is providing a courier service, read the Need help section.

Example – Is it a courier service?

Wai Pizza is a pizza shop. Customers can choose to:

  • pick up pizzas from the shop
  • have home delivery.

Wai Pizza pays a company called Immediate Food to run the home delivery service.

Is Immediate Food providing a courier service?

Immediate Food pays subcontractors to deliver the pizzas. They also deliver food for many other restaurants.

This means Immediate Food is a courier service.

If 10% or more of their business income is from providing courier services, Immediate Food need to lodge a TPAR.

Is Wai Pizza providing a courier service?

The main business activity of Wai Pizza is making and selling pizzas.

Because they offer home delivery for pizzas that could have been picked up, Wai Pizza is also providing a courier service.

The delivery fee is the payment that Wai Pizza gets for providing courier services.

Wai Pizza charges $10 for delivery of each order.

Wai Pizza would add up all the $10 delivery fees for the year.

If the total is 10% or more of their total business income, they need to lodge a TPAR to report their payments to Immediate Food.

End of example

What are road freight services?

Road freight services include:

  • transporting freight by road. Freight means large amounts of goods like raw materials, products or animals.
  • hiring out trucks with drivers
  • towing services for road vehicles.

Examples of road freight services include:

  • furniture removal services
  • log haulage services
  • road freight forwarding services
  • truck hire services (with driver).

Road freight services do not include:

  • public road transport (such as buses and taxis)
  • running a road freight terminal
  • packing goods for road freight transport
  • hiring out trucks without drivers.

If your business both sells and then transports goods to a customer you need to work out if the transport is counted as a road freight service.

It is a road freight service when it meets both these rules:

  • The customer could pick up the goods but chooses to have them delivered by your business.
  • The cost of the transport is a large part of the total sale amount.

It is not a road freight service when it meets both these rules:

  • The only way the customer can get the goods is by your business transporting to them.
  • The cost of the transport is a small part of the total sale amount.

If you are not sure if your business is providing a road freight service, read the Need help section.

Example: A business providing courier and road freight services

Transport Traders is a business that transports bulk goods for other businesses. They also have a parcel delivery service.

Transport Traders hires contractors to make deliveries. The contractors use their own vehicles.

In the 2019–20 financial year, Transport Traders worked out that their total business income was $10 million.

They were paid:

  • $900,000 for road freight services. This was 9% of their $10 million income.
  • $500,000 for courier services. This was 5% of their $10 million income.

Road freight and courier services are counted as one group for TPAR.

This means Transport Traders must add together the amounts received for both services.

When the amounts are added together, 14% of their business income was from road freight and courier services.

End of example

Payments to report in your TPAR

You need to report information about invoices you have paid for courier and road freight services contractors.

Include invoices:

  • paid between 1 July and 30 June
  • that include both labour and materials.

Do not include invoices for materials only.

Do not record payments to your employees.

For a full list of payment information you need to report, see Payments and details you need to report

Use our online tool to work out if someone is an employee or a contractor.

What information to report in your TPAR

The information you need should be on the invoices your contractors give you.

For each contractor you need to report the:

  • ABN
  • name (business name or individual name)
  • address
  • phone number
  • email address
  • bank account details
  • total amount from all invoices in the year
  • total GST from all invoices in the year.

If a contractor does not have an ABN you also need to report the tax you withheld from them and paid to us.

Keep good records

If you keep good records it will be easier to lodge your TPAR.

You should always record the payments you make to contractors.

For each contractor you pay record their:

  • first and last name
  • ABN
  • address
  • phone number.

For each payment you make to a contractor record the:

  • date
  • invoice number
  • details of the service of materials they provided
  • tax you held if they did not give you their ABN
  • GST amount paid to them
  • total amount paid to them. This includes GST.

Check the ABN

When you get the first invoice from a new contractor, use ABN LookupExternal Link to make sure the information is right.

Each time you get a new invoice from a contractor, check that the ABN is the same as in your records.

If it not the same use ABN LookupExternal Link to check the new ABN. If it does not match the contractor, phone them to see if they made a mistake.

How to lodge a TPAR

There are a few ways you can lodge a TPAR

You can also can get a tax or BAS agent to lodge your TPAR. You need to make sure they are a registered agentExternal Link.

Business software

Check if your business software can prepare and lodge a TPAR online.

The software may be able to either:

  • lodge a TPAR straight to us
  • prepare a file for you. You lodge this file with us using the File transfer function in Online services for business.

You can ask your software provider for more information.

Online services for business

You can use Online services for business to lodge your TPAR.

To use Online services for business you will need a myGovID.

Find out how to set up your myGovID and link it to your business.

Log in to Online services for business. From the menu select Lodgments and then Taxable payments annual report.

ATO online services

Sole traders can use ATO online services through myGov to lodge their TPAR.

To use ATO online services you will need a myGov account linked to the ATO.

Find out how to set up a myGov account and link it to the ATO.

Log in to ATO online services. From the menu select Tax, then select Lodgments, then select Taxable payments annual report.

Paper form

If you can't lodge online you must use our paper form.

You can't download the form from our website. You must order it from us.

You can enter information for up to 9 contractors on the form. If you paid more contractors you need to order more forms.

You can't make photocopies of the form because we will not be able to process them.

You can:

Need help?

If you need help you can use these resources:

Speak to us

You can phone us on 13 28 66.

If you want to speak in a language other than English, phone the Translating and Interpreting service on 13 14 50. Tell them:

  • you want to speak to us
  • the language you want to speak in.

If you have difficulty hearing or speaking to people who use a phone, you can contact us through the National Relay Service (NRS). You need to: