The Queensland Revenue Office released their public ruling on the 22nd of December regarding payroll tax on medical centres in light of the recent Victoria and NSW cases. The ruling explains the government's interpretation of the relevant contract provisions contained in the Payroll Tax Act 1971 (QLD).


The ruling was originally to apply from its release date, however, the QLD Government released a payroll tax amnesty for contracted general practitioners (GPs) on the 8th February 2023. The amnesty will apply to GPs up to 30 June 2025 and for the previous 5 years (i.e. 2018-25). The amnesty is limited to payments made to GPs and is not available to:

  • other medical doctors or allied health professionals
  • medical practices that are already complying with payroll tax obligations
  • new medical practices
  • non-medical businesses that are currently paying payroll tax on contractor payments.

In order for the amnesty to apply, medical practices will have to make an application. Full details on applying for the amnesty are yet to be released. An expression of interest has been released which is required to be completed by the 30th of June 2023 to be eligible.

The expression of interest form can be found here.

Public Ruling PTAQ000.6.1 Relevant contracts—medical centres

In the ruling, the commissioner accepts the outcome from the Thomas & Naaz Pty Ltd case and the Optical Superstore case, where the payments made to medical practitioners from the medical centre came within the relevant contractor provisions, resulting in the payments being taxable wages for payroll tax purposes.

Thomas & Naaz Pty Ltd & the Optical Superstore

The facts of these cases are typical to the majority of how medical centres operate, being:

  • The medical centre provides the following services to the practitioner
    • Provision of appointment rooms to consult with patients
    • Administration support for patient bookings
    • Processing of claims for Medicare benefits
  • The contracts with the practitioners would generally provide for
    • Restraint of trade clauses
    • Requirement to promote the interests of the medical practice
    • Complying with leave policies and requirements to apply for leave
    • Specified hours of work and rosters
  • Payments for the service provided by the medical practice would be made by the practitioner assigning the Medicare benefits to the medical centre, where the medical centre would retain their prescribed amount from the contract, after which the balance would be transferred to the practitioner.

The courts concluded that without the practitioners providing their services to the patients, the medical centres would not be able to operate their business. As a consequence, the practitioners were not only providing their services to the patients but also to the medical centre.

Relevant Contract

The ruling states that the relevant contract provisions can apply:

If a medical centre engages a practitioner to practice from its medical centre, or holds out to the public that it provides patients with access to medical services of a practitioner, it is likely the relevant contract provisions will apply to the contract with the practitioner unless an exception (i.e. exemption) applies.

The contract between the practitioner and the medical practice will be a relevant contract where the contract provides that the practitioner is engaged to supply work-related services to the medical centre by servicing patients for or on behalf of the medical centre. Whether the terms are expressed or implied.


The exemptions to the relevant contractor provisions include:

  • Providing services to the public generally
    For this exemption to apply, you are required to apply to the commissioner for a determination.

The exemption may be available where the commissioner is satisfied that the practitioner who provides the services under the contract ordinarily performs services of that kind to the public generally.

The provision of services to patients on behalf of a single medical centre would not qualify for this exemption. The practitioner must provide services of the same kind to other medical centres or hospitals (who are not members of the same group for payroll tax purposes) to qualify for the exemption.

  • Working for 90 days or less in a financial year
    For this exemption to apply, the practitioner must not perform work under the contract for more than 90 days during the financial year, irrespective of how many hours are worked that day.
  • Services performed by two or more persons
    This exemption will apply where the contract between the medical centre and the practitioner includes at least one other person employed by or provides services for the practitioner. The services performed by the second person to the practitioner must be for work required to be performed under the contract between the medical centre and the practitioner. The work must not be for general business-related services (such as accounting). For example, a practitioner employs a specialist nurse to assist in the procedures required to be performed under the contract with the medical centre.

Amount of Wages Payment

The taxable wages for the medical centre per the ruling are the amounts paid by the medical centre to the practitioner, where the payment is in relation to work performed under the contract. When the amount the practitioner is entitled to is recognised, and the money is paid or payable to the practitioner, it will constitute taxable wages.

The amount of the payment is not affected by whether the money is paid from amounts received by the medical centre on behalf of the practitioner, even where the practitioner is beneficially entitled to the money.


Medical centres may need to consider restructuring the way they conduct their business if they do not want to recoup the cost by increasing their fees.

We're here to help

Please reach out to our Ulton Tax Advisory Team if you wish to discuss your situation.



QLD Government - Payroll tax amnesty for contracted general practitioners,GPs%20until%2030%20June%202025

Public Ruling PTAQ000.6.1 Relevant contracts—medical centres

Thomas & Naaz Pty Ltd vs Chief Commissioner of State Revenue (2021) NSWCATAD 259;query=Naaz%20Pty%20Ltd;mask_path=

Commissioner of state Revenue vs The Optical Superstore (2019) VSCA 197;query=Optical%20Superstore%20;mask_path=


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