Victorian private schools get payroll tax reprieve until 2029

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

Although some Victorian independent schools are already breaching the threshold for the state government’s new payroll tax, they won’t have to pay until at least 2029.

The Victorian Andrews’ government has confirmed that private schools left off the initial list of 60 tax-paying schools will not be reassessed, despite the sector’s peak body confirming that other schools have exceeded the income threshold of $15,000 per student.

“Schools currently declared exempt from payroll tax remain exempt until the next review of the threshold in 2029,” a government spokesperson said in a statement yesterday.

The tax was originally intended to contribute $420 million towards the state’s COVID debts, but will now return $100 million less after the government raised the threshold from $7500 to $15,000.

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The June announcement by Treasurer Tim Pallas and Education Minister Natalie Hutchins revealed the list of 60 schools that would pay the tax, which comes into effect next July.

But with the government’s comments on Monday showing the private school payroll tax works differently than for those outside the education sector, where the financial threshold is a trigger for deciding who pays, calls for the tax – already described by many in the private sector as arbitrary and unfair – to be scrapped have grown louder.

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]