NSW Government moves to pause payroll tax audits for GPs for 12 months


Minister for Finance Courtney Houssos today announced the NSW Government will move to pause payroll tax audits for GPs and their practices for 12 months to allow for ongoing consultation with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and Australian Medical Association.

This follows the release on Friday 11 August 2023 of a practice note by Revenue NSW on payroll tax rules affecting GPs. The note was released after the conclusion of a series of court cases contested by the former government on the matter.

There will also be a 12-month pause on tax penalties and interest accrued on outstanding payroll tax debts incurred before and at the commencement of the 12-month period.

The change will be implemented through an amendment to the Revenue, Fines and Other Legislation Amendment Bill.

NSW GPs face cost pressures due to the former federal Liberal government’s decision to freeze rebates for many years.

Any threat to bulk-billing rates for NSW patients is a concern for the government, given the potential flow-on increase in presentations to emergency departments and hospitals, which are already under significant strain.

Minister for Finance Courtney Houssos said:

“This matter is historic and dates back to before 2018. Its resolution has been hampered by multiple court hearings and the neglect of the previous Coalition government. We understand this neglect has created great uncertainty in the GP community.

“That is why we will need time to satisfactorily resolve the matter.

“We also want time to assess the effects of the bulk-billing changes being introduced federally by the Albanese Government.

“The former federal Liberal government’s failure to index the bulk-billing rebate for Medicare against the CPI for a decade imposed cost stresses on GPs and patients alike.

“We are working hard to rebuild and restore essential services ignored by the previous government.

“This will take time but we are committed to doing this carefully and thoughtfully to achieve the best result we can.”

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