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Generally, a group training organisation (GTO) is one that employs apprentices and trainees and hires them to other businesses, called host employers, while they are undertaking their training. The GTO pays wages to the apprentices or trainees and is entitled to an exemption from payroll tax on those wages if:

  • The apprentice or trainee is a new entrant who is employed in accordance with the requirements of an approved training scheme, and
  • The Victorian Treasurer declares in the Victorian Government Gazette (the Gazette) that the GTO is an approved GTO.

For wages paid or payable from 1 July 2018, it does not matter whether you are a ‘for profit’ or ‘not for profit’ GTO. Wages paid or payable before 1 July 2018 by ‘for profit’ training organisations are not exempt.

Who is a new entrant?

A new entrant is someone who is eligible for government subsidised training in accordance with the eligibility requirements set out in the vocational education and training funding contract entered into between the Department of Education and Training and a GTO under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

For the purpose of this exemption, an apprentice or trainee is a new entrant if:

  • They have not previously signed a training contract with the GTO, and:
  • they are a full-time employee who enters into a training contract with the GTO within 3 months of starting employment with them, or
  • they are a part-time employee who enters into a training contract with the GTO within 12 months of starting employment with them.
  • They have previously signed a training contract with a GTO and they enter into another training contract within 3 months of the expiry date of the previous contract. That previous contract must have been with the same GTO and must satisfy the requirements for full time or part time employees set out above.

Example 1

Nick signed with GTO Green on 4 August 2017 as a full time employee. He signed a training contract on 14 September 2017 (within 3 months of being employed full-time by GTO Green) for an apprenticeship with Plumbers United. Nick’s wages are exempt from payroll tax for the duration of his training contract.

Example 2

Maria was employed part-time by GTO Green on 2 May 2014. She entered into a training contract with them on 12 December 2014 (within 12 months of being employed part-time by GTO Green) for an apprenticeship with Plumbers United. Maria’s wages are exempt from payroll tax for the duration of her training contract.

Example 3

Maria finished her apprenticeship with Plumbers United on 11 December 2017 and decided to become an electrician instead. She entered into a training contract with GTO Green for an apprenticeship with Sparky City on 1 March 2018 (within 3 months of her Plumbers United training contract expiring). Maria’s wages are exempt from payroll tax for the duration of her training contract with GTO Green.

What is an approved training scheme?

This is a training scheme approved by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority

How do I become a declared GTO?

The Victorian Treasurer must declare that your organisation is an approved GTO for you to receive the exemption. The declaration must be published in the Victorian Government Gazette. 

You must write to us to get the Treasurer’s declaration. You need to provide you company name, registered business address and ABN.

We apply, on your behalf, to the Treasurer to declare you an approved GTO and let you know the outcome of the application in writing.

The Treasurer must consult the Minister for Education and Training before declaring you an approved GTO. If the Treasurer does declare you an approved GTO, we also arrange for the declaration to be published in the Victorian Government Gazette.

Who has been declared as an approved GTO?

This is the current list of approved GTOs.

Here is the previous list of approved GTOs.

What happens once I become declared as an approved GTO?

Once you are declared by the Treasurer to be an approved GTO, any wages paid or payable by you to your new entrant apprentices or trainees are exempt wages and do not need to be included in your monthly payroll tax return.

Some wages paid or payable by you may still be taxable wages. These include wages paid to:

  • administration staff,
  • employees who are not new entrant apprentices or trainees where a GTO has separate functions or arms from solely providing subsidised training, 
  • new entrant apprentices or trainees who are found not to meet eligibility requirements. In these cases, the GTO must make a voluntary disclosure to the State Revenue Office and pay the appropriate amount of payroll tax.

If you are an approved GTO that is also a charity for payroll tax purpose, these wages are also exempt.

As an approved GTO, you must maintain relevant records to substantiate your exemption claim, including:

  • the name of the apprentice/trainee,
  • date of employment, 
  • the apprenticeship/traineeship details, 
  • the amount of wages paid for the relevant financial year.