Wages and tax for the dance industry factsheet #4

In This Article


The national minimum wage is set by Fair Work Australia.


For performers

The Live Performance Award 2010 is an industry award covering employers throughout Australia in the live performance industry and their employees.

The Performers Collective Agreement 2017, developed by Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), covers the minimum rates and conditions for performers working in all live performance type work.

For teachers in public schools

Check your state education departments.

For dance instructors

The Fitness Industry Award 2010 (MA000094) includes the term ‘dance centres’ in the list of fitness industry organisations who are covered. Industry Awards are not optional, as they are a legal baseline even if a ‘dance centre’ is paying above award rates, and even if they are legally formed as a sole trader or partnership.


You can apply for an Australian Business Number at the Australian Business Register. 


Goods and services tax (GST) is a broad-based tax of 10% on the sale of most goods, services and anything else consumed in Australia. GST is a tax on transactions. Where a business is registered or required to be registered for GST, the price of most sales of goods and services will include GST.

The business may be entitled to claim GST credits on the purchases it makes in carrying out its activities. If you are running a business, you must register for GST if your GST turnover is $75,000 or more ($150,000 or more for non-profit organisations). If your GST turnover is less than $75,000 (or $150,000 for non-profit organisations), registering for GST is optional. If you choose to register for GST you must generally stay registered for at least 12 months.

Once you are registered for GST, you will need to include GST in the price of most goods and services you sell and you will be able to claim credits for the GST included in the price of most of your business purchases. You will also need to report these transactions by completing an activity statement every month or quarter, or an annual GST return. Go to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information for business owners.

Employer obligations

Running a business or a non-profit organisation gets more complex when you have employees or independent contractors. As an employer, you have certain tax and superannuation obligations you need to be aware of.

These obligations include:

  • Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding. When you make payments to employees or contractors, you may be required to withhold an amount and send it to the ATO at regular intervals. They call this process PAYG withholding.
  • Superannuation. Under superannuation law, you need to pay superannuation for your employees, in addition to their salary or wages.
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT). A separate tax paid on certain benefits employers provide to their employees or their employees’ associates (typically family members).

Employers must give a Fair Work Information Statement to all new employees. The Statement provides basic information on matters that will affect their employment.