Coronavirus (COVID-19) | State Government Support

Manage.
Mitigate.
Move Forward.

Key COVID-19 measures by State and Territory

Source: National Tax and Accountants’ Associations 2020

Support for businesses and individuals impacted by COVID-19 is unfolding at state government level all across Australia:

QLD – Update on Deferrals for Payroll and Land Tax

Payroll tax payments for the 2020 calendar year can now be deferred for longer.

If you have already been approved to defer payment until January 2021, you do not need not reapply for the revised due dates.  These new dates will appear in your year-to-date returns in OSR Online.

https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/employing/payroll-tax/lodging/coronavirus-tax-relief

For more information on QLD payroll tax measures, please see below.

There are also additional land tax referrals (for 2020-21 assessments).

https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/tax/covid-19 

For more information on QLD land tax measures, please see below.

NSW small business COVID-19 recovery grant

The NSW Government is gradually lifting the restrictions on movement and business trading that were designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This means some businesses can now reopen.

If your small business or not-for-profit organisation has experienced a decline in turnover as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for a small business recovery grant of between $500 and $3000.

This grant helps small businesses meet the costs of safely reopening or up-scaling operations. These expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • fit-out changes and temporary physical changes (for example, plastic barriers at checkouts)
  • staff training and counselling
  • business advice and continuity planning
  • cleaning products and additional cleaning services
  • additional equipment necessary to comply with social distancing or other public health measures
  • marketing, communications and advertising
  • digital solutions (for example, e-commerce or business websites).

This grant can only be used for purchases of eligible expenses made from 1 July 2020, and only where no other government support is available.

For more information please visit https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-small-business-covid-19-recovery-grant

Source: Service NSW 2020

Round 2 – Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program Extended

The Queensland Government is extending their Small Businesses COVID-19 Adaption Grants program.

This extension will provide an additional $100 million in grants of up to $10,000 for thousands of small businesses and these will be made available from July 1.

Half of this funding is specifically earmarked for regional small businesses located outside of South East Queensland. You can secure a grant to help pay for a range of activities:

Eligible activities – undertaken since 23 March 2020 – include Ineligible activities include
  • Financial, legal or other professional advice to support business sustainability and diversification
  • Continuing to meet business operational costs including utilities, council rates, rent, telecommunication charges
  • Strategic planning, financial counselling or business coaching
  • Building the business through marketing and communications activities
  • Digital/technological strategy development
  • Digital training or re-training and up-skilling employees to adapt to new business model
  • Capital costs associated with meeting COVID-19 safety requirements
  • Specialised digital equipment or business specific software.
  • Purchase of business assets such as stock or fleet vehicles/machinery
  • Salaries or wage expenses for your employees such as superannuation or WorkCover
  • Services delivered in-kind
  • Business costs otherwise supported by other Queensland and Commonwealth Government financial assistance measures.

For more information, see below on the Grant program and visit www.business.qld.gov.au/adaption-grant.   Answer a few quick questions online to check your eligibility and register your interest.

If you would like help reviewing the guidelines, eligibility and applying for Round 2 of the Adaption Grants Program, please speak to your Vincents advisor as soon as possible to avoid disappointment as we anticipate a high level of interest in this second wave of the grants and applications are treated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Source: Queensland Government 2020

Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program

The objective of this program is to support small businesses subject to closure or highly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown restrictions announced by the Queensland Government, to adapt and sustain their operations, and build resilience.

At a glance

The program aims to see small and micro businesses:

  • prepare for the safe resumption of trading in the post COVID-19 recovery
  • access digital technologies to rebuild business operations and transition to a new way of doing business
  • respond to online opportunities, where possible, to sustain employment and maintain potential for longer-term growth
  • upskill and reskill business owners and staff to benefit from new technologies or business models
  • embrace business diversification to adapt and sustain operations
  • create or retain employment.

For information on available funding, eligibility criteria, applying for the grant, assessment process, and grant payments please visit https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/adaption

Source: Queensland Government 2020

Land tax relief; moratorium on residential evictions

Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia have each announced some important COVID-19 relief measures regarding land tax as well as for tenants in commercial and residential properties. The measures are intended to be in line with the Mandatory Code of Conduct – SME Leasing Principles During COVID-19 agreed to by the National Cabinet (and announced by the Prime Minister on 7 April 2020).

 

Source: Thomson Reuters 2020

The Queensland Government has announced significant land tax relief for those landlords affected by COVID-19.

Landlords may be eligible for a land tax rebate reducing land tax liabilities by 25% for eligible properties for the 2019-20 assessment year. There will also be a 3-month deferral of land tax liabilities for the 2020-21 assessment year. Finally, there will be a waiver of the 2% land tax foreign surcharge for foreign entities for the 2019-20 assessment year.

Entities will be eligible for the land tax rebate if at least one of 2 circumstances apply.

The first applies where the landlord is currently leasing all or part of a property to one or more tenants and all the following apply:

  • the ability of one or more tenants to pay their normal rent is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • the landlord will provide rent relief to the affected tenant(s) of an amount at least commensurate with the land tax rebate; and
  • the landlord complies with Queensland leasing principles (even if the relevant lease is not regulated).

The leasing principles have been developed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic as it impacts landlords and tenants (both residential and commercial). They deal with eviction moratoriums among other matters.

The second applies to a landowner and all the following apply:

  • all or part of the property is available for lease;
  • the landlord’s ability to secure tenants has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • the landlord requires relief to meet financial obligations; and
  • the landlord complies with Queensland leasing principles (even if the relevant lease is not regulated).

If the landlord is eligible for the land tax rebate under both the above circumstances, it is expected the landlord will apply the rebate paid firstly to provide rent relief to any tenants. The landlord can then apply any remaining rebate to its own financial obligations (eg in relation to debt and other expenses).

The land tax rebate will only apply to each property that meets the above eligibility requirements and conditions, rather than the rebate applying to entire taxable landholdings. Where there are multiple tenants for a single property, including mixed-use developments, if the eligibility requirements and conditions are met for at least one tenancy, then the whole property is eligible for the land tax rebate. The land tax rebate does not need to be repaid if the eligibility requirements and conditions are met.

Landlords can apply for the land tax rebate up to 30 June 2020.

 

Source: Thomson Reuters 2020

No measures announced to date.

The Premier announced a $500m package aimed at giving certainty to residential and commercial tenants and landlords:

  • Land tax relief: if a landlord provides tenants impacted by coronavirus with rent relief, they will be eligible for a 25% discount on their land tax, while any remaining land tax can be deferred until March 2021. A new Coronavirus Relief Deputy Commissioner will be established at the State Revenue Office to manage these land tax relief claims;
  • Eviction moratorium: evictions will be banned for residential tenancies for 6 months (except in some circumstances). Evictions will also be banned for 6 months for the non-payment of rent for commercial tenancies involving small and medium-sized businesses;
  • Rental increase freeze: rental increases will be banned for commercial and residential properties for 6 months;
  • Rental waiver for SMEs: the Government will also urgently legislate so that eligible small and medium sized businesses can be granted rental waivers or deferrals for commercial tenancies. Businesses are eligible for these measures if they have an annual turnover under $50m per year and have experienced more than a 30% reduction in turnover due to coronavirus;
  • Rental assistance fund: the Government will also create an $80m rental assistance fund for renters facing hardship due of coronavirus. To be eligible, renters will need to have registered their revised agreement with Consumer Affairs Victoria or gone through mediation, have less than $5,000 in savings and still be paying at least 30% of their income in rent.
  • Dispute resolution service: tenants and landlords who struggle to strike a deal over rent reductions will be given access to a fast-tracked dispute resolution service, with Consumer Affairs Victoria or the Victorian Small Business Commission mediating to ensure fair agreements are reached;
  • Date of effect: as agreed by National Cabinet, these new measures will come into effect from 29 March 2020 for a period of 6 months.

 

Source: Thomson Reuters 2020

No measures announced to date.

No measures announced to date.

The WA Government has announced that the Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 will:

  • introduce a moratorium on eviction for 6 months (except in limited circumstances, such as where a tenant is causing serious damage to a property or there is family violence matters);
  • impose a prohibition on rent increases during the emergency period;
  • ensure that any fixed term tenancy agreement due to expire during the emergency period will continue as a periodic agreement;
  • relieve lessors of the obligation to conduct ordinary repairs if the reason they cannot do so is COVID-19 related financial hardship or a lawful restriction on movement; and
  • enable a tenant to end a fixed term tenancy prior to its end date without incurring break lease fees (tenants will still be liable for damage and rent arrears).

The laws will apply equally to tenants in public and private housing, park homes as well as boarders and lodgers.

WA will also be introducing a Code of Conduct that will apply broadly to all tenancies for small to medium enterprises that are suffering financial stress or hardship as a result of the pandemic. This will be in keeping with the Mandatory Code.

 

Source: Thomson Reuters 2020

No measures announced to date.

No measures announced to date.

Payroll tax

If you are an employer (or part of a group of employers) who pays $6.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages, you may receive an email about a:

  • a refund of your payroll tax for 2 months
  • a payroll tax holiday (i.e. no payroll tax to be paid) for 3 months.

You can also apply for a deferral of payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year. (If you have already applied for a deferral, you do not need not reapply – it will be extended.)

If you do not receive an email, or you are unsure about your eligibility, complete the refund/holiday application form.

If you are an employer (or part of a group of employers) who pays more than $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages and have been negatively affected (directly or indirectly) by coronavirus, you can apply for a:

  • deferral of payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year (If you have already applied for a deferral, you do not need not reapply – it will be extended.)
  • refund of your payroll tax for 2 months.

A business is directly or indirectly affected by coronavirus if their current turnover, profit, customers, bookings, retail sales, supply contracts or other factors are negatively affected compared with normal operating conditions.

How to apply

There are 2 online application forms.

Apply for deferral 

Apply for refund/holiday (You must apply for this one before 31 May 2020.)

What happens next

Once your applications have been processed, we will send an email with instructions on what you need to do.

  • You won’t need to pay payroll tax returns for the 2020 calendar year.
  • You must continue to lodge returns in OSRconnect – without paying them – during this time.
  • You can resume paying returns at any time during the deferral period.
Return period Lodgement due date Deferred payment due date
March 7 April 2020 14 January 2021
January-March quarter 7 April 2020 14 January 2021
April 7 May 2020 14 January 2021
May 8 June 2020 14 January 2021
2019-20 annual 21 July 2020 14 January 2021
July 7 August 2020 14 January 2021
August 7 September 2020 14 January 2021
September 7 October 2020 14 January 2021
July-September quarter 7 October 2020 14 January 2021
October 9 November 2020 14 January 2021
November 7 December 2020 14 January 2021
December 14 January 2021 14 January 2021
October-December quarter 14 January 2021 14 January 2021
July-December half-year 14 January 2021 14 January 2021

Payroll tax relief for businesses with grouped Australian wages of no more than $10 million

Payroll tax customers whose total grouped Australian wages for the 2019/20 financial year are no more than $10 million will have their annual tax liability reduced by 25% when they lodge their annual reconciliation, which is due on 28 July.

For those customers who lodge and pay monthly and whose total Australian wages will be no more than $10 million for the current financial year, no payment for the months of March, April or May 2020 will be required.

When lodging your annual reconciliation, you will still need to provide wage details paid in these months and will receive the benefit of a 25% reduction in the amount of tax you would have had to pay for 2019-20.

Threshold increase – 2020/2021 financial year

The tax-free threshold will increase from $900,000 to $1 million for the financial year commencing on 1 July 2020.

The Victorian Government will provide full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million

Payments will save eligible business up to $113,975 a year, with businesses saving an average of $23,000. These businesses employ around 400,000 workers. This assistance is a refund, not a loan.

The same businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021, freeing up a further $83 million in cashflow.

All ACT businesses with Group Australia-wide wages of up to $10 million can defer their 2020-21 payroll tax, interest free until 1 July 2022. Businesses will need to complete a simple online application form (which will be available soon on the ACT Revenue Office website at: www.revenue.act.gov.au) to confirm their eligibility.

Eligible businesses will need to lodge their payroll tax returns as normal but will not be required to make the associated payment at the usual time. If the deferred amount is paid before 1 July 2022, no interest will be charged. Interest will be applied to any outstanding deferred amounts from 1 July 2022.

For those who lodge their payroll tax assessment monthly, deferral can commence for their July 2020 payroll tax liability, which is usually payable by 7 August.

For those who lodge their payroll tax assessment annually, they can defer payment of their full 2020-21 payroll tax liability, which is usually payable in July 2021.

No payroll tax measures announced to date.

The Western Australian Government is introducing three payroll tax measures to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

  • The payroll tax threshold will be increased to $1 million on 1 July 2020. This brings the increase forward from the planned date of 1 January 2021 and will result in approximately an additional 300 businesses no longer being liable for payroll tax. The threshold increase will be reflected in Revenue Online when it comes into effect.
  • Employers, or groups of employers, who pay $7.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages and have been directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 can apply to defer their monthly payroll tax paymentsuntil 21 July 2020 at the following link

https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/application-defer-payroll-tax-covid-19

  • A one-off grant of $17,500 will be available for employers, or groups of employers, whose annual Australian taxable wages are more than $1 million and up to $4 million. For a group of employers, a single grant will be payable to the designated group employer.
    You do not need to apply for the grant. Grants will automatically be paid by cheque from July but there will be delays for taxpayers whose tax status changed in 2018-19 or who became liable for payroll tax during the 2018-19 or 2019-20 assessment year. Eligible taxpayers should log in to Revenue Onlineto ensure their postal address is correct.

No payroll tax measures announced to date.

Employers in the Hospitality,Tourism, and Seafood industries will not be required to lodge payroll tax returns for March, April and May 2020. The Annual Adjustment Return (AAR) for 2019-20 is still required to be lodged by 21 July 2020. For that AAR, the State Government’s recently-announced waiver of payroll tax for relevant wages for the months of March, April, May and June will apply.

Employers (individual/groups) with Australian Group Wages of up to $5.0 million annually, who can demonstrate that their business is affected by Coronoa Virus will not be required to lodge payroll tax returns for March, April and May 2020. The Annual Adjustment Return (AAR) for 2019-20 is still required to be lodged by 21 July 2020. For that AAR, the State Government’s recently-announced waiver of payroll tax for relevant wages for the months of March, April and May will apply.

One-year rebate for employers who pay payroll tax and employ new youth employees aged 24 years and under. (Commencing 1 April 2020)

Other assistance measures for businesses

COVID-19 rental grants

Funding is available to Queensland residents who have lost their job due to the impacts of COVID-19 and don’t have access to other financial relief.

This grant is only available to Queenslanders who need it the most and have exhausted all other options.

The COVID-19 Rental Grant is a one-off payment of up to 4 weeks rent (maximum of $2000) available to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who do not have access to other financial assistance.

The grant is paid directly to your lessor.

Before you apply you must have had a conversation with your lessor and be able to provide evidence that the lessor has declined all attempts for you to make a payment arrangement.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • you live in Queensland
  • you have, or will shortly have, a bond registered with the Residential Tenancies Authority
  • you are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or have a temporary or permanent protection visa or possess a bridging visa
  • you do not have more than $10,000 in cash and savings
  • you can provide evidence of attempts to negotiate a payment plan with your lessor
  • you have lost your job and have applied to Centrelink for income support
  • you are waiting for your application with Centrelink to be approved.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to complete an application form here.

Please note this information is sourced directly from the Queensland Government and is current as of 7 April 2020.

Supply chain support and assistance

Support for manufacturers or businesses who are having difficulties accessing supplies to continue to operate, employ and meet their customer needs.  Affected business can apply using the following link

http://www.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/index.php/industry/industry-support-dsd/manufacturer-s-supply-matching-request-form/view/form

Queensland COVID-19 jobs support loans

The Queensland Government announced on Tuesday, 17 March a new $500 million loan facility, interest free for the first 12 months, to support Queensland businesses impacted by COVID-19 retain employees and maintain their operations.

The $500 million concessional loan facility will comprise low interest loans of up to $250,000 for carry on finance with an initial 12-month interest free period for businesses to retain staff.

The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) is responsible for the administration of these concessional loans and is currently taking expressions of interest in the lead up to rolling these loans out as soon as possible.

To register your interest:

Email you full name, phone number and preferred email address or send your details to , with the subject line “Queensland COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans”.

Or

Freecall 1800 623 946

QRIDA will contact you when the scheme is open to applications shortly.

COVID-19 business support

Support is available for impacted small and medium businesses to build resilience, grow and succeed. This includes financial workshops in partnership with local bodies, business mentoring and a dedicated small business hotline to access information and referral to support services. Contact 1300 654 687 to find out more.

Support for tourism operators and hospitality providers

Fees and charges relief for tourism operators and hospitality providers include:

Support for agriculture and fisheries

For more information visit https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/farms-fishing-forestry/fisheries/coronavirus-support

Support for exporters

The $1.1 million ‘Market Ready’ initiative will provide tailored export advice to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) on leveraging opportunities in the Chinese online market, support brand development by providing market intelligence and expert advice for exporters entering new markets and host China market development forums to provide practical export advice.

Waiver of a range of fees and charges for small businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants and tradies.

Rent relief

Commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief

Business Support Fund

$500 million to establish a Business Support Fund. The fund will support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail.

Working for Victoria Fund

Establishment of a $500 million Working for Victoria Fund in consultation with the Victorian Council of Social Services and Victorian Trades Hall Council. The fund will help workers who have lost their jobs find new opportunities, including work cleaning public infrastructure or delivering food – providing vital contributions to our state’s response to the pandemic and affording those Victorians security when its needed most.

No measures announced to date.

No measures announced to date.

One-off grants of $17,500 to small and medium businesses

Small and medium businesses whose annual Australian Taxable Wages are between $1 million and $4 million will receive a one-off grant of $17,500 to assist them to manage the impacts of COVID-19.

No applications are required. Grants will automatically be paid from July, but there may be delays for taxpayers whose tax status changed during the 2018-19 assessment period or who commenced as new employers in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

No measures announced to date.

Interest Free Business Loans for Small Business

$20 million in interest free loans to small businesses in the hospitality, tourism, seafood production, and exports sectors.  The loans will be available to businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million to purchase equipment or restructuring business operations and will be interest free, for three years.

Interest Free Loans for Local Government

$50 million in interest free loans over three years will be made available to encourage Local Government to upgrade, renovate and to do necessary maintenance to improve tourism and other assets.

Targeted Small Business Grants Program for Apprenticeships and Traineeships

The targeted Small Business Grants Program provides a $5,000 grant for businesses that hire an apprentice or trainee in the tourism, hospitality, building and construction, and manufacturing industries.

Targeted Industry Assistance: Tourism, Hospitality & Fisheries

Measures will include the waiver of a number of lease, license and Parks’ entry fees for tourism operators; a 50% discount on liquor licencing fees and a waiver of all application fees for the calendar year 2020, backdated to 1 January 2020; A waiver for 12 months of annual fees and levies for the rock lobster, fin fishers and for abalone divers.

Contact us

    Name (required)

    Email (required)

    Phone

    Message (required)