Mar 24, 2020

Coronavirus concessions: State governments

Following on from the Federal government’s $17.6bn stimulus package unveiled last week for the coronavirus (COVID-19), some State governments have announced various concessions to support businesses and keep the local economy moving during this difficult and uncertain time.

NSW – businesses with payrolls of up to $10m will have their payroll tax waived for 3-months. In addition, the government will also seek to bring forward the next round of payroll tax cuts by raising the threshold limit to $1m starting the 2020-21 financial year.

For small businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants and tradies, the government will waive a range of fees and charges.

Queensland – a new $500m concessional loan facility will be available and comprise of loans of up to $250,000 with an initial interest-free period for businesses to retain stuff. In addition, payroll tax deferral of 6-months will be extended to all affected businesses across the state.

Western Australia – household fees and charges will be frozen until at least 1 July 2021 (including electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, emergency services levy, and public transport fares). The energy assistance payment will be increased to $600 for eligible concession cardholders including pensioners. Small to medium businesses with a payroll between $1m and $4m will receive a one-off grant of $17,500 and the payroll tax threshold increase to $1m will also be brought forward to 1 July 2020. In addition, affected employers that pay $7.5m or less in Australian Taxable Wages can also apply to defer payment of their 2019-20 payroll tax until 21 July 2020.

Tasmania – small businesses in the hospitality, tourism, seafood and exports sectors with a turnover of less than $5m will have access to interest-free loans for the purpose of purchasing equipment or restructuring business operations. Payroll tax will be waived for this financial year for hospitality, tourism and seafood industry businesses.

Other affected small to medium businesses with an annual payroll of up to $5m in Australian Wages can also apply to have their payroll tax payment waived. A youth employment payroll tax rebate scheme will be implemented from 1 April 2020 and a one-off $5,000 grant will be provided to businesses that hire an apprentice or trainee.

There will also be emergency relief payments to individuals and families as well as various other grants and measures to help the tourism sector, communities, front line workers, and metal health organisations.

Contact one of our accountants in North Sydney for further information on how to access the virus stimulus measures.