Some States have followed in the Federal governments footsteps to provide their own stimulus and concessions for mostly small to medium businesses and in some cases to individuals and families.
Most of the measures are payroll tax related, aimed at giving small to medium businesses a cash flow boost during this difficult time. While other measures including waiver of fees, grants, relief payments, and concessional loans will also be available.
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.
Businesses with payrolls of up to $10m will have their payroll tax waived for 3-months (essentially the rest of 2019-20 financial year), which means they will save a quarter of their annual payroll tax bill. 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.
In order to help workers in businesses affected by COVID-19, the government will create a new $500m concessional loan facility. It will comprise of loans of up to $250,000 with an initial interest-free period for businesses to retain stuff. In addition, it is also extending the 6-months payroll tax deferral, which was originally only aimed at small businesses, to all affected businesses across the state. The Office of State Revenue will be working with affected businesses to create repayment plans for the deferred tax liabilities.
The government is intending to freeze household fees and charges until at least 1 July 2021. This includes the entire “household basket” including electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, emergency services levy, and public transport fares. The household fees and charges were originally set to increase by a rate of 2% in line with estimated inflation rate for the 2020-21 financial year. Additionally, the energy assistance payment will be increased from $300 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 to assist them with managing the impacts of COVID-19. The payroll tax threshold increase to $1m will also be brought forward by 6-months 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.
Small businesses in the hospitality, tourism, seafood and exports sectors with a turnover of less than $5m will have access to loans for the purpose of purchasing equipment or restructuring business operations. The loans will be interest-free for a period of up to 3 years.
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 for the period of 31 March to June 2020.
In addition to waiving payroll tax, the government will also introduce a youth employment payroll tax rebate scheme for young people from 1 April 2020 and provide a one-off $5,000 grant to businesses that hire an apprentice or trainee.
For individuals and families, one-off emergency relief payments of $250 and $1,000, respectively, will be available for those required to self-isolate by public health. There will also be various other grants and measures to help the tourism sector, communities, front line workers, and metal health organisations.
Does your business need help?
If your business needs help during this difficult time, Hunter Partners can help you work out whether you’re able to take advantage of all the concessions on offer. Contact Hunter Partners today on (07) 4723-1223.
Hunter Partners are Accountants, Tax Agents and Financial Planners. We can assist you with all aspect of your accounting, tax and financial planning requirements, call Hunter Partners on (07) 4723-1223.