Australian Capital Territory
The ACT Government has announced the reduction of stamp duty for eventual owner-occupiers of residential property as part of Canberra’s Recovery Plan to encourage growth in the residential property construction sector and support jobs.
The Government will reduce stamp duty on the purchases of:
- new land single residential blocks to zero
- off-the-plan apartment and townhouse purchases up to $500,000 to zero
- off-the-plan apartment and townhouse purchases between $500,000 and $750,000 by $11,400.
This stamp duty concession will be in place for any purchase (i.e. contracts exchanged) in the ACT from 4 June 2020 until 30 June 2021. The Government previously announced a $137 million initial economic survival package and a second package of $214 million to support hospitals, businesses and household.
Support for business includes:
- Payroll tax relief:
- A guarantee to continue providing a 6-month waiver of payroll tax for businesses whose operations are directly affected by the 'prohibited activities list' now, and into the future. Previously, a 6-month waiver of payroll tax from April to September 2020 was provided to hospitality, creative arts and entertainment industries. This payroll tax waiver has been extended to December 2020.
- 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 in the construction sector will be able access interest-free payroll tax deferrals. This has been extended to December 2020.
- Licenced venues will receive a 12-month waiver of their food business registration and on-licence liquor licencing fees from 1 April 2020 and outdoor dining fees for 2020-2021 will be waived. This support will be automatically applied as part of the normal annual fee licensing process. Small off-licence small businesses will now also receive a 12 month waiver of the liquor licencing fees from 1 April 2020
- Licenced venues will receive a 12-month waiver of their food business registration and on-licence liquor licencing fees from 1 April 2020 and outdoor dining fees for 2020-2021 will be waived. This support will be automatically applied as part of the normal annual fee licensing process. Small off-licence small businesses will now also receive a 12 month waiver of the liquor licencing fees from 1 April 2020.
- Rent relief:
- New framework to assist commercial landlords in providing rent relief for local business tenants who have had their business operations restricted
- Rental relief to commercial and community tenants of ACT Government owned properties that have been significantly impact by the virus
- Deferring the issuing of notices for 2019-20 quarter four commercial rates instalments by 4 weeks to provide immediate cash flow assistance to commercial property owners. Commercial property owners significantly affected by COVID-19 can continue to defer their rates (interest free) until 1 April 2021.
- Commercial landlords and owner operated businesses can continue to apply for rates rebates to December 2020 if their tenants or themselves are significantly affected by COVID-19.
- Increasing subsidies for apprenticeships and traineeships and other VET students to access nationally recognised training in areas linked to skills needs across a range of industries. No application required.
- A $750 electricity rebate for small business owners will be automatically applied to their next electricity bill in around June or July 2020 to help with power bills.
- A one-off payment of up to $5,000 to taxi drivers who lease their taxi plates from private owners. This measure provides the same level of support to taxi drivers and plate owners who lease Government issued plates.
- Support to the community club sector to reduce costs and provide immediate cash for clubs who want to surrender gaming machine authorisations.
Support for households includes:
- Government will share the cost reduction of rental on a 50/50 basis, capped at $1,300 per quarter (around $100 a week) to encourage landlords to reduce rents by at least 25 % for tenants under rental stress
- Delaying the issue of all general rates notices by 4 weeks, and push back payment dates by that time, to allow people eligible for Commonwealth assistance to start receiving it.
- The deferral of general household rates for 12 months will be available for any owner occupier in the Territory experiencing hardship because of COVID-19. No interest will be applied to the deferred amount.
To support young people in ACT, the ACT Government has announced a Youth Support Package which includes a six-month payroll tax exemption for businesses who pay for new employees who are apprentices or trainees. The exemption would apply to six months of wages for eligible employees recruited between 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021.
New South Wales
As part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan, the Government has announced:
- changes to the stamp duty threshold on newly built homes and vacant land for first home buyers which will apply to contracts executed to 31 July 2021. This will eliminate stamp duty on newly built homes below $800,000 and vacant land below $400,000.
- the introduction of a land tax discount for new build-to-rent housing projects until 2040. The discount will be equivalent to at least a 50% reduction in land tax, dependent on the unimproved land value. To be eligible for the discount, a build-to-rent development in metropolitan areas must be at least 50 units, with a different threshold for regional areas to be considered. Full eligibility criteria for build-to-rent projects will be set-out in guidelines for the industry in coming weeks.
The NSW Government is also offering various grants and loan guarantees to businesses in NSW. This includes recovery grants of up to $3000 for eligible small businesses, designed to help small businesses get back to business by meeting the costs of safely reopening or upscaling operations. Read more about loan recovery grants.
Information about grants and guarantees for loans available to businesses in NSW is available on the NSW government website. This includes information on recovery grants of up to $3000 for eligible small businesses, designed to help small businesses get back to business by meeting the costs of safely reopening or upscaling operations. 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. Applications must be made before 11:59pm AEST on Sunday, 16 August 2020. Read more about loan recovery grants.
The NSW Government has announced rental support measures which includes a $440 million land tax relief package for eligible landlords if they pass on the savings to their tenants. Read more about the rental support which complements the $750 million assistance package in supporting businesses.
The NSW Government's $750 million assistance package (stage 3) was announced on 2 April 2020 to support NSW small businesses impacted by the shutdown and aims to provide temporary cash flow. Small businesses can receive up to $10,000 which will be available through Service NSW (after mid-April) and will remain open until 1 June 2020. To be eligible, a business will need to provide appropriate documentation to show:
- they have been highly impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 issued on 30 March 2020
- the business has between 1-19 employees
- turnover of the business is more than $75,000 and payroll of below $900,000 (NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold)
- the business is NSW based, employs staff and has an ABN as at 1 March 2020
- the business will use funding for business costs such as utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice.
The assistance package comes on top of the previously released stage 2 of its economic package which covers businesses, jobs and the vulnerable. Support under stage 2 for businesses and jobs include:
- A $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain employees.
- Further payroll tax relief:
- Deferral of payroll tax for business with payrolls over $10 million for up to 6 months
- Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less will receive an additional 3-month deferral to the initial 3-month waiver in the first package.
- Deferral of gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, and lotteries tax for 6 months, conditional on these funds being used to retain staff.
- Deferral of the parking space levy for 6 months
- Deferral of rents for 6 months for commercial tenants with less than 20 employees in all Government-owned properties.
Support for the vulnerable includes $30 million boost to the Energy Accounts Payments Assistance (EAPA) scheme and funding to support charities, Lifeline operations and preventing homelessness. Households struggling to pay their energy bills during COVID-19 now have access to financial support through the EAPA scheme. Residential energy customers can now apply for EAPA vouchers directly through ServiceNSW.
Previously, the NSW Government announced a $2.3 billion health boost (provides funding to health services deal with COVID-19) and the first economic stimulus package. Support for businesses and jobs include:
- Businesses 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 2020.
- For those businesses 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.
- The payroll tax-free threshold limit will be increased from $900,000 to $1 million in 2020-21.
- A range of fees and charges will be waived for small businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants and tradies.
To save jobs the Northern Territory Government has announced on 29 July 2020 an additional $42 million in stimulus measures:
- $20 million for the Small Business Rebound and Adaption Grant – a new grant up to $10,000 when matched dollar-for-dollar to support small businesses to rebound and adapt. Grants open 1 September 2020
- $10 million Territory Tourism Voucher Scheme
- $10 million Immediate Work Grants Scheme – grants for incorporated not-for-profit and community organisations to undertake repairs, renovations and upgrades to their premises/facilities and will be issued to applicants who missed out the first time around. Grants open 1 September 2020.
- $2 million My Territory Local Business Voucher Scheme - a second round of local business-boosting voucher scheme to commence on 1 September.
The Government previously announced $180 million in additional support to businesses as part of the Jobs Rescue and Recovery Plan. The additional support involves:
- payroll tax relief – includes abolishing payroll tax for 6 months for smaller and medium-sized businesses, and defer it for 6 months for large businesses
- reducing power, water and sewerage bills by 50 per cent for businesses for 6 months (for regulated utility tariffs)
- Providing incentives for commercial landlords to reduce rents, and
- working with councils to reduce rates.
The support for payroll tax relief and reducing utilities bills will be effective for 6 months from 1 April, and businesses can apply from 1 May.
The $65 million Jobs Rescue & Recovery Plan was announced on 18 March 2020 to support businesses and workers. Support for businesses and jobs include:The Northern Territory Government will provide a $65 million Jobs Rescue & Recovery Plan to support businesses and workers. Support for businesses and jobs include:
- $20 million Business Improvement Scheme - aimed at helping businesses get customers back into premises by undertaking improvements to a Territory business. All eligible businesses will receive $10,000.
- $5 million Business Structural Adjustment package – to assist businesses who need to physically adjust to the 100 person rule or to establish or upgrade their online presence to adjust to changing behaviours of consumption. All businesses can apply, but the Department will be focusing on the hospitality sector first (such as restaurants). Terms and conditions and a hotline will be released soon.
- $5 million Immediate Works Grants Package - reintroduces the Immediate Works Grant for incorporated not-for-profit and community organisations – including clubs - to undertake repairs, renovations and upgrades to their premises/facilities. Applicants can apply for grants of up to $50,000, which will then be matched dollar-for-dollar if the organisation also puts in their own $50,000.
- Freezing Government Fees and Charges and Electricity Prices until 1 July 2021.
The Queensland Government has announced an additional $249 million in COVID-19 related tax relief to small and medium businesses across Queensland. The measures are:
- a two-month waiver for of payroll tax for July and August 2020 for businesses with annual Australian taxable wages up to $6.5 million – eligible employers need to apply by 30 October 2020
- continuing to exempt JobKeeper subsidy payments from payroll tax – despite the Morrison government making these payments liable for income tax
- allowing businesses to pay off existing payroll tax deferred liabilities over the course of 2021, and
- for businesses renting State Government premises and incurring a demonstrable COVID impact, extending existing rent relief to the end of calendar 2020.
To support COVID-19 impacted tenants, the Queensland Government has announced protections for retail and commercial tenants. The protections would be underpinned by $400 million in land tax relief for property owners, which must be passed on to tenants. Land tax relief measures available include:
- a 3-month deferral of land tax liabilities for the 2020–21 assessment year
- a land tax rebate reducing land tax liabilities by 25% for eligible properties for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 assessment years
- a waiver of the 2% land tax foreign surcharge for foreign entities for the 2019-20 assessment year.
The South Australian Government has announced that it will provide eligible residential tenants rent relief through a $1,000 grant to their landlords under a new scheme. Based on similar schemes interstate, tenants would be eligible for State Government rent relief if they are either receiving JobKeeper or JobSeeker payments, have less than $5,000 in savings and be paying more than 30% of their income in rent. Department of Human Services will administer the Residential Rent Grant Scheme and applications will close on 30 September 2020. Register your interest for the Residential Rent Grant Scheme.
An extra $50 million in land tax relief for landlords, with the benefit going to their tenants was previously announced on 24 April 2020 by the Government to support tenants. Read about the land tax relief. On 8 September 2020, the Government announced the extension and expansion of land tax relief for non-residential and residential landlords. Land tax relief will be extended by six months till the end of April 2021. Eligible landlords will be able to receive up to a 50% reduction on their 2019-20 land tax liability on affected properties (up from 25%) provided they pass on the full benefit in land tax relief to their COVID-19 impacted tenants. The land tax relief measure will also be extended to include eligible commercial owner-occupiers.
To support small businesses and not-for-profit entities who have been highly impacted by the COVID-19, the South Australian Government has announced a $10,000 grant to support the operation of their business. You can find eligibility requirements and register your interest on the SA Treasury website. This grant is to be funded from $650 million Jobs Rescue Package which was announced as part of the Government's second stimulus package on 26 March 2020.
The emergency $650 million Jobs Rescue Package, brings the total stimulus package for SA to $1 billion. Support for businesses, jobs and households include:
- Payroll tax relief for businesses:
- 6-month payroll tax waiver for businesses with Australian grouped wages up to $4 million i.e. no payroll tax payments for the months of April to September 2020. RevenueSA will notify these businesses through Revenue SA online
- 6-month payroll tax deferral (April to September 2020) for businesses with Australian grouped wages above $4 million on demonstration of significant COVID-19 impacts on cashflow. Apply online (the form will be developed)
- Land tax relief:
- individuals and businesses paying land tax quarterly in 2019-20 will be able to defer payment of their 3rd and 4th quarter instalments for up to 6 months. No application required – information will be provided with their land tax notices of assessment
- For 2020-21, the new Land Tax Transition Fund relief will be increased from 50% to 100% based on existing relief criteria guidelines
- Waiver of liquor licence fees for 2020-21 for those hotels, restaurants, cafes and clubs forced to close because of the social distancing restrictions
- The criteria for Job Accelerator Grants will be relaxed
- Establishment of the $300 million Business and Jobs Support Fund and the $250 million Community and Jobs Support Fund
- Cost of Living concessions:
- A once-off boost of $500 and bring forward the 2020-21 'Cost of Living Concession' for households who are receiving the Centrelink JobSeeker Payment
- For eligible homeowners, their 2020-21 payment of $215.10 will now become $715.10. Eligible tenants will receive $607.60
- Access to accrued leave for the public sector workforce.
Previously, the Government announced a $350 million stimulus package in the wake of the ongoing impact of the bushfires, drought and coronavirus. The Government's first package focused on investing in major infrastructure maintenance projects and increasing its funding for the Economic and Business Growth Fund to support local industry.
The Tasmanian Government has announced a Social and Economic Support Package to support health, businesses and jobs, households and individuals, and the community. Together with the first Support and Stimulus Package announced previously, support totals $985 million. Support for businesses and jobs include:
- The payroll tax waivers for the hospitality, tourism and seafood sectors, and for Tasmanian businesses with payrolls less $5 million announced in the first package, will be extended to ensure that these impacted businesses pay no payroll tax for the entire 2019-20 year
- Waiver of land tax for commercial property for the 2020-21 financial year for impacted business owners
- Waiver of fees and charges relating to the roads component of motor tax for heavy vehicles and vehicle registration where that business has been severely impacted by COVID-19 measures
- Government fees will be frozen, waived and capped including those relating water and electricity bills for certain small businesses
- Small business support includes:
- Increase the Small Business Interest Free Loan Scheme announced in the first package from $20 million to $50 million which is now available for businesses with turnovers less than $10 million.
- Provide a new $40 million Small Business Grants Program with $20 million set aside for an emergency grants program of $2500 cash payments.
- Provide a Digital Ready for Business Program, to assist businesses take their business online.
- Provide Business Continuity Advice with $750,000 in funding made available for businesses to seek cashflow and continuity advice. A one-off grant of up to $750 will be available through the Business Continuity Grant – go to www.business.tas.gov.au to apply.
- Specific industry support for fisheries, creative and cultural industries and freight.
- Boost funding for Rapid Response Skills Initiative with an additional $6.3 million to rapidly retrain into emerging industries where necessary and to assist with job-matching
Support for businesses and jobs in the first package includes:
- The waiver of payroll tax for the last 4 months of this financial year for hospitality, tourism and seafood industry businesses.
- Other small to medium businesses with an annual payroll of up to $5 million in Australian wages will be able to apply, based on the immediate impact of the virus on their businesses, to have their payroll tax payments waived for the 3 months from 31 March to June 2020.
- A youth employment payroll tax rebate scheme will be introduced for young people from 1 April 2020.
- $2.1 million will be provided for one-off $5,000 grants for businesses that hire an apprentice or trainee, complementing the Federal Government's apprenticeship package.
- $20 million for the provision of interest-free loans to businesses in the hospitality, tourism, seafood and exports sectors. The loans will be available to small businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million for the purpose of purchasing equipment or restructuring business operations and will be interest free for a period of up to three years.
- $50 million in interest-free loans over 3 years will be made available to encourage local governments to invest and employ more Tasmanians to upgrade, renovate and to do necessary maintenance to improve tourism assets.
- There will the waiver or discount of various fees and levies for heavily impacted industries.
- One-off emergency relief payments of $250 for individuals and up to $1000 for families who are required to self-isolate by public health as a result of coronavirus.
The Victorian Government has announced that it will waive the Vacant Residential Land Tax for properties that are vacant in 2020. It will also provide a 25 per cent waiver of this year’s congestion levy providing relief for car park owners. After Melbourne entered Stage 3 restrictions, the Victorian Government announced a $534 million Business Support Package to help businesses and workers through to the other side of the COVID-19 restrictions. The Package includes a $5,000 cash grant for struggling businesses, mental health support for business owners, relief for tourism operators who can no longer welcome Melbourne-based visitors for holidays, and tailored and targeted advice for businesses to adapt, stay afloat and then bounce back on the other side. Read more about the Business Support Package.
This package comes after the previously announced $491 million in tax relief to help save businesses and jobs, and freeze a host of fees, charges and levies. Businesses participating in the JobKeeper scheme in Victoria will be exempt from payroll tax and the WorkCover premium on payments to their employees if their staff are currently stood down. Furthermore, payments above a part-time employee's usual salary, due to JobKeeper being a minimum $1500 fortnightly payment, will also be exempt from payroll tax and the WorkCover premium. There will be a freeze of all fees and fines that were due to be increased in July at current levels – including car registration, traffic infringements, court-imposed penalties and permit fees.
The Government previously announced commercial and residential rental support which includes a $420 million land tax relief package. 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. On 20 August 2020, the Government announced an increase of the waiver to 50% of the property's 2020 land tax and deferral to 31 March 2021. Furthermore, owner-occupiers of commercial properties can obtain a 25% waiver of the property's 2020 land tax, and payment of the remaining tax can be deferred to 31 March 2021. Read more about the rental support.
The rental support complements the $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package announced by the Government on 21 March 2020.
Support for business and jobs in the $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package include:
- Full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year will be provided to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million. Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to may further payments. Refund payments will start next week
- The above businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first 3 months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021.
- Land owners due to pay 2020 land tax that have at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million have the option of deferring their 2020 land tax payment until after 31 December 2020.
- Commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief. The government is encouraging private landlords to do the same.
- Liquor licensing fees for 2020 will be waived for affected venues and small businesses
- $500 million will be provided to establish a Business Support Fund to support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail.
- A $500 million Working for Victoria Fund will be established to help workers who have lost their jobs find new opportunities including work cleaning public infrastructure or delivering food.
The Western Australian Government has announced a package to support tenants, landlords and the construction industry which adds to the stimulus and relief packages for businesses and households. Read about the package which involves grants to tenants and landlords to support rental payments and rental reductions.
The Government had announced on 31 March 2020
- The payroll tax threshold will be increased to $1 million on 1 July 2020, bringing the increase forward from the planned date of 1 January 2021. 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 will have payroll tax waived for a four month period (between 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.
- Businesses can apply for an interest-free payment arrangement and for late payment penalties to be waived for payroll tax, transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax.
- 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. 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.
- A one-off $2,500 electricity bill credit will be available to small businesses and charities that are current customers of Synergy and Horizon Power as of 31 March 2020 and consume less than 50 megawatt hours per annum. The credit will be allocated from 1 May to reduce current and future bills.
- The waiver of a wide range of licence fees for small and medium-sized businesses in COVID-19 impacted industries. Liquor licence renewal fees for 2020 will be waived and refunds provided for businesses that have already paid.
- Eligibility for Energy Assistance Payment boost will be expanded to include new eligible applicants until 30 September 2020.
- No households experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 will have their power or water disconnected and no interest will be charged on deferred bill payments.
- Households can apply for an interest-free payment arrangement or for late payment penalties to be waived for transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax.
- Keystart customers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can apply to defer principal repayments and waive interest costs by up to 6 months.