Date posted: 25/08/2021

Summary of NSW COVID-19 lockdown business support

Outlined below is a summary of government support measures introduced to help New South Wales businesses during the extended COVID-19 lockdown announced in July 2021. Chartered Accountants can help businesses break down the information for their clients and stakeholders.

Service NSW Toolkit and Webinar for accountants

In response to questions submitted by CA ANZ and other professional associations, the NSW Government has released a Toolkit, including FAQs and Webinar to help advisers address some of the issues raised by accountants grappling with the details behind various NSW COVID business support measures. Advisers and their clients are urged to check the Toolkit regularly as more Q&As are added. 

CA ANZ frequently asked questions

The form and eligibility criteria of the NSW COVID-19 business support package is constantly evolving. CA ANZ has received a high volume of questions from members and we are actively seeking answers to these questions from the NSW Government. 

CA ANZ has developed an FAQ document that members can download from My CA. We will continue to update the FAQs as further answers are provided by the government. We have also developed a summary of the key issues and questions raised by members.

Frequent changes to Service NSW documents

Service NSW periodically amends key documents (e.g. Guidelines, Terms and Conditions) and adds material to ‘Common questions” documents referred to in the table. The changes made are not highlighted for the reader. We urge you to check these resources and ensure you are accessing the latest version published on the Service NSW website.

New NSW COVID-19 business support measures Working Group

CA ANZ is part of a newly formed COVID-19 business support Working Group with Service NSW and NSW Treasury.

Service NSW and NSW Treasury have agreed to meet weekly with the Working Group, which includes CA ANZ, CPA Australia and the Tax Institute, to identify and address concerns for accountants helping clients to access NSW COVID business support. The first meeting was held on 19 August 2021. 

We expect these discussions will lead to updated guidelines and more Q&A material on the Service NSW website, particularly for the JobSaver Payment and the COVID-19 Micro Business Grant.

CAs who would like CA ANZ to raise their questions and issues (whether technical or administrative) directly with Service NSW are urged to email the CA ANZ Tax Team with the details at [email protected].

Measure Summary Resources

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

Under a combined Commonwealth and NSW Government support package, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment has been expanded and increased. From week four of a lockdown because of a Commonwealth Government declared hotspot, the Payment will increase  to $750 pw (up from $600 pw) if a person has lost 20 or more hours of work a week or $450 pw (up from $375 pw) if a person has lost between 8 and less than 20 hours of work a week or a full day of work.

The new national payment rate commenced in the week of 2 August and will be automatically updated for existing recipients. 

It will be available from day one of any lockdown in the future, with claims made from day eight in arrears, with a weekly payment then made for the duration of the Commonwealth hotspot declaration.

No liquid assets test will apply.

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is non assessable income and non exempt income for tax purposes. This applies to assessments for the 2020-21 income year onwards.

Application start and end arrangements

Claims for the week of 1 July closed on 28 July 2021 and weekly thereafter, e.g. claims for the week of 8 July close on 4 August 2021 and so on.

Prime Minister's announcement 28 July 2021

NSW government announcement

Apply at Services Australia

Tax Legislation

2021 COVID-19 Business Grant

A one-off grant depending on decline in turnover experienced over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021, compared to a comparable period:

  1. $7,500 (30%+ decline), or
  2. $10,500 (50%+ decline), or
  3. $15,000 (70%+ decline).

For businesses (and not for profits) with:

  • total annual Australian wages of $10 million or less at 1 July 2020; and
  • aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million for the year ended 30 June 2020,

Employee headcount retention condition applies.

The grant may be tax free now that the Commonwealth Bill has passed. Refer to the ATO guidance.

Applications open: 19 July 2021.

Applications close: 13 September 2021

NSW government announcement

Apply at Service NSW

Guidelines (overview)

Detailed terms and conditions

NSW Government FAQs

Service NSW common questions

COVID-19 business grants comparison

COVID-19 business grant documentation

Accountant letter template

Privacy collection notice

NSW Small Business Commissioner infographic

Tax Legislation

ATO guidance

2021 JobSaver Payment

Fortnightly payments between $1,000 and $100,000 a week for the period from 18 July 2021 to eligible employers and sole traders (including not for profits) with aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $250 million (up from $50 million):

  • Employing businesses: payments will be 40% of the weekly payroll for work performed in NSW with a minimum of $1,500 and maximum of $100,000 (up from $10,000)
  • Non-employing business: $1,000 a week

30% turnover decline test and employee headcount retention conditions apply.

For sole traders, the business must be their primary income source.

The payments may be tax free now that the Commonwealth Bill has passed. Refer to the ATO guidance.

Applications open: 26 July 2021

Applications close: 18 October 2021

Prime Minister's announcement 28 July 2021

NSW Government announcement 28 July 2021

Apply at Service NSW

Guidelines (Overview)

Detailed terms and conditions

NSW Government FAQs released

Service NSW common questions

COVID-19 business grants comparison

JobSaver payment documentation

Accountant letter template

Privacy collection notice

NSW Small Business Commissioner infographic

Tax legislation

ATO guidance

2021 COVID-19 Micro Business Grant

Fortnightly payment of $1,500 to businesses (including not for profits) with annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000.

  • 30% turnover decline test and (where relevant) employee headcount retention conditions apply.
  • Applies to business costs for which no other government support is available.
  • You must not have applied for either the 2021 COVID-19 Business rant or the JobSaver payment
  • The business must be your primary income source, if you're a non-employing business such as a sole trader.
  • Non employing business cannot receive both the 2021 Micro-Business Grant and the Commonwealth Disaster Payment for the same period.

The grant may be tax free now that the Commonwealth Bill has passed. Refer to the ATO guidance.

Applications open: 26 July 2021.

Applications close: 18 October 2021.

NSW government announcement

Apply at Service NSW 

Guidelines (Overview)

Detailed terms and conditions

NSW Government FAQs

Service NSW Frequently asked questions

Micro Business grant – Common questions

COVID-19 business grants comparison

Accountant letter template

Privacy collection notice

NSW Small Business Commissioner infographic

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

Tax legislation

ATO guidance

Payroll tax relief

2021/22 payroll tax waivers of 25% for businesses with Australian payrolls between $1.2M and $10M that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover, as well as payroll tax deferrals and interest free repayment plans.

NSW businesses with a payroll tax liability have the option to defer lodgement and payment of their 2020/21 annual reconciliation until 7 October 2021.

Customers required to lodge monthly returns have the option to defer their returns due in August and September until 7 October 2021.

All payroll tax customers that defer their payments are eligible for an interest free payment plan of up to 12 months.

NSW Treasurer’s media release 22 July 2021

NSW Premier & Treasurer's media release 13 July 2021

Revenue NSW media release 13 July 2021 

Land tax relief

 

Commercial, retail and residential landlords eligible for land tax relief equal to the rent reductions granted to financially distressed tenants up to 100% of their 2021 land tax liability.

Available for rent reductions made from now until 31 December 2021.

NSW government announcement

NSW government support for residential and commercial tenants

Revenue NSW guidance

Apply for land tax relief

Apply for residential tenancy support payment

Residential Tenancy Support Payment

 

Residential landlords not subject to land tax can apply for either:

  • a Residential Tenancy Support Payment to residential landowners to pass onto their tenants to residential landowners to pass onto their tenants, or
  • a concession of up to 100% of 2021 land tax

Eligibility in broad terms:

  • for landlords who provide at least that much rental relief
  • tenants must have lost 25% or more of their income
  • available for rent reductions made from now until 31 December 2021

The Residential Tenancy Support Payment now provides up to $3,000 per tenancy agreement (originally $1,500). Landlords who have already claimed up to $1,500 can make a further claim for reduced rent up to a total of $3,000.

NSW government extension of support – 16 August

NSW government announcement - 13 July

NSW government support for residential and commercial tenants

Fair Trading NSW guidance

Commercial lease support

NSW government extension of support – 16 August

Commercial landlord grant 

A $40 million Hardship Fund will be established to provide a monthly grant of up to $3,000 for small commercial or retail landlords who provide rental waivers of at least the value of the grant and any land tax relief they are eligible for.

Further information is available on the Service NSW website.

NSW government announcement - 13 August

Service NSW information

Gaming machine tax relief

 
Deferral of gaming tax assessments for clubs until 21 December 2021 and hotels until 21 January 2022.

NSW government announcement

Revenue NSW information 

Small business fees and charges rebate

 

Sole traders, owners of a small businesses and not-for-profits may be eligible for a fees and charges rebate of $1500 to offset the costs of eligible NSW and local government charges due and paid from 1 March 2021.

The rebate is available until 30 June 2022.

Apply to Service NSW

Employee relations

Unlike JobKeeper in 2020, there are no Fair Work national “enabling directions” governing standdowns or reduced hours.

Businesses should seek legal advice on employment law issues.

Fair Work resources: standdowns during lockdowns

COVID lockdown – NSW Long service leave Q&A

Last updated: 24 August 2021

Related downloads

Service NSW Toolkit

NSW Government Toolkit including FAQs to help advisers address COVID business support issues.

Download PPT from MyCA

CA ANZ Frequently asked questions

CA ANZ has developed an FAQ to respond to questions from members about the NSW COVID-19 business support.

Download FAQs from My CA

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