Stimulus Payments & Measures (Federal & State)

COVID-19 Resource Hub

Your central Hub for all Perks COVID-19 Stimulus Payments & Measures Resources.

There are Stimulus Measures that are being made available to businesses by both Federal and State Governments. For ease of reference, both have been included in this topic page.

If you need advice on your specific circumstances, please contact us via the Get In Touch button, below.

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More Stimulus Payments Resources

Federal Cashflow Boost Payments:

 

Stimulus Support Measures by State

Australian Capital Territory – COVID-19 Stimulus Measures

Payroll Tax Waiver 

Hospitality (cafes, pubs, hotels, clubs and restaurants), creative arts and entertainment industries will receive a once-off, six-month waiver of payroll tax from April to September 2020.

Businesses will need to complete an online application form (available soon) to confirm their eligibility by visiting the ACT Revenue Office website.

For those who lodge their payroll tax assessment annually, the credit will be applied to their account when their assessment is received at the end of the 2019-20 financial year.

 

Payroll Tax Deferral

All ACT businesses with Group Australia-wide wages of up to $10M can defer their 2020-21 payroll tax, interest free until 1 July 2022.
Businesses will need to complete an online application form (available soon) to confirm their eligibility.

Eligible businesses will need to lodge their payroll tax returns as normal but will not be required to make 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.

 

Fire & Emergency Services Levy – Freeze Indexing

The levy will not be indexed and will remain at the 2019-20 level.

New South Wales – COVID-19 Stimulus Measures

NSW’s initiatives target small businesses as follows:

Three Month Payroll Tax Waiver

Businesses who pay wages of $10M or less will have their payroll tax liability waived for the period April 2020 to June 2020. That is, the Business will not have to pay payroll tax on its wages paid from April to June this year.


Increase of Threshold Brought Forward

The NSW payroll tax threshold will be increased to AUD $1 million in the 2020-21 year, 12 months sooner than had previously been scheduled. The threshold currently is AUD $900,000 and had previously been scheduled to increase to AUD $950,000 from 1 July 2020, and then to AUD $1 million from 1 July 2021.


Waiver of fees and charges

A range of as yet unspecified fees and charges are to be waived for small businesses, including bars, cafes, restaurants, and tradespersons.

Northern Territory – COVID-19 Stimulus Measures

Business Improvement Grant

All Territory businesses will be able to access $10,000 through the Business Improvement Grant scheme.
For work valued at more than $10,000, the co-contribution by the Territory Government is limited to $10,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to a maximum grant of $20,000.

More detailed info here: https://businessrecovery.nt.gov.au/businesses/business-improvement-grant

 

Small Business Survival Fund

The new $50 million Small Business Survival Fund will help local Territory businesses survive the unprecedented economic impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

    • This fund is specifically targeted at supporting industries such as retail, hospitality, tourism and entertainment businesses.
      Eligible businesses will be able to apply for two payments:
      An immediate payment of between $2,000 and $50,000 to help offset the immediate cost pressures on businesses; and
    • A payment of between $1,000 and $5,000 to help businesses make the necessary changes it needs to help adapt to the new operating environment.

More detailed info here: https://businessrecovery.nt.gov.au/businesses/small-business-survival-fund

Queensland – COVID-19 Stimulus Measures

There are three payroll tax measures available for certain businesses:

  • A refund of payroll tax for 2 months;
  • A deferral of payroll tax for 3 months (what they are calling a “payroll tax holiday”);
  • A deferral of payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year.

 

For Businesses with wages of <$6.5M

The 2 month refund and 3 month deferral is available for employers (or a group of employers) who pay $6.5M or less in Australian taxable wages annually. Eligible businesses will receive an email from the Revenue Office to facilitate this, which involves logging into the Revenue Office’s portal to complete online applications.  If an email is not received, businesses can lodge an application online.

These eligible businesses can then also apply for the deferral of their 2020 payroll tax liability.

 

For Businesses with wages of >$6.5M

For employers with Australian taxable wages exceeding $6.5M, they can only apply for the 2 month refund or the deferral of the their 2020 liability if they have been adversely affected by the coronavirus.  To be adversely affected, the virus must have had a direct or indirect affect on the business’s turnover, profit, customers, bookings, retail sales, supply contracts or other factors are negatively affected compared with normal operating conditions.

Once applications have been processed, the Revenue Office will send an email with instructions on what businesses need to do next.  In short, businesses:

    • Won’t need to pay payroll tax returns for the 2020 calendar year.
    • Must continue to lodge returns in OSRConnect (their portal) without paying.
    • Can resume paying returns at any time during the deferral period.

South Australia – COVID-19 Stimulus Measures

 

 

1.     Payroll Tax

The following initiatives are outlined on RevenueSA’s website:

Waiver

A 6 month payroll tax waiver over the period January 2021 to June 2021 (the monthly return periods for December 2020 to May 2021) for:

  • Businesses with grouped Australian wages up to $4 million (based on 2018-19 wages); and
  • Businesses with grouped Australian wages above $4 million who are eligible for JobKeeper from 4 January 2021.

This relief is an extension to the COVID-19 payroll tax relief measures previously announced.

Repayment Option

For employers who have deferred their payroll tax liabilities due to COVID-19, extended repayment instalment arrangement options will be made available. More details on this to come.

Apprentices and Trainees

Relief will be provided equivalent to a 12 month payroll tax exemption for wages paid to eligible new apprentices and trainees who commence a relevant contract of training with an employer in the period 10 November 2020 to 30 June 2021.

Ex gratia relief based on the payroll tax payable on the wages of the eligible apprentice or trainee will be provided for 12 months from the date of commencement of the relevant contract of training.

For more information see the Apprentices and Trainees Page.

 

2.     Small Business Grants

Earlier in the week, the Treasurer announced another round of small business grants.  There are two grants:

  • $10,000 for small business that employ staff and are receiving JobKeeper from 28 September 2020;
  • $3,000 for small business that do not employ staff, are operating from a commercial premises, and are receiving JobKeeper from 28 September 2020.

Full criteria can be found here:

https://www.treasury.sa.gov.au/Growing-South-Australia/COVID-19/Small-Business-Grants-Round-2

 

Applications close Midnight, 14 December 2020.

 

 

3.     Previously Announced Measures

Other previously announced COVID-19 taxation and grant related measures were discussed in the Budget, as follows:

Land Tax

  • Relief for landlords and commercial owner occupiers.
  • Increase to the land tax transition fund.
  • Deferral of third and fourth 2019-20 instalments.

For more information see the Land Tax COVID-19 Relief page.

Payroll Tax

  • Waiver for employers with grouped Australian wages of up to $4 million
  • Deferral for employers with grouped Australian wages over $4 million
  • Payroll tax exemption for JobKeeper payments (Commonwealth)

For more information see the Payroll Tax COVID-19 Relief page.

Grants

  • HomeBuilder Grant (Commonwealth)
  • Relaxing Job Accelerator Grant (JAG) eligibility criteria

For more information see the HomeBuilder and Job Accelerator Grant Pages.

SA Government Small Business $10k Grant FAQs

South Australian small businesses and not-for-profit employers must meet the following criteria:

• Is a business or not-for-profit (including sporting and community organisations) that employs people in SA.
• Has an annual turnover of more than $75,000 (GST exclusive).
• Has an ABN and be carrying on a business in SA as at 1 March 2020.
• Has been subject to closure or highly impacted by COVID-19 related restrictions. See Note 1
• Has an annual payroll of less than $1.5M and is not entitled to a payroll tax waiver under the previously announced support measures. See Note 2

Note 1: Any business that is eligible for the JobKeeper Payments will meet this criterion. Submissions should highlight the impacts of COVID-19 through loss of income and other impacts.
Note 2: While the $1.5M in payroll is entity specific, the payroll tax group could be above $1.5M but less than $4M and thus be entitled to the waiver previously announced. Care should be taken here.
This grant is open to South Australian businesses that have employees during the 2019-20 financial year and as at 1 March 2020. If you’ve had to let staff go after 1 March 2020 as a result of restrictions announced by the Government, you will be eligible to apply - subject to other eligibility criteria.
To be considered an employee, you must be under the control of the business, and you must be paid Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) amounts and superannuation by the employer.
Your business must have staff employed staff as at 1 March 2020 to be eligible. For the purpose of the Small Business Grant, an owner of a business is not deemed an employee.
Your business must have staff employed staff as at 1 March 2020 to be eligible. For the purpose of the Small Business Grant, partners of a business are not deemed employees.
Yes, if a director or shareholder is employed in a role other than a director or shareholder and are paid a wage, PAYGW amounts and superannuation by the employer.
A Business Activity Statement (BAS) is required as proof that your business has a turnover greater than $75,000 per annum. If you cannot provide a BAS, you must provide business bank statements as evidence that your turnover in the 2018-19 or 2019 20 financial year exceed $75,000.
There are no limitations on what eligible small businesses can spend the funds on. It could include:

• Financial, legal and other professional advice
• Utilities and rent
• Wages and salaries
• Marketing and communications expenditure
• Other expenditure for activities relating to the planning, development, continuity and operation of the business
You can apply for the grant, if your expected payroll will be less than $1.5 million in 2019-20.
No, JobKeeper payments should be excluded from the calculation of total Australian payroll.
If you have been approved for JobKeeper based on anticipated reduction in turnover, you can could be eligible for the Small Business Grant. You may still be required to provide evidence of your eligibility at a later date, in accordance with the grant Terms and Conditions

Yes, however the value of any other COVID-19 assistance payments from the Government of SA, will be deducted from the $10,000 grant.

Payroll Tax Waiver and Deferral

A $60M waiver and deferral package has been announced for businesses that pay payroll tax:

6 Month Waiver

All businesses with $4M (or less) of grouped Australian taxable wages will have their 6 month payroll tax liabilities from April to September 2020 waived.  This measure is expected to assist up to 2,400 businesses and save them up to $84,000 over the six months (average saving $25,000).

There is no application process.  RevenueSA will notify eligible businesses via RevenueSA Online.  Returns are still required to be lodged during this period.  The waiver of payroll tax for the above period will be finalised via the annual reconciliations for 2019-20 and 2020-21.

 

6 Month Deferral

Businesses with grouped Australian taxable wages above $4M can defer payroll tax payments for 6 months (April to September) only if they can demonstrate (on application) that their cash flow has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus.  These businesses will be required to pay their liabilities in October 2020.

An online application is being developed and these businesses must continue to lodge returns.

Around 4,300 businesses will be able to access the deferral (if impacted by coronavirus), increasing overall cash flow by approximately $580M.

Payroll Tax on JobKeeper Payments

Note also that SA is waiving all payroll tax liabilities on Job Keeper Payments.  RevenueSA has the following statement on their website:

“Under existing payroll tax legislation, the JobKeeper payment – part of the Commonwealth’s $130 billion stimulus measure to keep eligible businesses connected with their workforce during the coronavirus crisis – would attract payroll tax.

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill 2020 (SA), which was assented to on 9 April 2020, includes an amendment to the Payroll Tax Act 2009 to ensure South Australian businesses whose employees qualify for the Federal Government’s $1 500-a-fortnight JobKeeper support payments will be exempt from paying any payroll tax on the wage subsidy.”

 

Land Tax Deferral

Individuals and businesses with outstanding quarterly bills for the 2019-20 FY (third and fourth quarter instalments) will be able to defer these payments for 6 months (up to 28,000 private land tax ownerships will benefit).  No application is required.  Notices will still be issued but will contain information regarding the deferral.

The deferral does not apply to liabilities in arrears.

 

25% Land Tax Relief (Waiver)

SA landlords may be eligible for a 25% reduction on the land tax payable on a parcel of land in the 2019-20 land tax year if the:

    • land is used for residential or non-residential (commercial) purposes;
    • land is being leased to either a residential tenant or a non-residential (commercial) tenant with annual turnover of $50M or less,
    • tenant has been financially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
    • landlord reduces the rent of the affected tenant by at least as much as the land tax reduction – i.e. the saving is passed on to the tenant; and
    • land tax is directly related to the land for which the rent has been reduced.

A financially impacted tenant is:

    • a commercial tenant that is eligible for the JobKeeper Payment; and
    • a residential tenant that has suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19 (Further information will be available as part of the application process).

The relief is also available to residential and non-residential land owners who are unable to secure a tenant because of COVID-19. To be eligible for land tax relief, eligible landlords will need to demonstrate that the land was leased to 30 March 2020, but has since been vacant due to the impact of COVID-19.

Landlords who have already fully paid their 2019-20 land tax liability and are eligible for relief under this scheme will be issued a refund equal to the value of eligible land tax relief.

Applications for this relief will be open until the end of June 2020 and details on the application process are being finalised and will be available shortly.

More Information:

https://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/taxes-and-duties/land-tax/covid-19-relief#Landlords

 

Increasing the Land Tax Transition Fund

As part of transitioning to the new land tax regime, an ex gratia relief scheme was created to provide relief from increases in an owner’s land tax due to aggregation.

The following table summarises the relief provided where a land owner experienced an increase in land tax above $2,500 but less that $102,500 due to the aggregation measures from 30 June 2020:

For 2020-21, the amount of the relief will be increased from 50% to 100% based on existing relief criteria guidelines.  Additional relief is therefore capped at $50,000.

 

Rent Reductions where the Landlord is the SA Government

State Government agencies will provide full rent relief for tenants of commercial, retail, industrial and other non-residential sites that have been forced to close or are significantly impacted as a result of COVID-19.

The rent relief will provide relief to impacted tenants from the date they were forced to close their business or were significantly impacted to 30 June 2020.

More information:

https://www.premier.sa.gov.au/news/media-releases/news/state-government-provides-rent-relief-for-businesses

Fees and Charges

Liquor licence fees for 2020-21 for hotels, restaurants, cafes and clubs that are forced to close as a result of new social distancing restrictions will be waived.

 

Job Accelerator Grants

The Government is relaxing the existing Job Accelerator Grant (JAG) criteria requiring an employer to have maintained their overall employment levels for a full year to be eligible for their second anniversary JAG payment.

Claims for the second JAG payment from 1 February to 30 June 2020 will be assessed on staffing levels as at 31 January 2020 rather than the relevant two year anniversary date.

Information on the JAG generally can be found here: https://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/grants-and-concessions/jobacceleratorgrantscheme/more-information

For more information on all these initiatives, see the following link: https://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/grants-and-concessions/covid19-relief

Tasmania – COVID-19 Stimulus Measures

Payroll Tax

Payroll tax waivers and rebates are available depending on the amount of Australian Group Wages, type of industry and type of employee, as follows:

 

Land Tax

A waiver of the land tax payable for the entire 2020-21 financial year on commercial property is available as follows:

Victoria- COVID-19 Stimulus Measures

Payroll Tax Waiver and Deferral

Businesses with annual taxable wages of up to $3M will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived. Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to make further payments for this financial year.

The Victorian Revenue Office will directly contact eligible businesses in relation to refunding payroll tax already paid in the financial year. Refunds will commence from 27 March 2020. These businesses can also defer paying payroll tax for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year. The deferral is until January 2021.

There is some confusion as to how the $3M threshold applies to entities which are grouped because they are treated as carrying on one business. The Victorian Revenue Office states:

“The eligibility threshold applies to each employer, so any member of a group that pays taxable wages of less than $3 million per annum will be eligible for the relief.”

It is expected the $3M threshold applies per business, so where entities are part of a group and deemed to be carrying on one business, then only one $3M threshold is available for their grouped wages.

More information about the administration of these relief measures will be sent directly to eligible businesses.

 

Land Tax Deferral

Unlike SA, land tax in Victoria is imposed on landholdings as at 31 December each year. Accordingly, the 2020 land tax liability in Victoria is due for payment by 31 March 2020.

However, for land owners that have at least one taxable non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1M, the Victorian Revenue Office is deferring payment for 2020 by one year. So the 2020 liability can be paid before 31 March 2021.

Land owners who have already paid can request a refund for cash flow purposes, however, must also repay the amount by 31 March 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.

It must be queried how landowners will pay their 2021 liability if the 2020 liability will be due at the same time next year.

Again, the Victorian Revenue Office will contact all landowners who are eligible for this deferral.

 

Liquor Licensing Fee Waiver

The 2020 renewal fee for liquor licenses is being waived. If it has been paid, it will be refunded. The Revenue Office will be responsible for refunding the fee even if the business paid the Gaming and Liquor Commission directly.

Western Australia – COVID-19 Stimulus Measures

Increase of Threshold Brought Forward

The increase of the tax free threshold to $1M that was scheduled to tax effect from 1 January 2021 has been brought forward to 1 July 2020. This is an increase of $50,000.

 

Deferral of Payment

Small and medium businesses that have had their normal operating conditions affected by the coronavirus can apply to defer payment of their 2019-20 monthly payroll tax payments until 21 July 2020. Eligibility is as follows:

  • Annual wages cannot exceed $7.5M (ungrouped businesses) or the group’s annual wages cannot exceed $7.5M (grouped businesses); and
  • Normal operating conditions of the business must be directly or indirectly affected by the virus. The State Revenue Office will consider the impact on the business’s turnover, profit, customers, bookings, retail sales, supply contracts and other factors, compared with normal operating conditions.

 

Small Business Grants

Businesses (including grouped businesses) with annual wages between $1M and $4M will receive an automatic once-off grant of $17,500. If business are grouped, the designated group employer will receive the grant.

The State revenue Office expects ~7,400 businesses to receive the grant, which will be paid via cheque from July 2020.

Employer Toolkit Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our HR Consultancy, Perks People Solutions, has developed an easy to use Employer’s Handbook, which addresses the most common concerns and considerations for Australian workplaces during the COVID-19 crisis. Read more here

Download a customisable Work From Home policy template here.
Personal Mental Health Resources
 
Healthy Workplace Support
 
General Community Wellbeing

A selection of resources to help parents & carers to communicate and support child mental health. Specific resources for COVID-19 communications with children are also available here:

https://emergingminds.com.au/

Coronavirus Assistance Available

To view your bank's response measures to COVID-19, click on their logo

Australian Resources

National Coronavirus Helpline

Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 
 
Australian health advice:

Website for free general Australian health advice. Includes easy to understand facts and procedures: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus

 

National status, government response alerts and media releases:  https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

  Australian travel restrictions:

Comprehensive advisory including definitions of who can enter Australia, applications for exemptions, media alerts: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus

 

General travel related updates and information: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/COVID-19-australian-travellers

 
State Health Advisory

For up-to-date information regarding reported cases, investigations & measures per State.

Australian Capital Territory

https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/

  New South Wales

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/covid-19-latest.aspx

  Northern Territory

https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/

  Queensland

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/current-status-and-contact-tracing-alerts

  South Australia

https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+topics/health+topics+a+-+z/covid+2019/latest+updates/latest+updates+-+covid-19

  Northern Territory 

https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/

 
New Zealand Resources
New Zealand health advice:

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

  New Zealand travel restrictions:

https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/news/novel-coronavirus-china-covid-19

 
Global Resources
WHO (World Health Organization):

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Co insights on the varied impacts and aspects to consider during the COVID-19 pandemic.

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/coronavirus-leading-through-the-crisis

 
The Economist

A selection of stories about COVID-19 and its consequences. Selected COVID-19 content has been made free-to-view. 

https://www.economist.com/news/2020/03/11/the-economists-coverage-of-the-coronavirus

 
Harvard Business Review

All HBR COVID-19 related content has been provided as free-to-view. 

https://hbr.org/insight-center/coronavirus

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