State Stimulus Package – Economic Survival Package To Support Businesses And Jobs

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In an effort to assist small to medium businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the Victorian Government has announced a $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package. Details of this package are outlined below, there are still some uncertainties on how these measures will be implemented however we will keep you updated as the information becomes available to us.

Payroll Tax Refund:

The first measure in this package relates to payroll tax, any small to medium-sized business with payroll of less than $3 million will receive a refund of all payroll tax returns for the 2019-20 financial year. Details of this measure are as follows:

  • The State Revenue Office will be contacting all businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million. The calculation of annual taxable wages is still to be confirmed.
  • These refunds are expected to start flowing next week with confirmation from state government that these payments are refunds not loans.
  • All businesses must continue to lodge future payroll tax returns even where payment is not required.
  • For employers that are a member of a group for Payroll Tax purposes the eligibility threshold will apply to each employer individually.

In addition, any business entitled to this refund will also be able to defer payment of any payroll tax liabilities for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021.

Land Tax Deferral:

Land tax payments for the 2020 year can be deferred until 31 March 2021 for eligible small businesses. Any eligible taxpayer will be contacted directly by the State Revenue Office, if you are eligible for the deferral and have already made payment you can request a return of tax paid which will need to be repaid by 31 March 2021.

Eligibility Criteria is as follows:

  • At least one of the properties subject to land tax will be a non-residential property which include:
    • Commercial properties,
    • Industrial properties or
    • Vacant land (excluding residential vacant land).
  • Total taxable landholdings must be below $1 million, an online tool to access your taxable landholding is available on the State Revenue Office’s website or by following the link:

If you own multiple properties and you meet the eligibility criteria above this deferral will apply to the entire land tax assessment.

Liquor License Fees Waived:

The hospitality sector will receive some relief in the form of waiving liquor licensing fees for 2020 for affected venues and small businesses.

  • If you have not yet paid the fee for the 2020 year you do not need to take any action, this will be automatically waived.
  • If you have already made payment for this fee you will be reimbursed, the government is yet to announce whether any action will be required to initiate this refund.

Other Measures:

Rent relief can be applied for by any commercial tenants in government buildings, private landlords are also being encouraged to provide some relief where possible.

A total of $750 million will be released into the economy with the Government paying all outstanding supplier invoices within five business days. Government is urging the private sector to do the same where possible.

An amount of $500 million will be allocated to establish a Business Support Fund administered by the Victorian Chamber, Australian Hotels Association and Ai Group to support a range of industries including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment and retail.

An additional $500 million will be allocated to establish a Working for Victoria Fund to assist those who have lost their jobs to find new opportunities. This includes new opportunities that will be created including cleaning and delivery services. There will also be job matching in place to fill short-term or casual roles.

For further information on dealing with Covid-19 Business Victoria has a dedicated hotline available on 13 22 15.

This document contains general advice only and is prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial circumstances and needs. The information provided is not a substitute for legal, tax and financial product advice. Before making any decision based on this information, you should speak to a licensed financial advisor who should assess its relevance to your individual circumstances.  While The Field Group believes the information is accurate, no warranty is given as to its accuracy and persons who rely on this information do so at their own risk. The information provided in this bulletin is not considered financial product advice for the purposes of the corporations Act 2001.

About the author

The Field Group is composed of experts in the fields of Xero accounting, personal tax, self-managed superannuation, audit services, business services, bookkeeping, bench marking, business structuring and ATO Compliance. Based in Melbourne, The Field Group are also able to work with clients all over Australia and are the market leader for accounting services in the Ringwood, Croydon, Chirnside Park, Lilydale and general Melbourne eastern suburb region.

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