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In light of this unprecedented time, the Federal and State Governments have unveiled stimulus packages to assist local economies in light of the coronavirus pandemic and bush fires to provide tax relief and offer fiscal assistance. 

Summary provided below.

Federal Stimulus Packages

Business Investments

  • Instant asset write-offs increased to $150,000 from $30,000 on a per asset basis (so businesses can immediately write off multiple assets) for new or second-hand assets ready to use from 12 March to 30 June 2020.
  • Supporting business investment and economic growth by accelerating depreciation deductions.

Cash flow Assistance

  • Employers receive a tax-free payment of up to $100,000 (minimum payment of $20,000) for eligible small and medium-sized businesses between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020. The ATO will deliver the payment as a credit in the BAS/IAS starting with those due on 28 April 2020.
  • Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 percent of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.
  • Fiscal support for jobseekers and sole traders with supplemented income and tax-free withdrawals of super.

Non-tax Measures

  • The Government has set aside $1 billion to support economies and communities affected by COVID19, in particular, being tourism, agriculture and education.

Changes to Insolvency Laws

  • The minimum threshold for creditor’s statutory demands (CSD) and bankruptcy notices has been lifted from $2,000 to $20,000.
  • The time that a business/individual has to respond to a CSD or bankruptcy notice will increase from 21 days to 6 months.
  • Directors of businesses will be provided relief from insolvent trading for at least 6 months.

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State Stimulus Packages

Queensland State Government

The QLD Government has announced an ‘Immediate Industry Recovery Package, allocating $27.25 million to assist local economies affected by COVID19. Unlike the NSW package, this will waive fees/charges to the hospitality and tourism industries.

In addition, the QLD Government will be:

  • Opening a $500m concessional loan facility, comprising loans of up to $250,000 to eligible businesses (with an initial 12-month interest free period).
  • Deferring payroll tax for businesses with taxable wages of $6.5m or less affected by natural disasters and to all COVID-19 affected businesses with taxable wages of $6.5m or less.

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NSW State Government

The NSW Government has announced $2.3billion health boost and economic stimulus to help protect communities and jobs in the face of the COVID19 outbreak over the next 6 months. In particular, this includes:

  • Waiving payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million for three months (the rest of 2019-20).
  • Bringing forward payroll tax cuts by raising the threshold limit to $1 million in FY21.        
  • Waiving a range of fees/charges for small businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants and tradies.
  • Employing additional cleaners of public infrastructure such as transport, schools and other public buildings in the amount of c. $250 million.
  • Bringing forward maintenance on public assets including social housing and crown land in the amount of c. $250 million
  • $500 million to bring forward capital works and maintenance.

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Victoria State Government

The VIC Government has announced a $1.7 billion three-stage economic survival and jobs package to assist small to medium businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. At this stage, this will include full payroll tax refunds, deferral of any payroll tax until 1 January 2021, rent relief, fast tracking government supplier invoices and $500 million to support the hospitality, tourism, accommodation, entertainment and retail sectors.

In addition, the City of Melbourne announced a local economic stimulus package valued at more than $10 million to keep Melbournians in jobs and support city businesses affected by the virus.

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Western Australia State Government

The WA Government announced a $607 million stimulus package to support WA households, pensioners and small businesses in the wake of COVID-19. In particular, the package includes:

  • A freeze will be placed on household fees/charges, including electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, the emergency services levy and public transport fares.
  • $91 million allocated to double the Energy Assistance Package to provide additional support to vulnerable Western Australians.
  • $114 million in measures to support Western Australian small and medium businesses.
  • A one-off grant of $17,500 to payroll tax-paying businesses with $1-4 million payroll.

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The ACT Government announced a $137 million stimulus package with measures including:

  • A one-off six month waiver on payroll tax for affected industries and the deferral of payroll tax for 12 months for businesses that pay up to $10m in wages.
  • $750 rebates to small businesses through their next electricity bill.
  • $20m in funding for simple infrastructure works on public buildings.

For more info click here.

Northern Territory

The NT Government announced a $60 million coronavirus stimulus package to encourage spending on home renovations and business upgrades in an effort to prevent widespread job losses across the NT. In particular:

  • Homeowners will get a $6,000 grant for renovations if they spend $2,000.
  • Businesses will receive $20,000 if they spend $10,000 of their own.
  • Owners of residential and investment properties will receive a $6,000 grant for renovations if they contribute $2,000 of their own money.
  • Eligible businesses will get an initial $10,000 grant for upgrades, and another $10,000 if they contribute $10,000 of their own money.

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South Australia State Government

The SA Government has announced a $350million stimulus package to combat the issues brought on by coronavirus, bushfires and droughts in the region which will include on infrastructure and hospital upgrades, tourism and supporting certain industry sectors.

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Tasmania State Government

The TAS Government has announced a $420million stimulus package comprising of:

  • Interest-free loans to small businesses in hospitality, tourism, seafood production and export sectors.
  • Payroll tax waiver which will apply for the last 4 months of the FY20.
  • Employment incentives for businesses that hire apprentices and trainees.
  • $50m to fast track maintenance on public buildings.

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