Queensland announces extra payroll tax concessions in addition to $500 million loan facility to support business

27 March 2020

Following the initial announcement on 18 March 2020, the Queensland Government on 24 March 2020, announced additional measures to support businesses in the state as part of its $4 billion COVID-19 economic stimulus package.

The updated details of the Queensland Stimulus are:

Loan funds for businesses

There is no change in the previous announcement to create a new $500 million loan facility, interest free for the first 12 months, to support businesses and keep Queenslanders in work.

The $500 million concessional loan facility will provide loans of up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest free period to help businesses to retain staff.

Businesses can apply for the loan from 26 March 2020. http://www.qrida.qld.gov.au/current-programs/covid-19-business-support/queensland-covid19-jobs-support-scheme

Payroll tax concessions due to COVID-19

New concessions will be available for Queensland businesses whose taxable Australian wages (or grouped Australian wages) for payroll tax purposes is $6.5 million or less:

For those that meet this threshold the concessions are:

  • A refund of payroll tax for two months.
  • A payroll tax holiday (i.e. no payroll tax to be paid) for three months.
  • The ability to apply for a deferral of the payment of payroll tax for the remainder of 2020.

Eligible businesses should receive an email from the Government advising them they qualify for the concessions – they must lodge the form attached to access these concessions (these emails have already started being issued). Those that do not receive an email or are unsure about their eligibility can lodge an application for the refund and/or holiday with the Government. The application must be made before 31 May 2020.

For businesses over this threshold that have been negatively affected (directly or indirectly) by COVID-19, the concessions are:

  • The ability to apply for a refund of payroll tax for two months.
  • The ability to defer the payment of payroll tax for the remainder of 2020.

Businesses in this category must apply for the concessions. Furthermore, the business must be able to demonstrate they have been adversely impacted when compared with normal operating conditions, through changes in:

  • Current turnover
  • Profit
  • Customers
  • Bookings
  • Retail sales; or
  • Supply contracts

For all businesses, the deferral for payment of payroll tax has now been extended to 31 December 2020, meaning payments can be deferred for 2020 through to 14 January 2021. Businesses will still need to lodge payroll tax returns during this period, but no payments are required.

Businesses that have already applied for the deferral under the prior announcement will automatically have the deferral period extended to this new date; all other businesses must still apply for the deferral. Businesses can still choose to pay their payroll tax at any time during the deferral period if they want.

Further information and forms can be found here.

Other key concessions

Other concessions announced by the Queensland Government (both previously and new) include:

  • Relief for businesses renting government premises.
  • $500 rebate on electricity bills for all Queensland small and medium sized businesses that consume less than 100,000 kilowatt hours. This will be automatically applied to electricity bills.
  • Liquor licensing fees waived for business impacted by enforced safety industry shutdowns.
  • $200 rebate for all 2.1 million Queensland households (including the $50 Asset Ownership Dividend already announced) to offset the cost of water and electricity bills. This will be automatically applied to electricity bills.

If you require more information or would like some support accessing any of the support measures announced, please contact the Findex Tax Advisory Team.

Findex has developed a Government Stimulus Health Check and free Business Wellbeing Toolkit to help businesses manage potential risks and take full advantage of eligible stimulus assistance. Book your Health Check here.