Coronavirus – Payroll Tax, Land Tax Exemptions & Deferrals (All States)

Coronavirus – Payroll Tax, Land Tax Exemptions & Deferrals (All States)

Payroll and Land tax is handled at the State or Territory level. This is what is currently being offered:

Queensland Payroll Tax

  • Refund of payroll tax for 2 months
    • If you pay under $6.5 million in payroll tax you should automatically receive an email regarding this refund. If not you should apply via this online FORM
    • If you pay over $6.5 million then you do not receive an automatic refund; you can apply for the refund if your business has been ‘negatively affected’ by the Coronavirus (this is a fairly easy bar to meet). If this applies you should apply via this FORM
  • Payroll tax ‘holiday’ for 3 months
    • If you pay under $6.5 million in payroll tax you should automatically receive an email regarding this refund. If not you should apply via this online FORM  Please note you still need to lodge but you will not need to pay these amounts at all.
    • If you pay over $6.5 million then this is not being offered to your business.
  • Deferral of payroll tax until December 2020.
    • If you pay under $6.5 million in payroll then this is not being offered to your business.
    • If you pay over $6.5 million you can apply for the deferral if your business has been ‘negatively affected’ by the Coronavirus (this is a fairly easy bar to meet). If this applies you should apply via this FORM  Please note you still need to lodge but you will not need to pay until the 14th January 2021.

Queensland Land Tax

You may be eligible for one or more of the following land tax relief measures:

  • land tax rebate reducing land tax liabilities by 25% for eligible properties for the 2019-20 assessment year
  • waiver of the 2% land tax foreign surcharge for foreign entities for the 2019-20 assessment year
  • a 3-month deferral of land tax liabilities for the 2020-21 assessment year.

You do not need to apply for the foreign surcharge waiver or the 3-month deferral. We will reassess land tax to apply the waiver and provide a refund where the assessment amount has already been paid.

However, you will need to apply for the land tax rebate. You may be eligible for the land tax rebate if at least one of the following circumstances applies to you.

  • You are a landowner who leases all or part of a property to one or more tenants and all the following apply.
    • The ability of one or more tenants to pay their normal rent is affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
    • You will provide rent relief to the affected tenant(s) of an amount at least commensurate with the land tax rebate.
    • You will comply with the leasing principles even if the relevant lease is not regulated.
  • You are a landowner and all the following apply.
    • All or part of your property is available for lease.
    • Your ability to secure tenants has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • You require relief to meet your financial obligations.
    • You will comply with the leasing principles even if the relevant lease is not regulated.

CLICK HERE for more information on the Queensland Land Tax Relief

New South Wales Payroll Tax

These changes only apply if your grouped Australian wages for the 2020 financial year are under $10 million.

You still need to lodge your annual payroll tax reconciliation by the 28th July but the following adjustments will occur:

  1. There will be no payment required for March, April or May.
  2. In addition your annual liability will be reduced by a further 25%.

The NSW government is also increasing the threshold before you fall into the payroll tax regime up to $1 million from 1/7/2020.

New South Wales Land Tax

The support package includes a reduction of up to 25 per cent of the land tax payable on a parcel of land in the 2020 land tax year. It’s available when:

  • your land is used for business or residential purposes
  • you’re leasing property on that parcel to a residential tenant – or a business tenant with annual turnover of up to $50 million – who can demonstrate financial distress resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak
  • you reduce the rent of the affected tenant by at least as much as the tax reduction
  • the land tax is directly related to the property for which rent has been reduced.

Financial distress is considered to be:

  • for commercial tenants – a 30 per cent drop in revenue due to COVID-19 pandemic
  • for residential tenants – a 25 per cent drop in household income due to COVID-19.

Who’s Eligible

To be eligible for the land tax support package, you must have a land tax liability in 2020.

You must also meet the requirements outlined in the support package, namely:

  • your tenant is suffering from financial distress as a result of COVID-19
  • you have reduced the rent of the affected tenant by at least as much as the tax reduction.

If you’re a landlord who doesn’t have a 2020 land tax liability, refer to the Service NSW website, which provides a number of NSW Government support options you may be eligible for.

CLICK HERE for more information on NSW Land Tax and other state revenues including fines, gaming machine tax, court proceedings, and parking space levy

Victoria Payroll Tax

Victoria is definitely leading in their offering. If you have taxable wages up to $3 million there will be NO payroll tax for the 2020 financial year.

You must continue to lodge your returns but should not make any further payments. The State Revenue Office (SRO) will contact you to facilitate the reimbursement of all payroll tax already paid this financial year.

You can also defer paying any payroll tax from July – September 2020 but this is only a deferral – it will need to be paid at a later date.

Victoria Land Tax

The Victorian Government has announced land tax relief for landlords as part of its Economic Survival Package in response to COVID-19.

Landlords who provide tenants impacted by COVID-19 with rent relief may be eligible for a 25% reduction on the property’s 2020 land tax.

This relief is also available to land owners who are unable to secure a tenant because of COVID-19.

Landlords can also defer the remainder of their 2020 land tax to 31 March 2021.

This relief is available for residential and commercial properties, however, for commercial landlords to be eligible, the property must be rented to a tenant with an annual turnover of up to $50 million, and the tenant must be eligible for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper Payment.

CLICK HERE for more information from the Victoria Revenue Office

Northern Territory

There is an extension of the existing exemption in relation to businesses that hire resident employees; the extension now applies up to 1/7/2021.

Australian Capital Territory Payroll Tax

Payroll tax waiver

  • A six-month payroll tax waiver, from April to September 2020, is available for businesses whose operations are directly impacted by the prohibited activities list due to COVID-19.
  • To apply for a waiver, please complete this Payroll tax waiver application.
  • If your application is approved, you will need to continue lodging returns as normal, however, no payment is required during the waiver period.
  • If you lodge annually, the waiver will be applied to your annual reconciliation return, which is due on 21 July 2020. The amount will be calculated at 25% of the total tax payable and capped at $1,500.

Payroll tax deferral

  • All ACT businesses with group Australia-wide wages of up to $10 million can defer their 2020-21 payroll tax, interest free until 1 July 2022.
  • More information will be provided on these deferral arrangements in the coming days.
  • For information about payroll tax and grouping, please see our Payroll tax page.

Construction deferral for payroll tax

  • ACT businesses in the construction industry can defer their payroll tax liability, interest-free for six months from April to September 2020.
  • To apply for a deferral, please complete this Construction industry payroll tax deferral application.

Australian Capital Territory Land Tax Credit

  • Landlords, who reduce rent on their privately rented properties by at least 25% due to COVID-19, may be eligible for a land tax credit to cover 50% of the rental reduction, up to a limit of $1,300 per quarter.
  • If your application is approved, we will apply this contribution as a reduction to your land tax account.
  • To apply for a land tax credit please complete the Land tax credit application form.

Australian Capital Territory Rates Rebate

Commercial Properties

    • rates rebate of $2,622 will be applied to commercial properties with an average unimproved value (single property or unit) of less than $2 million.
    • The rebate amount will be automatically applied against any outstanding charges on your account and rolled over to future rates charges.
    • The issuing and due date of installment notices for the 4th quarter 2019-20 for commercial properties has been delayed by 1 month.

Residential Property

  • From 1 July 2020, a rates rebate of $150 will be applied to all residential properties in the ACT.
  • In addition, there will be no increase in the Fire and Emergency Services Levy; the amount will be frozen at the 2019-20 rate.
  • This assistance will be automatically applied to your 2020-21 rates account, so you do not need to apply.

Western Australia Payroll Tax

  • Payroll tax will be waived for a four-month period between March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 for small-to-medium sized businesses with Australia-wide annual wages of less than $7.5 million in 2019-20. This replaces the previously announced deferral.
  • The threshold for payroll tax will be increased to $1 million from 1/7/2020.
  • Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can also apply for an interest-free payment arrangement and for late payment penalties to be waived for payroll tax, transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax.

CLICK HERE for more information on the ACT State Revenue measures

Western Australia Other Measures

Household assistance

  • Households that are directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 may also apply for an interest-free payment arrangement and for late payment penalties to be waived for transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax.
  • Eligibility for the previously announced Energy Assistance Payment boost has been expanded to include new eligible applicants until September 30, 2020. This ensures that any person unemployed due to COVID-19 who becomes eligible for a concession card will receive an upfront $305 credited against their electricity bill (from May 11, 2020) and up to a further $305 credited over the course of the next year.
  • No households in Western Australia experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 will have their power or water disconnected. In addition, no interest will be charged on deferred bill payments for those experiencing COVID-19-related financial hardship. This applies to Synergy and Horizon Power customers.
  • Keystart customers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can apply to defer principal repayments and waive interest costs by up to six months.

These initiatives will be in place until September 30, 2020 and will be reviewed when necessary.

Small and medium-sized business assistance

  • Electricity bills for around 95,000 small businesses will be reduced, with a one-off $2,500 credit available for Synergy and Horizon Power customers that consume less than 50 megawatt hours (MWh) per annum.
  • $100.4 million has been allocated to waive a wide range of licence fees for small and medium‑sized businesses in COVID-19 impacted industries for the next 12 months. This includes licences for building services, plumbers and electricians; tourism businesses operating in national and marine parks; boat pen fees and mooring fees for tourism operators and commercial fishers; commercial fisheries licences; taxi booking service authorisation fees; settlement agent licence fees; and other statutory planning fees. Liquor licence renewal fees for 2020 will be waived and refunds provided for businesses that have already paid, benefiting around 5,500 businesses with a liquor licence.
  • Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can also apply for an interest-free payment arrangement and for late payment penalties to be waived for payroll tax, transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax.
  • No small businesses facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 will face power or water disconnections due to late payments. In addition, no interest will be charged on deferred bill payments. For electricity, this will apply to Synergy and Horizon Power customers who consume 50MWh or less.

Community services assistance

  • Electricity bills for around 2,800 charities will be reduced, with a one-off $2,500 credit provided for groups on community service and charitable accommodation electricity tariffs with Synergy and Horizon Power.
  • Funding certainty has been provided to community service providers, with government agencies to continue to pay contracts with the sector until at least June 30, 2020, even if providers are unable to deliver services due to impacts caused by COVID-19.

CLICK HERE for more information on the WA State Revenue assistance

Tasmania Payroll Tax

  • Waiver of 2019-20 payroll tax for Australian wages (and Australian Group wages) of up to $5 million annually
    Refer to the Guideline for the application process and eligibility criteria. (Last updated: 9 April 2020).
  • Waiver of 2019-20 payroll tax for the Hospitality, Tourism, and Seafood industries
         Refer to the Guideline​ for the application process and eligibility criteria. (Last updated: 9 April 2020).
  • Payroll tax twelve-month rebate for new youth employees (aged 24 years and under)
         More information is on its way.*

Tasmania ​​Land Tax

  • ​Commercial properties land tax waiver
         Please refer to the business stimulus measures fact sheet (published 27 March 2020).
         More informatio​n is on its way.​*​
  • Financial hardship:
         If you are experiencing financial hardship paying land tax, contact the State Revenue Office by using the prefilled e​mail.

CLICK HERE for more information from the Tasmanian State Revenue Office

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