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Queensland Government Stimulus Package

The Queensland Government has provided businesses with access to a range of assistance through their COVID 19 economic relief package. The package includes business assistance for payroll tax, land tax, assistance for households with utility bills, along with support measures for commercial landlords and tenants.

  • Households are eligible for a $200 rebate (including the $50 Asset Ownership Dividend already announced) to offset the cost of water and electricity bills which will be automatically applied through household electricity bills.
  • a $500 rebate on electricity bills for all Queensland small and medium sized businesses that consume less then 100,000 kilowatt hours. This will be automatically applied to electricity bills, and
  • relief for businesses renting government premises.

Businesses paying $6.5 million or less in wages are eligible for payroll tax relief including:

  • refund of your payroll tax for 2 months (November and December 2019)
  • payroll tax holiday (i.e. no payroll tax to be paid) for 3 months (January to March 2020)
  • deferral of paying payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year.

As part of this relief package, the refund and payroll tax holiday do not have to be repaid.

Businesses paying more than $6.5 million in wages that have been negatively affected (directly or indirectly) by COVID-19 are eligible for payroll tax relief including:

  • deferral of payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year (If you have already applied for a deferral, you do not need not reapply – it will be extended.)
  • refund of your payroll tax for 2 months (January and February 2020).

A business is directly or indirectly affected by coronavirus if their current turnover, profit, customers, bookings, retail sales, supply contracts or other factors are negatively affected compared with normal operating conditions.

Coronavirus land tax relief

A property owner may be eligible for one or more of the following coronavirus land tax relief measures:

  • a land tax rebate reducing land tax liabilities by 25% for eligible properties for the 2019-20 assessment year
  • a 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.

The foreign surcharge waiver or the 3-month deferral will be reassess to apply the waiver and provide a refund where the assessment amount has already been paid.

Eligible owners can apply for the land tax rebates up to 30 June 2020 and will need to meet at least one of the following circumstances:

  • leases all or part of a property to one or more tenants and all the following apply. o
    • The ability of one or more tenants to pay their normal rent is affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
    • provide rent relief to the affected tenant(s) of an amount at least commensurate with the land tax rebate.
    • comply with the leasing principles even if the relevant lease is not regulated.

    or

  • All or part of your property is available and marketed for lease, and
  • Your ability to secure tenants has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and
  • You require relief to meet your financial obligations, and
  • You will comply with the leasing principles even if the relevant lease is not regulated.

Eligible landlords are expected to apply the rebate to provide rent relief to residential or commercial tenants and can then apply any remaining rebate to other financial obligations (e.g. in relation to debt and other expenses).

The land tax rebate will only apply to each property that meets the above eligibility requirements and conditions, rather than the rebate applying to entire taxable landholdings.

Where there are multiple tenants for a single property, including mixed-use developments, if the eligibility requirements and conditions are met for at least one tenancy, then the whole property is eligible for the land tax rebate.

The land tax rebate does not need to be repaid if the eligibility requirements and conditions are met. The rebate is applied for via the Office of State Revenue.