Victorian Government Stimulus Package
The Victorian Government has announced a range of business assistance measures, including payroll tax relief, land tax relief, relief for commercial landlords and tenants, and other support measures to assist businesses manage their financial arrangements during COVID-19.
- Payroll tax refund – Businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million per year will have payroll tax for the 2019-2020 financial year waived.
- Payroll tax relief – Eligible businesses can also defer payments for the first quarter of 2020-21 financial year. Find out more here.
In addition, businesses that qualify for the Commonwealth government JobKeeper scheme and who are making additional payments to bridge the gap between an employee’s wage and the $1500 a fortnight are not liable to pay payroll tax on these amounts. This means for example that payroll tax is not payable for employees who are stood down but receiving the JobKeeper payment from the employer before being reimbursed by the Commonwealth government.
- Land tax deferral - Land owners with at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings less than $1 million may be able to defer their land tax liability until after 31 December 2020. Find out more here.
- Small business support fund – Small businesses highly impacted by the shutdown restrictions that employ staff, have a turnover of more than $75,000, and have payroll of less than $650,000 can apply for a one-off $10,000 grant which can be used towards costs such as utilities, rent and salaries, and activities to support business continuity planning. Applications for the grant need to be made by 1 June 2020. Find out more here.
- Working for Victoria fund - Workers in Victoria who have lost their job or are casual workers without shifts can register for this scheme which looks to match workers with employers. Find out more here.
- Government fees and fines frozen - The regular yearly increases for a number of government charges and fines have been frozen. This means that the fees charged by the Victorian Building Authority for the next financial year (July 2020 to June 2021) will remain the same as this financial year.
- Fast tracking outstanding supplier invoices - The Government will pay all outstanding supplier invoices within 10 business days.
- Rent relief for tenants in government buildings - The Government will work directly with tenants in government buildings who can apply for rent relief.
- Extension of Regional Victoria first home owner grant of $20,000 until 30 June 2021.
Commercial tenancy relief scheme
The commercial tenancy relief scheme will provide:
- A six-month moratorium on commercial tenancy evictions from 29 March 2020 for the non-payment of rent for small to medium enterprises with an annual turnover under $50 million that have experienced a minimum 30 per cent reduction in turnover due to COVID-19
- freeze on rent increases during the moratorium for commercial tenants
- a rental payment waiver or deferral proportionate to commercial tenants’ income reduction due to COVID-19, to be negotiated between tenant and landlord
- a mediation service for commercial tenants and landlords to support fair tenancy negotiations.
The Government will also provide land tax relief to commercial landlords that provide rent relief to their tenants, provided:
- the tenant’s annual turnover doesn’t exceed $50 million
- is an eligible business in the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper program, and
- is suffering financial stress or hardship as a result of the pandemic.
The Government will also provide land tax relief to residential landlords who provide rent relief to eligible tenants and adopted the mandatory code of conduct for commercial leasing.