COVID-19: Business and Tax Financial Support

Victorian Government – Business Support Fund Expansion

As Melbourne and Mitchell Shire enter Stage 4 restrictions and the remainder of Victoria enter Stage 3 restrictions, the State Government has announced a further expansion of the Business Support Fund. The fund grants cash payments to businesses impacted by the pandemic or its restrictions. Morrows welcomes this additional cash flow support for businesses as we enter an even more challenging period here in Victoria.

Eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will receive a further $10,000, while eligible businesses in other regional areas will receive $5,000. Businesses that have already received a grant from the fund will not need to re-apply, they will receive the additional funds automatically.

For businesses that wish to apply, applications are now open and will remain open until September 14, 2020. Further information can be found and applications made here.

To be eligible for a grant from the fund, businesses must:

•            Be a participant in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper Payment scheme;

•            Have employees;

•            Be registered with WorkSafe as of 30 June 2020;

•            Have an annual payroll of less than $3 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis;

•            Be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) as at June 30, 2020;

•            Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at June 30, 2020; and

•            Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator.

Morrows recommends that Businesses who were ineligible for previous rounds of grants re-evaluate their eligibility, as they may have experienced the requisite downturn in revenue and entered into the JobKeeper Payment program in the interim.

Should you need any assistance determining eligibility or applying for the Business Support Fund, please contact your Morrows Advisor.

JobKeeper Payments and Payroll Tax Exempt Wages

Many of our clients would have lodged their 2020 year Payroll Tax Annual Statement recently. However, for those businesses receiving the JobKeeper payment, Morrows recommends they consider whether a revision is required to be submitted to exclude the JobKeeper payments from the annual statement, if they had not previously done so.

Businesses that receive the wage subsidy in Victoria and New South Wales should know that any additional wages paid to employees in meeting the requirements of the JobKeeper scheme (JobKeeper ‘top up’ payments) are exempt from payroll tax.

In Queensland, South Australia and West Australia, the full JobKeeper payments are exempt from payroll tax. Only the amounts above the $1,500 per fortnight are taxable.

See the below links for further detail:

https://www.business.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1899698/Fact-sheet-Economic-support-JobKeeper-and-payroll-tax-Final.pdf

https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/taxes-duties-levies-royalties/payroll-tax#:~:text=The%20government%20will%20exempt%20from,be%20exempt%20from%20payroll%20tax.

https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/employing/payroll-tax/exemptions/wages

https://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/taxes-and-duties/payroll-tax/covid-19-relief

https://www.wa.gov.au/government/multi-step-guides/payroll-tax-employer-guide/covid-19-relief-payroll-tax-employer-guide

JobKeeper Payments and WorkCover Exempt Wages

Similar to payroll tax, when reporting the ‘wages’ for WorkCover purposes, the JobKeeper ‘top up’ payments (additional wages to top up to $1,500 per fortnight) are considered to be exempt wages. This is consistent across all states.

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