Government assistance for Victorian businesses through the Coronavirus Crisis

On Saturday, 21 March, the Victorian Government announced their “Economic survival package to support business and jobs”. The package is designed to aid Victorian workers and small and medium businesses to better deal with the impacts of the coronavirus.

The help offered for small and medium businesses includes the following.

Payroll tax refunds

Payroll tax is a state tax payable by employers whose payroll (the total of gross wages, super, fringe benefits and some contractor payments) is more than $650,000.

The Government will refund all of the 2019/20 financial year payroll tax paid by businesses whose annual payroll is less than $3 million. It was not clear from the media release whether “annual payroll” meant the payroll for payroll tax purposes (see above) or just gross wages, we suspect it is the first.

The refunds are set to start this week. They will most likely be automatically determined by the State Revenue Office, but that detail was not available on the media release.

There will be no requirement to repay this refund to the Government in the future.

The same businesses will be able to defer their July, August and September 2020 payroll tax payments.

Not all small businesses pay payroll tax however, so for them the next measure may be of assistance presuming they are within one of the most affected sectors.

Business support fund for hardest hit sectors

The government “will provide $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund. The fund will support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail.

You can register your interest at the website below to receive more information on this.

Economic Survival and Jobs Package:

The fund will be administered by the Government with input from the Victorian Chamber, Australian Hotels Association and AI Group.

Other support for businesses

The Victorian Government has also promised to:

  • Waive liquor licensing fees for 2020 for affected venues and small businesses
  • Defer 2020 land tax payments for eligible small businesses
  • Give commercial/business tenants in government buildings and opportunity to apply for rent relief
  • Pay what they owe their own suppliers within five business days

Additional support has been promised in coming weeks and months as the Government continues to monitor the impact of the Coronavirus.

If you need further support and advice for your business, Business Victoria has set up a dedicated business hotline on 13 22 15. Their website also provides a range of free resources (e.g. business mentoring) and regularly updated information to assist businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. Please click here to view the website.

The information contained herein is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon nor is it a substitute for appropriate professional advice. Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of the material, it is not guaranteed to be accurate. Individual circumstances are different and as such, require specific examination. Asparq cannot accept liability for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of the use of or reliance upon all or any part of this material. Additional information may be made available upon request.

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