State and Territory support during COVID-19


State-based assistance packages during COVID-19

The following States and Territories have announced packages to provide relief for those affected by the coronavirus.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) recommends seeking individual advice from your financial advisor, business manager or accountant on how these measures may support your practice.

This list will be regularly updated.

Western Australia

  • Payroll tax waived for four months to June 30 for businesses with annual wages less than $7.5 million.
  • Interest-free repayments and no late payment penalties for payroll tax for businesses affected by COVID-19 (on application)
  • No late payment fees or disconnections for power or water bills
  • a one-off $2,500 credit available for Synergy and Horizon Power small business customers that consume less than 50 MWh per annum.
  • Small and medium businesses whose annual Australian Taxable Wages are between $1 million and $4 million will receive a one-off grant of $17,500 to assist them to manage the impacts of COVID-19. No applications are required. Grants will automatically be paid from July 2020.
  • The payroll tax threshold will be increased to $1 million from 1 July 2020, six months earlier than originally planned.

NSW

  • waive payroll tax for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million for six months.
  • waive payroll tax for large businesses with payrolls over $10 million for six months.
  • bring forward the next round of payroll tax cuts by raising the threshold limit to $1 million in 2020-21

ACT

  • interest free deferrals of payroll tax commencing 1 July 2020 for all businesses up to a payroll threshold of $10 million. Interest will be applied to any outstanding deferred amounts from 1 July 2022.
    Businesses will need to apply to confirm their eligibility at: www.revenue.act.gov.au
  • rebate on the fixed charge for 2019-20 on commercial rates for properties with an AUV below $2 million. Commercial rate payers will receive a credit of $2,622 (equivalent to the annual fixed charge) to their 2019-20 general rates, in quarter four. This will be applied automatically.
  • freeze on government fees and charges
  • electricity rebates for small businesses with usage below 100 megawatts per year. The rebate of $750 will be automatically applied to bills in June/July 2020
  • More information is available here
  • A business liaison phone line has been created to assist businesses understand the support available to them through the ACT Economic Survival Package. Call 02 6205 0900

Victoria

Announced in the Federal Budget (subject to passage of legislation)

  • The Commonwealth Government will make the Victorian Government's business support grants for small- and medium-sized business – as announced on 13 September 2020 – non-assessable, non-exempt (NANE) income for tax purposes.
  • Eligibility for this treatment will be limited to grants announced on or after 13 September 2020 and for payments made between 13 September 2020 and 30 June 2021.
  • See Budget 2020-21.

New support package announced 13 September 2020

  • As part of the third round of the Business Support Fund, businesses with payrolls up to $10 million will receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on their size (more information is available here).
  • Payroll tax for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million are deferred for the full 2020-21 financial year (more information is available here).

New funding announced on 10 July 2020 in response to reinstatement of restrictions across Melbourne and surrounds:

  • Cash grants for struggling businesses - $5,000 available to businesses in areas under Stage 3 restrictions
  • Mental health support for business owners
  • Tailored and targeted advice for businesses through a business mentoring program, pairing small business owners with experienced professionals who can help them navigate through the pandemic crisis
  • Melbourne CBD business support fund
  • Extended and expanded payroll tax deferral – for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million to defer liabilities for the first half of the 2020/21 financial year
  • For more detail visit Expanded Business Support Fund.
Previously announced packages:
  • Full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million.
    • payments will start immediately and are a refund, not a loan
    • these businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021
    • 2020 land tax payments will be deferred for eligible small businesses
  • More information is available here
  • Businesses can access information on dealing with COVID-19 by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15
    • the hotline will provide the latest information on the response to COVID-19 and how this affects businesses, including how to access financial support available through the national stimulus package.
    • information is also available at Business Victoria.

Queensland

  • Small and medium businesses impacted by COVID-19 will be refunded two months’ worth of payroll tax.
  • Small and medium business will have a 3-month payroll tax holiday, and a further 6 month payroll tax deferral
  • Employers can also apply (before 31 May 2020) for a deferral of payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year.
  • More information on how to apply is available here.
  • Small and medium businesses will receive a $500 rebate on their power bill
  • Small businesses may be eligible for a loan to retain employees and maintain operations.
    • A new concessional loan facility will include low interest loans of up to $250,000 for carry on finance with an initial 12-month interest free period for businesses to retain staff.
    • Register your interest through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority or phone 1800 623 946.

South Australia

  • Businesses with annual wages up to $4 million will receive a six month payroll tax waiver.
  • Businesses with annual wages over $4 million that can demonstrate they have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 can also apply for the six month payroll tax waiver.
  • Six month deferral of land tax payments
  • Further information here
  • Increased funding for the state’s Economic and Business Growth Fund
  • Projects to be funded under the Government’s economic stimulus package must meet certain criteria, including the ability to start works within a short period of time, they must be labour-intensive and/or require significant local purchasing of materials, services and supplies.

Northern Territory

  • Under the Business Improvement Scheme, all eligible businesses will receive $10,000 and can receive a further $10,000 if they spend $10,000 of their own cash, on business upgrades. This creates a total $30,000 to be spent on improvements, with purchases to be from another Territory business. 
  • Electricity prices for small and medium businesses (paying regulated tariffs) will be frozen from 1 July 2020 to 1 July 2021.

Tasmania

  • $2 million for additional support for primary health care providers, including GPs.
  • $1 million for accommodation for frontline workers if they need to stay away from home, in circumstances where their family members are ill.
  • businesses with payrolls of up to $5 million will be able to apply, based on the impact of virus, to have their payroll tax waived for April to June 2020.
    • For more information on the payroll tax waiver please contact the State Revenue Office on (03) 6166 4400 or taxhelp@treasury.tas.gov.au or visit Payroll Tax.

The Tasmanian Government has outlined support measures to keep the Tasmanian economy functional and people in work. The package has 4 main elements - Health, Business, Households and Individuals and the Community.

Health

The main message to health is that they may spend whatever is required to save Tasmanian lives. Funding to public health GPs and public health services will be increased to $3 million, bringing total assistance to $5 million. This will assist GPs, pharmacists and dentists to obtain the necessary supplies and take the necessary measures to protect themselves and the wider community. An additional $3 million will be added to the initial $1 million in the first Stimulus Package, including support to establish a dedicated 1800 number to allow the Tasmanian community to call in and receive psychological support. Mental health services will also be expanded for Tasmanian's living in rural areas, the migrant community and vulnerable groups.

Business

Small business will receive quarterly relief on electricity bills, capped prices for electricity, sewage and water for 12 months.

Interest free loans will be extended from the $50 million interest free loan scheme to $150 million.

Businesses shut down or severely impacted as a result of recent restrictive directions will have fees, charges and taxes including land tax for 2020-21 waived. Estimated to be in the order of $20 million.

Interest free loans will be available to all businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million per annum.

$40 million grants program - $20 million emergency grants;

$750,000 to provide business continuity and accounting advice to small business.

$200,000 provided to the Rural Financial Counselling Service for financial counselling and guidance esp in rural areas.

$150,000 to boost the Digital ready for business program to help small business go online via targeted one-on-one coaching.

Households and individuals

Capped electricity, water, sewage prices for 12 months $5 million fund for bill relief.