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COVID-19 Solutions: Queensland Provides Payroll Tax Relief & Grants Package to Small Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate global economies, disrupting the daily work and routines of people from all around the world in unusual ways. More and more communities go into lockdown to prevent further spread of the virus. Due to this sudden loss of movement, governments around the world struggle to prevent economic collapse, and all the while people try to keep up with developments and advice, left to wonder when it will be over.

Australia isn’t spared—due to the pandemic’s impacts, small businesses across the country are beginning to feel the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a form of assistance, the national government has released a $17.6 billion stimulus package. State governments have followed suit, with efforts targeting towards support for local small businesses.

Queensland has released its own package this week, which offers low-interest loans to help businesses support their employees, certain grants for sectors, and a payroll tax relief for eligible businesses. To further understand the solutions provided for by the package, here is a detailed breakdown:

Solution #1: Low-interest loans

The state has allowed businesses in Queensland access to a $500 million loan facility. They can loan an amount of up to $250,000 with low interest, and they don’t have to pay the interest for the first 12 months. This was released to help employees keep their jobs and for business to remain operational.

Solution #2: Grant packages for specific sectors

For small businesses operating in the sectors of food, fishing, and agriculture, the state government has launched a $500,000 grants package. These grants seek to provide small business owners access to new markets, as well as aid them in transitioning to diversified operations. The program is set to open in April and priority will be given to businesses that can provide proof that they have been affected by the pandemic. Amounts from anywhere between $2,500 and $50,000 will be issued to these small businesses, depending on their needs.

Solution #3: Payroll tax relief for eligible businesses

Eligible businesses in Queensland will also be able to have access to payroll tax relief or deferral. Owners can enjoy a refund of two months’ worth of payroll tax if they pay up to $6.5 million in taxable wages. Moreover, the state government has allowed them to go on a three-month payroll holiday. In addition to this solution package, businesses will also be able to apply for a deferral of payroll tax for 2020. Certain conditions apply, however, such as proof of dealing with negative profit, turnovers, and contracts as a result of the pandemic.

Solution # 4: The waiving of fees

As further support for small businesses in the state, the government has waived all fees. This includes registration for tour operators, marina charges, some forms of liquor licenses, commercial activities, and even tourism rental payments. As part of this solution, rent relief has also been made available for businesses that directly rent from the state. SMEs will also be able to enjoy an energy bill rebate up to $500, provided that they consume less than 100,000 kilowatt-hours.

What happens now?

The unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 continue to wreak havoc across the world. Experts do not know when the virus will end, much less predict any further repercussions on the global economy. Some predict a recession that would last for years; some say we can quickly bounce back. Whatever the case, it’s clear that some of the governments try to amend the collapse in the best ways possible, which includes Queensland.

If you’re dealing with payroll tax blues and are in need of the best accountants in Gold Coast to help you get through this pandemic, contact us. We’ll be happy to help!

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