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With the current stay-at-home orders in place for Greater Sydney including Wollongong, there’s plenty of information out there to filter through. Earlier this week, the NSW Government announced a series of support packages with business and individuals affected financially by the current lockdowns.

Thanks to our friends at KPMG Wollongong, they’ve broken down the support packages and some eligibility criteria. It is important to remember to schedule an appointment a registered accountant. Before you begin, KMPG recommends you:

Support for Businesses

  • Cashflow Support: The Federal and NSW governments will jointly fund a weekly support payment of up to 40 percent of a business’s NSW payroll, with the maximum support payment being $10,000 per week and the minimum $1,500 per week. The support payment will be available from the fourth week of the lockdown.
    • To be eligible, business must have annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million and have seen a 30% drop in turnover in comparison to an equivalent two-week period in 2019.
    • Furthermore, to be eligible, these businesses will need to maintain their full time, part time and long-term casual staffing at the same level as it was on 13 July 2021 (the date of the announcement).
    • The NSW government will administer the support payments via Service NSW and businesses can register their interest from 14 July 2021.
    • For non-employing businesses (like sole traders) the payments will be set at $1,000 per week.
  • Business Grants Program: The business grants program that was announced by the NSW Government two weeks ago has been expanded. Eligible businesses with annual wages of up to $10 million can access grants between $7,000 and $15,000 to cover the first three-weeks of restrictions.
  • Smaller Micro Businesses: A new grant program has been introduced for smaller micro businesses with turnover between $30,000 and $75,000. These businesses will be eligible for a $1,500 payment per fortnight of restrictions.
  • Payroll tax waivers: Payroll tax waivers of 25% will be introduced for businesses with Australian wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover.
    • All NSW payroll taxpayers have now up until 7 October 2021 to lodge their annual reconciliation for 2020-21 and pay any outstanding amount, and can also defer payment of their NSW payroll tax on July and August wages until 7 October 2021.
  • Land Tax Relief: Residential landlords who agree to a reduction in rent can be eligible for a payment from the NSW Government. Landlords who do not pay NSW land tax can receive a grant of up to $1,500 if they reduce their tenant’s rent.
    • Landlords who pay land tax can receive land tax relief of up to 100 percent of their land tax liability for 2021, where they agree rent reductions of an equivalent amount. This also applies in commercial and retail situations
  • Gaming tax assessments: Deferral of gaming tax assessments for clubs until 21 December 2021 and hotels until 21 January 2021.

Support for individuals

For completeness, it is important to note that the following additional support measures announced by the NSW and Federal Government in response to the COVID-19 restrictions.

  • Income support for individuals: The Federal Government will fund COVID-19 Disaster Payments for employees who cannot work during the lockdown.
    • There is no payment for the first week of lockdown, and a maximum weekly payment of $500 for weeks two and three if an employee has lost more than 20 hours of work, or $325 for weeks two and three for employees who have lost between 8 and 20 hours of work a week.
    • These payments will increase from week four to $600 per week for employees who have lost more than 20 hours of work, or $375 per week for employees who have lost between 8 and 20 hours of work.
    • The key difference between the COVID-19 Disaster Payments and JobKeeper is that individuals must claim the payments for the disaster payment via Services Australia and employers do not need to be involved in the process.
  • Greater protection for tenants: Residential tenants will have greater protection with a targeted short-term eviction moratorium for rental arrears where a residential tenant suffers loss of income of 25% due to COVID-19 and meets a range of criteria. In addition, commercial and retail landlords will need to attempt mediation before recovering a security bond, or locking out or evicting a tenant impacted by the Public Health Order
  • Performing Arts:  A $75 million support package for the performing arts sector to be administered by Create NSW.
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