Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad has announced that small and medium Queensland businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be able to defer their payroll tax payment for six months.
The new relief measure will allow eligible businesses with an annual wage bill of up to $6.5 million to self-assess whether their economic indicators like turnover, bookings, contracts or profit have been impacted by business conditions associated with the coronavirus.
It comes after the Queensland government announced a $27 million aid package last month for the state’s tourism, agriculture, fishing and education sectors, in the wake of the federal government imposing travel restrictions since 1 February.
“Small and medium businesses are especially vulnerable to these external shocks, so today we are giving them the option to defer their payroll tax obligations for six months, backdated to when the travel ban started on 1 February,” Ms Trad said.
“This is one of the ideas put to me when I visited Cairns last month to hear directly from tourism operators about the kinds of impacts COVID-19 was having on their businesses, and today the Palaszczuk government is acting and delivering for those businesses.”
Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said the support package will be available to small and medium businesses across all sectors.
“The most immediate impact of the coronavirus has been on the tourism, export and education sectors,” Ms Fentiman said.
“But we recognise that as the outbreak spreads, its impacts spread as well.
“That’s why the option of deferring payroll tax payments for six months is being offered across the state to any affected small or medium business.”
The ATO had earlier been tipped to adopt a “benign approach” to PAYG installment variations in the wake of recent disasters, including the Black Summer bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 outbreak.