WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced a $607 million stimulus package, including $114 million in measures aimed at supporting small and medium businesses.
Firstly, payroll tax paying businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $4 million will receive a one-off grant of $17,500, with around 7,400 WA businesses set to benefit from the grant.
In addition, the WA government will fast-track raising the payroll tax threshold to $1 million from 1 July 2020, six months earlier than planned.
The original payroll tax package announced in WA last year saw the payroll threshold rise to $950,000 from 1 January 2020 and was due to increase again to $1 million from 1 January 2021.
Mr McGowan has also announced that small and medium-sized businesses affected by COVID-19 can now apply to defer payment of their 2019–20 payroll tax until 21 July 2020.
The deferral is available to employers who pay $7.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages and have been directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19, compared to normal operating conditions.
“We are in uncharted territory and there’s no doubt our economy is going to feel the effects of COVID-19,” Mr McGowan said.
“Today’s payroll tax measures build on the package announced last year and will ensure thousands of businesses will benefit, six months sooner than planned.
“The one-off grant will support small businesses to respond to the impacts of COVID-19.”
Mr McGowan has also allocated $402 million to freeze increases to household fees and charges, including electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, the emergency services levy and public transport fares.
The WA budget has previously included an increase of $127 or 2 per cent in fees and charges, which was the estimated inflation rate for 2020–21.
WA’s COVID-19 stimulus package comes after the federal government announced a suite of measures aimed at stimulating the economy, including a supercharged instant asset-write off and cash payments of up to $25,000 to SMEs.
The Queensland government had also previously announced that the state’s small and medium businesses would be able to defer their payroll tax payments for six months.
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Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.