State and territory grants issued to small businesses in response to COVID-19 will continue to be tax-free under a new bill introduced into Parliament.
Tax-free treatment of COVID-19 grants to be extended
Treasury Laws Amendment (COVID-19 Economic Response) Bill 2021 has now been introduced into Parliament, extending the application of the non-assessable non-exempt income status to eligible business support grants received in the 2021–22 financial year.
The new bill builds on legislation passed late last year which limits the tax concession to grants received in the 2020–21 financial year.
The Treasurer has to declare that a grant program is eligible by legislative instrument if he is satisfied that it is in response to the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Only entities with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million will be eligible for the concessional tax treatment.
The extension comes after the Victorian government announced further business support packages as it enforced a lockdown in late May.
The amendments will take effect the day after royal assent.
COVID-19 Disaster Payment
The bill will also allow tax information to be disclosed to Services Australia where the information is disclosed for the purposes of administering the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
The federal COVID-19 Disaster Payment was established by Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this month, providing workers up to $500 a week for areas defined as COVID-19 national hotspots and are undergoing lockdown for more than seven days.
The payment is administered by Services Australia, with eligible recipients required to have less than $10,000 in liquid assets, and must not be receiving income support payment, the pandemic leave disaster payment, or a state or territory pandemic payment.
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