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The Victorian (VIC) Government has announced a $1.7bn stimulus package, with the major items being:
- For businesses with Victorian taxable wages of $3m or less, a full refund of any payroll tax paid or payable for the 2019-20 financial year. The State Revenue Office has clarified that the $3 million threshold applies to each employer and not on a payroll tax group basis. This measure is a permanent refund rather than just a deferral of the tax paid and is expected to cost the Government around $550m.
- The same businesses will be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020-21 financial year, freeing up cash flow. However, this measure is merely a deferral of the time for payment rather than being a permanent waiver or refund of the payroll tax liability.
- Land owners who have at least one taxable non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million are eligible for a deferral of their land tax payment. The Victorian State Revenue Office will directly contact eligible land owners. The payment can be deferred until after 1 January 2021 but will need to be paid in full by 31 March 2021. Non-residential property includes:
- - Commercial property,
- Industrial property, and
- Vacant land (excluding residential vacant land).
- The Government will ensure that it pays all supplier invoices within five business days and commercial tenants in government buildings will be entitled to apply for rent relief (again, there are no guidelines issued at this stage).
- The establishment of the $500m Business Support Fund, which is designed to support the hardest-hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail. The Government will work with the Victorian Chamber, Australian Hotels Association and Ai Group to administer the fund, which will help these businesses – which may not be eligible for payroll tax refunds due to their size – survive and keep people in work. The Government will also waive liquor licensing fees for affected venues and businesses.
- The establishment of a $500m Working for Victoria Fund in consultation with the Victorian Council of Social Services and Victorian Trades Hall Council. The fund will help workers who have lost their jobs find new opportunities, including work cleaning public infrastructure or delivering food. The Government will also facilitate job matching to help Victorians find short-term or casual roles.
- The deferral of the 2020-21 Victorian Budget to be decided at a later point in time.
RSM will continue to keep you informed of any further announcements of stimulus and support measures by State and Federal Governments.