Palaszczuk Government steps in to help small businesses affected by coronavirus

Published Monday, 02 March, 2020 at 07:00 AM


Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Jackie Trad

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Small and medium Queensland businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be able to defer their payroll tax payment for six months under a new relief measure announced today by Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad.

The Deputy Premier made the announcement at one of the Brisbane’s most popular tourist destinations, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

“Since the coronavirus first emerged in January, the Palaszczuk Government has been on the front foot in containing the spread of the virus and addressing its economic impacts,” the Deputy Premier said.

“We’ve already announced a $27.25 million package of measures to help businesses here on the Gold Coast, in Cairns and across the state.

“But we’ve known from the start the impact of the virus is evolving, so our measures to address it must evolve as well.

“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.

“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.”

The new payroll tax initiative enables eligible businesses with an annual Australian 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 coronavirus.

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 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.

“What we need now is the Federal Government to match our initial commitment to industries suffering from these COVID-19 impacts. Together with a co-commitment from the Federal Government, we can buffer these industries right now so that they are keeping people in jobs.

“We’ve waived fees and charges, we’ve put in support systems to small businesses and all businesses so that they can get through this rough patch so that they can keep people in jobs, and we want the Federal Government to come to the party on this.”

OSR will also work with affected businesses to create repayment plans for the deferred tax liabilities.

Media Contact: Daniel Lato      0438 891 158