Stimulus Overview – WA & SA

Here you’ll find an overview of the stimulus packages recently implemented for the WA & SA. This will be updated regularly but we’d also recommend seeking advice from your tax advisors on the opportunities available.

WA Stimulus Overview

WA updates business restrictions & re-opening rules

WA businesses in certain industries can now reopen as long as they have no more than 20 patrons, follow the 4 square metre rule and have good hygiene. For details on which WA SMEs this applies to, see the WA Government’s website.

Land tax:

A $100 million package of land tax relief grants for commercial landlords who provide at least three months’ rent relief to small businesses that have suffered at least a 30% reduction in business. To qualify for the grants, landlords must agree not to try to recover the rent relief from their commercial tenant once the rent relief period ends.

New leave ruling to help small business employees:

WA’s Industrial Relations Commission has granted 2 weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave to all private sector employees under state system, including casual staff, if they are required to self-isolate. The aim is to help small business employees preserve their jobs during the pandemic. It also allows employees, with the agreement of their employer, to take annual leave at half pay or to take this leave in advance. This new ruling will be in place until July 31, unless extended. Details here.

Payroll tax:

Payroll tax paying businesses with total Australian wages between $1 million and $4 million will receive a grant of $17,500. The grants will be issued by cheque to eligible taxpayers in July 2020 (no application is necessary).

Additional payroll tax relief will also apply for small businesses as a result of the payroll tax threshold increasing to $1 million from 1 July 2020 (six months earlier than planned).

There is also a payroll tax payment deferral available for businesses with total Australian wages below $7.5 million. The deferral is granted by application, and applies to the period between 1 March and 30 June. Payroll tax returns for these periods are still required to be lodged where payment deferral is granted.

Stamp duty:

The WA Government also announced last October that it would provide an estimated $29 million in stamp duty rebates to stimulate the property and construction sectors. This applies to preconstruction contracts for apartments and is a rebate of 75% of the standard duty payable.

Individual income support:

$402 million in spending to freeze household fees and charges until at least July 1, 2021. This will apply to charges including on electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, the emergency services levy and public transport fares.

Double the Energy Assistance Payment (EAP) to $600 to support vulnerable Western Australians, including pensioners at a total cost of $91 million.

Other initiatives:

Other recent stimulus measures announced by the WA Government include:

A $200 million maintenance package for WA schools.
A $222 million housing and homelessness package.
$53.5 million to reduce TAFE by 50 per cent for priority occupations.
$12.85 million tourism boost to support local tourism industry and deliver cheaper regional airfares.

SA Stimulus Overview

Payroll tax:

For Groups with Australian wages of less than $4 million, an automatic 6 month payroll tax waiver will apply.
Groups with Australian wages in excess of $4 million who have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 may apply for the 6 month payroll tax deferral.

Land tax:

Deferral of the third and fourth instalment for 2019-20 land tax liabilities.

Other initiatives:

About 19K small businesses and not-for-profits in SA should be eligible for one-off emergency cash grants from the SA Government.

The grants can help a business cover operating costs such as power bills, rent, raw materials and other supplier bills. Eligible businesses are those with payroll of less than $1.5m, who employ people in SA and have a turnover of more than $75K, who’ve had their earnings significantly impacted or been forced to close due to social gathering restrictions. Find out more here.

The SA Government recently announced it would spend $350 million on a stimulus package, with funds going towards infrastructure, maintenance, and expanding the Economic and Business Growth Fund.

This amount will include $50 million for what has been described as “local projects” and $15 million for regional hospitals

Find out more about the federal stimulus overview and other key advice below: