The Victorian Association for Newsagents.

Victorian Economic Survival Package


Dear Members,

Valued at $1.7 billion, the Victorian State Government have announced an economic survival package to complement the work of the Federal Government in the wake of COVID-19. Facets of the package include:

  • Payroll Tax Refund: Businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax waived. The Victorian Revenue Office will contact eligible businesses to reimburse monies previously paid. Businesses are required to continue reporting their annual returns but are not required to continue paying payroll tax. If your business is a member of a group (ie. NewsXpress or Newspower), it will be treated as an individual store, so long as the taxable wages total less than $3 million. Reimbursements will begin as of March 27th.
  • Business Support Fund: consisting of $500 million, dedicated to industries suffering the hardest in this time (retail included). This may provide your business with some support if you are not eligible for the payroll tax refund and will be distributed with the help of the Australian Industry Group. To register your interest in this fund, please follow this link:
  • Working For Victoria: those workers that find themselves out of work or having their casual shifts cut are able to apply to the Victorian Government to work in a variety of sectors, at and above award rates, with super included. Once you have registered your interest online, you will be contacted by the Victorian Government within one week with your next steps. You can register your interest now.
  • Land Tax Deferral: those with at least one non-residential property and total taxable property under $1 million are eligible to have their Land Tax deferred until after December 31st 2020. This will need to be paid in full by March 31st 2021. All eligible landowners will be contacted by the Victorian Revenue Office. If you aren’t sure of your total taxable property, you can apply for that information at the following link:
  • Rent relief: The Victorian Government is working with all commercial tenants in government buildings to provide as much rent relief as possible. The government encourages all private landlords to do the same, and Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to make further announcements regarding lease breaks and rent relief in the days to come.
  • City of Melbourne COVID-19 Grants: the following grants are available to small – medium businesses with up to 50 employees in the City of Melbourne municipality:
    • $10,000 for capital works (including shop fittings, remodeling and software)
    • $5,000 for online and e-commerce (including website design and development, digital marketing, and training for online and e-commerce activities)
    • $2,000 for training and professional development (including online learning, training courses, and conferences designed to assist with return to business)

Applications are open as at March 26.

  • Rates Financial Hardship Policy: Assists ratepayers in the City of Melbourne municipality that are having difficulty paying their rates. Applications open on March 30 at which time further information will be provided to the public.
  • Further information: For further information regarding dealing with COVID-19 as a business, the Business Victoria hotline can be reached on 13 22 15.

Federal Economic Survival Plan
Valued at $18.9 billion, the Federal Government has announced an economic survival plan to assist businesses and individuals in this time. Facets of the package include:

  • Boosting Cash Flow for Employers: eligible businesses that have an annual turnover of less than $50 million may receive between $20,000 and $100,000 to continue to pay bills, workers, and operate as a business. Employers will receive a payment equal to 100% of their salary withheld (between $10,000 and $50,000). Additionally, in the July – October period, eligible businesses will receive the total of their Boosting Cash Flow payments again to encourage the continued operation of business. This is tax free. Eligibility is based on the last year’s finances. The payments will begin as of April 28, upon employers lodging eligible upcoming activity statements. To be eligible for the continued payments, the business must continue to be active. You may receive your payments monthly or quarterly (up to $50,000 total after the initial payment). Lodgments are due beginning April 21 for monthly payments, and April 28 for quarterly payments. Payments will be made within 14 days of the successful and eligible lodgment.
  • Temporary Relief for Financially Stressed Businesses: creditors making a statutory demand against a business or personal debtor must now be owed a minimum of $20,000 for the next six months. Equally, the amount of time a business has to respond to a statutory demand has been increased from 21 days to 6 months, for 6 months. Directors of businesses are also being offered a six month stay on personal liability to insolvent trading of a business.
  • Increasing the Instant Asset Write Off (IAWO): business earning up to $500 million can now make instant asset write off’s of up to $150,000 (per asset). This is applicable until June 30 and applies to new and second-hand assets used and / or installed from March 22.
  • Further information: For further information on the Federal Government’s economic plans, please contact Business Australia on 13 28 46 or visit their website, found at the following link:


Brendan Tohill

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