Including Australia’s acts, four Australian governments provided their own stimulus packages formally issued. A description of the main payroll tax concessions in answer to COVID-19 from all States and territories is given below.

Payroll Tax Concessions – COVID-19


New South Wales

The businesses, whose total Australian wages grouped for financial year 2019-2020 is less than $10 million,

  • shall have their annual tax liability deducted by 25% when they lodge their annual reconciliation which is due on 28 July.
  • For the tax payers who pay monthly and lodge, no payment is required for the months of March to May 2020 i.e. the payroll tax is completely waived.
  • You will need to provide wage details paid in these months, while lodging your annual reconciliation and will receive the benefit of 25% reduction in the amount of tax you would have had to pay for 2019-2020.

How to Apply?

  • This will be automatically applied for the payroll tax returns covering above mentioned periods

Other Concessions

The NSW Government has declared the following concessions:

  • Increasing the threshold NSW payroll tax to $ 1 million from July 2020.
  • a waiver of range of fees and charges for small businesses including cafes, bars, restaurants and tradies.



A $1.7 billion “economic survival and jobs” package has been declared by the Victorian Government that includes the following aid to SME businesses:

  • With payrolls of less than $3 million, SME businesses will be refunded their payroll tax. Payments to eligible businesses will begin from 23 March.
  • With payrolls of less than $3 million, SME businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021.
  • For rent relief, commercial tenants in buildings of authorities can apply.
  • A Business Support Fund will be set to assist the hardest hit sectors, including accommodation, hospitality, tourism, arts and entertainment, and retail.

How to Apply?

Businesses of Victoria can now access data on the support services being offered to deal with COVID-19, that involves the method to access financial support that is available through the national stimulus package, by just calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15. A business support page for coronavirus has also been created. Find it here.



Interest Free State Government Loans

  • The QLD Government will offer $500m in loans to eligible businesses to retain employees and maintain operations. Details are: o Loans up to $250,000
  • First 12 months interest free.
  • Currently taking expressions of interest before rolling out the concessional loans

How to Apply?

  • Expressions of interest application is here

Payroll Tax Concessions

  • Deferred payroll tax returns until 31 July 2020

Payroll Tax Concession Summary

How to Apply?

  • Complete the online payroll tax deferral application form


 Western Australia


  • The payroll tax threshold will be increased to $1 million on 1 July 2020. From the planned date of 1 January 2021, this brings the increase forward and will result in approximately an additional 300 businesses no longer being liable for payroll tax. When it comes into effect, the threshold increase will be reflected in Revenue Online.
  • Employers, or groups of employers, who pay $7.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages and have been directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 can apply to defer their monthly payroll tax payments until 21 July 2020.
  • A one-off grant of $17,500 will be available for employers, or groups of employers,whose annual Australian taxable wages are more than $1 million and up to $4 million. For a group of employers, a single grant will be payable to the designated group employer. You do not need to apply for the grant. Grants will automatically be paid by cheque from July but there will be delays for taxpayers whose tax status changed in 2018-19 or who became liable for payroll tax during the 2018-19 or 2019-20 assessment year. Eligible taxpayers should log in to Revenue Online to ensure their postal address is correct.



Interest Free State Government Loans

  • $20 million in interest-free loans available to small businesses in the hospitality, tourism, seafood production and export sectors.
  • Businesses with turnover of less than $5 million will be eligible, and the loans are intended to be used for purchasing of equipment, or for restructuring business operations.
  • Loans will be offered interest-free for three years. Details on how to apply have not yet been released.

Payroll Tax Concessions

  • Payroll tax waiver will be available to businesses in the hospitality, tourism and seafood industries, and will apply for the last four months of the 2019-20 financial year.
  • Other businesses with payrolls of up to $5 million will also be able to apply for a waiver, but eligibility will be based on how significantly the virus has affected business.
  • Further details on this criteria have not yet been released.


South Australia

On 11 March 2020, the South Australia Government announced a $350 million stimulus package that will include current infrastructure projects being brought forward, as well as new projects around road maintenance, housing, tourism and health. The details of the package are not yet available.


Northern Territory

The Northern Territory’s (NT) Government’s coronavirus stimulus package focusses on encouraging spending on home renovations and business upgrades in an effort to prevent wide spread job losses across the NT. Under the new ‘Home Improvement Scheme:

  • Homeowners will get a $6,000 grant for renovations if they spend $2,000;
  • Businesses will receive $20,000 if they spend $10,000 of their own;
  • Owners of residential and investment properties will receive a $6,000 grant for renovations if they contribute $2,000 of their own money; and Eligible businesses will get an initial $10,000 grant for upgrades, and another $10,000 if they contribute $10,000 of their own money.

Business owners will be able to spend their grant on upgrades or equipment if purchased from an eligible Territory business. The schemes are not yet active, but are expected to be up and running within the next few weeks.


Australian Capital Territory

Andrew Barr, the Chief Minister of capital has declared a stimulus package of $137 million and assured the small states that more additional packages are upcoming. Some of the highlights of this package for ACT based businesses are as follows:

  • Fees and licenses waived for hospitality businesses
  • The chance for businesses that pay $10 million for wages to defer payroll tax payments for 12 months
  • A credit of $2,622 to commercial rates bill
  • Highly influenced industries like tourism and hospitality will receive payroll tax waiver of six-month
  • Clubs to receive funding for continuation of employment of casual staff
  • Rebate of $750 to the small-businesses that will be paid through forthcoming electricity bill
  • Reassembling the jobs in local government, therefore, who work in entertainment and events can maintain their jobs by working in the other parts of the authorities.

Subsequently, due to all the economic unknowns that are linked with this pandemic, the local Government ACT has decided on to postpone the annual budget to the end of this year.

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