Has Your Business Been Affected By Coronavirus?

20 March 2020

The Australian Government has announced a $17.6 billion economic plan to keep Australians in jobs, keep businesses in business and support households and the Australian economy as the world deals with the significant challenges posed by the spread of the Coronavirus.


Increase to instant asset write-off

The instant asset write-off threshold will increase from $30,000 to $150,000 and expand access to include businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020.

Backing business investment


A time-limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.

Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.

This measure is proposed to only apply to new depreciating assets first used, or installed ready for use, by 30 June 2021.

Tax-free payments to social security

A one-off $750 stimulus payment to pensioners, social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders. Around half of those that will benefit are pensioners. Payments will be made from 31 March 2020 on a progressive basis, with over 90% of payments expected to be made by mid-April.

Tax-free payments to small & medium businesses

Payments of up to $25,000 for eligible small and medium businesses (i.e. with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff) based on their PAYG withholding obligations.

ATO Administrative relief

For certain tax obligations, including deferring tax payments for up to four months.

Apprentice wage subsidies

Employers with less than 20 full-time employees may be entitled to apply for Government-funded wage subsidies amounting to 50% of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. The maximum subsidy for each apprentice/trainee is $21,000. Importantly, where an employer is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice.

Assistance to severely affected

$1 billion to support those sectors, regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus. This will include the waiver of fees and charges for tourism businesses that operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Commonwealth National Parks, additional
assistance to help businesses identify alternative export markets or supply chains and targeted measures developed to further promote domestic tourism.


Other relief options available

Payroll Tax Relief

The QLD Office of State Revenue (OSR) is currently offering payroll tax relief packages if your business has been affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

You may be eligible for the relief package if:

  • You are an employer (or part of a group of employers) who pays $6.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages; and
  • Your current turnover, profit, customers, bookings, retail sales, supply contracts or other factors (compared with normal operating conditions ) have been directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19.

If you are eligible, complete the online payroll tax deferral application form, available here. The OSR will send a confirmation email to you once the application is approved. You will not need to lodge or pay any payroll tax returns before 31 July 2020.

Market Diversification and Resilience Grants (MDRG)

The MDRG program will benefit Queensland agriculture, food and fishing exporters and their critical supply chain partners, as well as industry organisations working with exporters to build resilience by diversifying into new markets (international or interstate). The program has two grant components: equipment purchases and projects.


Equipment purchases

Equipment purchase grants of up to $7,500 (excluding GST) are available to support new equipment purchases up to a maximum cost of $10,000 (excluding GST).

Applicants must contribute 25% of the total cost of the new equipment. The MDRG program will provide the remaining 75% of the total costs.


Project grants of up to $50,000 (excluding GST) will be available to support project activities including, but not limited to:

  • Market evaluation studies
  • Market visits
  • Staff training
  • New equipment such as refrigeration
  • Boat modifications necessary to meet market requirements.

Applicants must co-invest 50% of the total cost of their project activities or equipment purchases and should provide evidence of their contributions both in-kind (e.g. reasonable salary costs for key personnel, freight costs) and cash. Cash contributions must be at least 25% of total project costs.

If you need any assistance with Coronavirus affecting your business please do not hesitate to contact our office.