Payroll Tax and Other State Government Relief

Each state government has announced its own relief package and we summarise what we know at the moment:


Payroll Tax Waiver for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million. Although, it is not currently clear, it is expected that the payroll tax exemptions will be applied automatically. This is expected for the rest of the financial year.

The government is also bringing the next round of payroll tax cuts forward, meaning the payroll tax threshold will rise to $1 million in the financial year 2020-21.

The New South Wales government is also scrapping certain fees and charges that apply to businesses in vulnerable sectors including bars, cafes, restaurants and tradespeople.

The NSW Government have put in the following measures:

  • The state government has pledged to employ additional cleaning staff for public infrastructure, such as public transport assets, schools and public buildings.
  • Fast-tracking the maintenance of public assets, including social housing and fencing, as well as bringing forward capital works and maintenance.


Relief will be available for employers that pay less than $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages and have been directly or indirectly affected by the coronavirus. Full details are yet to be revealed.

Queensland businesses will also have access to a new $500 million loan facility, offering low-interest loans of up to $250,000. The funding is intended to allow small businesses to retain employees and maintain operations and will be interest-free for the first 12 months.

The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority is currently accepting expressions of interest for the loans. Businesses that are interested should contact the authority here.


The Government will provide full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million. Payments will start flowing next week and will save eligible business up to $113,975 a year. This assistance is a refund, not a loan. The same businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 202.

Victorian government are also providing the following relief:

  • Commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief – a move private landlords are also being encouraged to undertake
  • 2020 land tax payments will be deferred for eligible small businesses.
  • The Government will pay all outstanding supplier invoices within five business days – releasing up to $750 million into the economy earlier, the private sector is urged to do the same where possible.
  • The Government will also support the hospitality sector by waiving liquor licensing fees for 2020 for affected venues and small businesses.
  • We will also provide $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund. The fund will support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail. The Government will work with the Victorian Chamber, Australian Hotels Association and Ai Group to administer the fund, which will help these businesses – which may not be eligible for payroll tax refunds due to their size – survive and keep people in work.
  • The Government will establish a $500 million Working for Victoria Fund in consultation with the Victorian Council of Social Services and Victorian Trades Hall Council. The fund will help workers who have lost their jobs find new opportunities, including work cleaning public infrastructure or delivering food – providing vital contributions to our state’s response to the pandemic and affording those Victorians security when its needed most.

Western Australia

The Government is introducing three payroll tax measures to support businesses:

  1. The payroll tax threshold will be increased to $1 million on 1 July 2020. This brings the increase forward from the planned date of 1 January 2021. The threshold increase will be reflected in Revenue Online when it comes into effect.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.