Businesses in Queensland will not have to pay payroll tax on Federal Government JobKeeper Payments as part of the State Government's latest fiscal relief initiative.
The fast-tracked arrangements will ensure payroll tax assessments do not include JobKeeper payments and will provide Queensland businesses with effective relief of $360 million over the next six months.
"We know businesses and workers have been doing it tough through the necessary restrictions we have put in place to come down hard on the spread of coronavirus," says Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszszuk (pictured).
"Life will be tough for many businesses for months to come, so we will ensure they don't have to foot the bill for payroll tax on the Federal Government's JobKeeper payments which are now starting to flow."
Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad says this latest measure will assist businesses to keep employees on and allow them to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Measures to relive payroll tax have been at the heart of the Palaszczuk Government's response, including tax holidays, tax deferrals, and payroll tax refunds that have put more than $345 million back into the accounts of Queensland businesses," says Trad.
"Exempting JobKeeper from payroll tax assessments at this time helps protect Queensland businesses and Queensland jobs.
"Now it's up to the Federal Government to help Queensland workers by exempting JobKeeper payments from income tax assessment."
The JobKeeper payment scheme commenced on 30 March and is available for eligible businesses to cover the costs of their employees' wages through payments of $1,500 per fortnight to eligible employees.
Queensland Treasury's Office of State Revenue will be adjusting its payroll tax information to ensure there is a smooth transition when the next payroll tax returns are due to be lodged next week.
Nationally States have been implementing a range of payroll tax waiver and deferment initiatives to assist businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.
In Victoria the State Government will pick up the bill for payroll taxes, saving businesses around $225 million, as part of the State's $1.7 billion stimulus package.
Businesses in New South Wales with payrolls over $10 million will have payroll tax deferred for six months, while businesses with payrolls under $10 million will receive an additional three-month deferment of payroll tax on top of the three-month waiver previously announced.
Down in South Australia the State Government will be delivering $60 million of payroll tax relief to businesses, including a six-month waiver for all businesses with annual payroll of up to $4 million from April to September.
SA employers with grouped annual wages above $4 million will be able to defer payroll tax payments for six months on demonstration of significant impacts on cash flow from COVID-19.
QLD to ease gathering restrictions further on Mother's Day
Up to five people from the same household will be able to visit another household from this Sunday in Queensland as the state continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions.
Premier Palaszczuk said the easing of restrictions was made possible because QLD residents had managed to keep the rate of new cases down.
The five visiting people must be from the same household and can visit another household of any size, thus allowing more than 10 people to be inside a house at any one time.
Queenslanders will still be restricted to not being able to travel more than 50km from their household.
This latest easing of restrictions comes as Queensland reports only two new cases of COVID-19 overnight.
Both of these new cases are on the Gold Coast, with one originating from a cruise ship and the other still being investigated.
There are only 50 active cases of COVID-19 in Queensland now, with eight in hospital and three in intensive care.
The two new cases brings Queensland's total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 1,045.
NSW keeps restrictions in place
Meanwhile in New South Wales gathering restrictions will remain in place for Mother's Day as the state continues its testing blitz.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says social distancing measures will stay as they are even if the National Cabinet announces changes to national guidelines on Friday.
"As we proceed through May and through June there will be an easing of restrictions and that is something all of us can look forward to, and so I suspect that by the end of June life will feel much more normal," Berejiklian said.
"I can say that whilst National Cabinet is considering easing some restrictions I doubt very much that New South Wales will be in a position to implement anything before Mother's Day."
This means the same restrictions will stay in place in NSW, those being two adults and their children from the same household can visit another household.
Today Berejiklian announced that over the last 24 hours 10,900 tests were conducted which is a record for NSW.
Three new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed overnight, all from known sources, bringing the state's total to 3,044.
Updated at 9:32am AEST on 7 May 2020.
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