The recent Victorian State Government budget included initiatives to encourage business innovation, reduce business costs and encourage local tourism. A brief overview of the more relevant announcements include:
- The introduction of a payroll tax credit of 10 cents for every dollar of wages paid in 2020-21 and 2021-22 above the previous year’s wages, for those employers with wages below $10m. The credit is non-refundable and can therefore only reduce a businesses payroll tax liability to zero.
- Increasing the annual reporting threshold from $40,000 to $100,000 for businesses registered for payroll tax in Victoria. This has an expected start date of 1 July 2021.
- A land transfer duty waiver of 50 per cent for new residential properties and 25 per cent for existing residential properties, for purchases up to $1 million for contracts entered into between 25 November 2020 and 30 June 2021.
- The introduction of a 50 per cent commercial and industrial land transfer duty concession for regional Victoria to contracts entered into, on or after 1 January 2021.
- Provision for land tax breaks including a 50 per cent land tax discount for build-to-rent developments running from 2022 to 2040.
- A six-month wage subsidy to support businesses in hiring those Victorians hardest hit by the pandemic, specifically young people, retrenched workers and long term unemployed.
- The development of a new Manufacturing and Industry Development Fund to build essential and sovereign manufacturing and industry capability.
- The introduction of a Digital Future Now package to support businesses in the transition to a digital economy. Registrations are currently open and will remain open until the funds are exhausted or until 28 February 2021.
- Provision of Research and Development cash flow loans for SMEs to pay up to 80 per cent of their forecast refundable Federal Government Research and Development Tax Incentive offset.
- The establishment of an Agriculture Technology Regional Innovation Network and a Pathways to Export program, both designed to grow and modernise Victorian agribusiness.
- The introduction of LaunchVic to provide support for high-potential start-ups and scaleups in priority sectors.
- Provision of additional funds available for innovative early-stage start-ups founded by women.
- Expansion of the solar panel rebate and loans scheme to help small businesses to manage their energy costs.
- Provision of $200 travel vouchers for Victorians spending at least $400 on accommodation, attractions or tours in regional Victoria. These vouchers were made available in December, with additional vouchers available on January 20 and March 30, with a limit of one voucher per household.
Should you require further information regarding these initiatives please contact our office. Our clients are also encouraged to monitor the Business Victoria website at www.business.vic.gov.au for detailed information regarding the grants, vouchers and assistance programs available. Our interstate clients should also note that we are happy to examine the various other state government budget announcements on a state-by-state basis. Please contact our office for further assistance.