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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 216 asked in the Legislative Council on 17 March 2020 by Hon Colin Tincknell

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 17 March 2020

CORONAVIRUS — SMALL BUSINESS — PAYROLL TAX THRESHOLD

216. Hon COLIN TINCKNELL to the minister representing the Treasurer:

(1) Can the minister outline what relief is being provided to those small to medium businesses that do not meet the current payroll tax threshold of $950 000, many of whom are independent sole traders and contractors and mum-and-dad businesses that are engaged in many industries across Western Australia?

(2) As the government has offered a three-week payroll tax deference for those businesses impacted by COVID-19, can the minister inform me what constitutes ''impacted''; will a member of staff have to be sick or will businesses be able to show hardship or significant downturn in order to claim; and what constitutes a business that is impacted by COVID-19 in order for it to defer its tax payments to 21 July 2020?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) The government's $607 million COVID-19 economic response will inject cash into the Western Australian community for the broader benefit of all Western Australians. The government is not able to use the payroll tax system to provide assistance to businesses that do not pay payroll tax. Nonetheless, the government is looking at other potential options for providing support to these businesses.

(2) Small to medium businesses can apply to defer payment of their remaining 2019–20 liability to 21 July 2020 if their 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. Businesses need to submit an application form available on the www.wa.gov.au website, which includes a section in which businesses are asked to briefly summarise how their business has been affected. The Department of Finance will then assess eligibility on a case-by-case basis.