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Business News NSW Northern Rivers

RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

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RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

Small businesses who are still doing it tough across the State will continue to benefit from rent relief until 13 January 2022, ensuring ongoing support for small businesses over the Christmas and New Year’s Period.
Treasurer Matt Kean said as the economic recovery continues, many small businesses are still not back at their pre-COVID turnover and rent is still one of their biggest fixed costs.

“Small business is the engine room of our economy and as we recover from the pandemic we need to make sure we leave no one behind and support impacted businesses as they continue to recover,” Mr Kean said.
“Continuing rent relief measures for impacted small businesses will provide a necessary buffer to allow businesses time to get back on their feet and begin to thrive again.”

The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 rent relief provisions will continue for eligible businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million, a more targeted level of support from the previous turnover threshold of $50 million.
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said landlords will still be required to negotiate rent relief with eligible commercial and retail tenants that are experiencing a turnover decline of 30 per cent or more.

“Lockdown may be over but there are still small businesses, particularly in our CBDs, that are facing a slower recovery and are continuing to do it tough,” Mr Tudehope said.

“As the State continues to transition out of lockdown, 97 per cent of NSW businesses will retain access to COVID-19 rent relief provisions if they continue to experience a significant decline in turnover.”

Small commercial and retail tenants that would have continued to meet the eligibility criteria for JobSaver or the Micro-business Grant, after ending on 30 November, will remain eligible for rent relief negotiations with their landlords.
Under the Regulation, landlords are required to negotiate rent relief having regard to National Cabinet’s Code of Conduct. As a starting point, rent relief should be proportionate with eligible tenant’s decline in turnover, with at least 50 per cent in the form a waiver, and the balance a deferral.
Landlords can access the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund, which currently provides small commercial or retail landlords with a monthly grant up to the value of any rental relief provided, to a maximum of $3,000 per month per property.
Alternatively, land tax relief is available for eligible commercial landowners who have reduced their tenants’ rent due to COVID-19, between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021. The reduction in land tax payable is the lesser of:

  • the amount of rent reduction provided to an eligible tenant for any period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021, or
  • 100 per cent of the land tax attributable to the parcel of land leased to that tenant.

For more information on rent relief visit: Commercial leases https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/get-help/covid-19/commercial-leases-and-covid-19-faqs
For more information on COVID-19 assistance for commercial and residential landlords visit: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-businesses/covid-19-assistance-commercial-and-residential-landlords

Business News NSW Northern Rivers

LAUNCH OF WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE FOR ROAD FREIGHT TRANSPORT INDUSTRY

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

LAUNCH OF WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE FOR ROAD FREIGHT TRANSPORT INDUSTRY

SafeWork NSW has launched its ‘Work Health and Safety Guide for the Road Freight Transport Industry’ to help keep thousands of workers and the community safe.

SafeWork NSW Executive Director of Compliance and Dispute Resolution, Tony Williams, said the Guide was developed following extensive consultation with key industry stakeholders including transport industry groups, unions, Transport for NSW and interstate regulators.

“The transport industry is an essential service provider for all Australians but unfortunately records a high rate of fatalities and serious injuries with major claims for injuries around 50 per cent greater than the average employment sector,” Mr Williams said.

“The Guide provides transport operators and supply chain businesses with practical and tailored work health and safety information relating to working in and around vehicles.

“Risks covered include loading and unloading, traffic management, working at heights, immobilisation and hazardous manual tasks as well as health risks from psychosocial hazards.

“This is a comprehensive resource for the transport industry that will help build skills and knowledge to protect workers from serious harm. It highlights the importance of embedding road safety within the workplace by focusing on improving work health and safety systems and practices, responding to changes in technology, injury recovery, and learning from incidents that occur.

“The Guide, having received a commitment from industry and being supported by SafeWork NSW, promotes a safer road freight transport industry to meet the demands of the growing NSW economy,” Mr Williams said.

The Guide can be found on the SafeWork NSW website here.

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Ballina News

EXPANDED SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF NOW AVAILABLE

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EXPANDED SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF NOW AVAILABLE

From today eligible sole traders, not-for-profit organisations and small businesses in NSW will be able to access up to $2,000 in relief to help them bounce back and get the economy firing again.

Treasurer Matt Kean said the increased and expanded grant would provide businesses with additional relief as part of the NSW COVID-19 Economic Recovery Strategy.

“From today, the Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate will increase from $1,500 to $2,000 and will now include road user tolls for business usage,” Mr Kean said.

“The rebate can be claimed against eligible NSW and local Government fees and charges that are required to run a business such as food authority licences, liquor licences, event fees and council rates.

“It’s been a tough year for sole traders and small operators and this is one more way the NSW Government is helping to keep businesses in business.”

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said 70,000 businesses had already lodged a claim under the initial scheme, saving more than $82 million since it was launched on 1 April 2021.

“The expanded Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate will be available to small businesses across the State, from your local electrician paying for their trade licence to the café on the corner setting up outdoor seating,” Mr Tudehope said.

“The expansion to cover road tolls paid since 1 March 2021 will be especially helpful to those businesses who spend a lot of time in the car, truck or van.

“Toll relief of up to $2,000 will have a significant impact on the bottom line for a small business.”

Business owners can apply for the rebate by logging into their Business Profile via the MyService NSW Account.

Once approved, businesses will be provided with a $2,000 digital voucher in their Business Profile which applicants can draw down on to offset the cost of Government expenses.

Simply lodge your proof of payment and the money will be refunded back into your bank account.

Small businesses which have already registered for the previous $1,500 Small Business Rebate program will not be required to re-register. Those businesses will receive an automatic $500 top-up to the digital voucher. New applicants will receive one $2,000 digital voucher.

Applications for the rebate from new businesses will open today. These businesses can submit claims as soon as their application has been approved.

For more information on how to apply, visit nsw.gov.au.

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Business News NSW Northern Rivers

Corporate Tax Transparency report highlights trend towards willing compliance

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Corporate Tax Transparency report highlights trend towards willing compliance

The Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO’s) publication of the seventh annual report on corporate tax transparency showcases the trend towards improved voluntary tax compliance among large corporates.

Deputy Commissioner Rebecca Saint explained that the report reflects the ATO’s intensive engagement with the top end of town in recent years.
“While the tax paid by this population may fluctuate year on year, the overall trend couldn’t be clearer. Corporates are placing a higher value on tax compliance, driving consistent and willing voluntary participation,” Ms Saint said.

The Tax Avoidance Taskforce (the Taskforce) has had a significant impact on corporate tax collections. Since its inception in 2016, the Taskforce has proven very successful. In addition to contributing to the ATO collecting over $10 billion in additional tax from public and multinational businesses it has driven improved tax compliance.

The resources of the Taskforce have allowed the ATO to establish the Justified Trust program, which requires the largest businesses to assure us they are paying the right amount of tax by having regard to objective evidence.

“This is a significantly higher level of scrutiny than the previous approach of investigating identified risks,” Ms Saint said.

“Our reports on the Top 100 shows that the number of taxpayers achieving a high assurance rating increased from 6% in 2019 to 49% in 2021. We attribute this to a combination of businesses recognising that investing in their tax governance has tangible real-world benefits – as well as a significant investment of time and resources by the ATO in scrutinising structures, transactions and tax governance frameworks.”

“The health of the tax system is underpinned by willing participation, which is shown by four out of five of the largest businesses in Australia having obtained either a high or medium assurance rating.”

“Low assurance ratings prompt the ATO to conduct comprehensive and intensive reviews where we are more likely to use audits to resolve issues.”

“Although we cannot disclose the assurance ratings of individual taxpayers, we note that many are using a justified trust rating as a key performance indicator. We are seeing businesses with “high assurance” tax ratings informing their shareholders, employees and other stakeholders.”

The corporate tax transparency report also shows that the proportion of companies that have paid no income tax remains steady at 33% in 2019-20. This reflects a decline from 36% since the first report in 2013-14.

It is important to note that data in the report is taken directly from tax returns and does not reflect any intervention or compliance work after lodgment of the returns.

There are many reasons why companies pay no income tax. Income tax is paid on profits not revenue and legitimate business or economic factors may see companies pay no income tax due to operating losses, utilising losses from prior years, or projects operating in a start-up phase.

Many single entities that did not pay tax are members of a tax paying corporate group. At the economic group level, a total of 2,061 economic groups or standalone entities were to some degree in scope for the transparency report. Of these, 78% had a tax liability through one or more member entities.

“The ATO actively verifies that losses in the large market are not created through contrived schemes, but can be traced back to commercial operations. We subject companies that report sustained year-on-year losses to additional scrutiny,” Ms Saint said.

Corporate Tax Transparency Report

  • The ATO is required under law to publish tax information reported to us by certain large companies each year. This year’s tax transparency report covers 2,370 corporate entities, of which:
  • 1,378 are foreign-owned companies with an income of $100 million or more
  • 513 are Australian public entities with an income of $100 million or more
  • 479 are Australian-owned resident private companies with an income of $200 million or more.

The companies in the report paid a combined total of $57.2 billion, or around 65% of all corporate income tax in 2019-20.

Since the first report in 2013-14, there has been growth in total income, taxable income, and income tax payable. In 2019-20, the growth in these amounts has been largely driven by the mining sector, which accounted for around 44% of tax payable.

While the report reflects the impact of the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic (particularly on the wholesale, retail and services sector), it does not provide additional detail on recipients of JobKeeper or other stimulus payments.

Oil and gas sector

The highly concentrated taxpayer base of the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax (PRRT) allows a high level of ATO scrutiny.12 corporate entities paid $881 million in 2019-20, this is a slight decrease from the $1.06 billion paid by 11 corporate entities 2018–19. The decline in PRRT is primarily due to a fall in oil prices.

Large corporate groups income tax performance

Most large businesses do the right thing and are paying the right amount of tax, as reflected in our estimate of the large corporate group income tax gap.

For 2018–19, we estimate a net gap of 4.3% or $2.6 billion after ATO engagement, meaning large corporate groups paid over 95% of the theoretical total amount of income tax payable in 2018–19.

“Very few other revenue authorities calculate and publish tax gaps. This makes international comparisons difficult, but Australians can be reassured that large corporate groups are held to account more than any other sector of the economy,” Ms Saint said.

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