JobSaver Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund & Payroll Tax Updates 14 Sept 2021


Updated based on the information released on Service NSW website as of 6pm on 13 September 2021.

JobSaver Eligibility Confirmation Update 14 September 2021.

We note Service NSW has made changes to its website and requires the applicants to confirm eligibility from the fortnight 13 to 26 September 2021.The previous request to confirm eligibility for 30 August and 11 September has been removed. It is possible Service NSW will make further changes.

Please note, just because the confirmation for 13 to 26 September 2021 can now be made does not mean that businesses can project their turnover for 13 to 26 September 2021. They must wait to confirm the actual decline in turnover for this period before making a claim.

Based on the information available to professional bodies, it is possible that some businesses may oscillate in and out of JobSaver from one fortnight to the next.

Several Accounting & Taxation professional bodies were verbally advised by the NSW government

• There will be no delay in the fortnightly payment of NSW Covid Business Support for the period from 30 August and 12 September 2021

• There will be a public clarification issued by Service NSW of the intent of the email and the response expected from businesses and their advisers

We will share more details once they become available.

Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund

The NSW Government introduced Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund to provide support to smaller landlords whose main source of income is impacted by providing rent relief to retail or commercial tenants and those tenants have been financially impacted by the 2021 COVID-19 lockdown.

The Hardship Fund provides grants of up to $3,000 per month per retail or commercial lease to eligible small landlords who may experience hardship as a result of reducing rent for their tenant(s) under the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 (the Regulation).

The Program Guidelines can be found on the link below.

• Program Summary

• How the program works (what landlord must complete before applying)

• Eligibility Criteria (refer below)

• How to apply

• Application evidence required

• Grant amount

• Terms and use of funds

• Compliance and audit

• Other information

Please find extract from the guidelines - Eligibility criteria and How to Apply

Eligibility criteria

1.1 To be eligible for a grant under the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund applicants must:

(a) be a landowner or trustee with total taxable land holdings of less than $5 million (as at 31 December 2020, under the Land Tax Management Act 1956), including part holdings but excluding the value of a principal place of residence;

(b) have not claimed land tax relief for the relevant property for rent reductions between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021;

(c) have gross rental income as their primary source of income (gross rental income being more than 50% of total assessable income) for the 2019-20 financial year;

(d) be a landowner of the property for which an application is made;

(e) be the landowner of a New South Wales property subject to the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021;

(f) be a landlord with a current lease agreement that provides rent relief to the tenant(s) from 13 July 2021 that will not be claimed as 2021 land tax relief; and

(g) attest that providing rent relief to the tenant(s) may cause financial hardship

How to apply

2.1 Applicants must apply online via the Service NSW website. All questions in the application form must be answered to enable timely assessment and grant payment. The Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund will open for applications in October 2021.

We draw your attention to the following:

Land tax relief & Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund

The Hardship Fund will be provided to eligible landlord who is financially impacted by COVID-19 in 2021 and have not claimed any land tax relief for rent reductions provided between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021. If you qualify for land tax relief and the Hardship Fund, you may refer to the examples given in the Hardship Fund guidelines and decide which is a better option for you.

Program Budget

The government provided $40 million to the Hardship Fund and advised the funds are available until all funds from the hardship fund have been exhausted or when cessation of the Scheme as publicly announced, whichever is sooner. Eligible landlords are recommended to complete the process under the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme, have the required documents ready for the application which will be open in October.

Primary Source of Income requirements

Under the Guidelines, a landlord’s primary source of income is rental income if gross rental income being more than 50% of total assessable income.

It is unclear whether the gross rental in the context means gross rental from all the properties including residential and commercial properties held by the landlord, or gross rent from commercial properties affected by the lockdown.

For self-managed superfund landlords in pension phase, total assessable income is technically gross income less exempt current pension income. It is unclear how the 50% test calculation works under these circumstances.

Service NSW may provide further guidance on these issues after the application is open.

NSW: Further payroll tax relief

The NSW Government has announced further assistance for payroll taxpayers. Eligible taxpayers will have the option of deferring their payroll tax payments until 14 January 2022. However, they will still be required to lodge the 2020-21 annual reconciliation by the extended due date of 14 January 2022. They will also have the option of deferring their monthly payments for the July to December 2021 return periods until 14 January 2022. Further, after lodging their 2021 annual reconciliation, customers will have the option of paying any outstanding liability in full or entering a new Support Payment Arrangement.

Important: Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this newsletter. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se. Also changes in legislation may occur quickly. We therefore recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. Client Alert is issued as a helpful guide to clients and for their private information. Therefore it should be regarded as confidential and not be made available to any person without our prior approval.

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I would like to say that Loewy Consulting Partners provide prompt and helpful advice in processing my income tax and in dealing with the Australian taxation office and highly recommend their services to my colleagues. The staff are friendly and always available to assist with knowledgeable advice.

Dr Robert Mansberg
MB BS FRACP, Consultant Physician in Nuclear Medicine, Concord and Nepean Hospitals, Clinical Lecturer, Discipline of Imaging, University of Sydney