NSW COVID-19 Support
Financial Support - Services NSW
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NSW Government Financial Support Update
Overview of three NSW COVID-19 business support schemes to help practitioners navigate support payments
Businesses in NSW impacted by COVID-19 can access, subject to separate eligibility criteria, the following business support payments:
COVID-19 Business Grants
COVID-19 Micro Business Grant
Note: the above are subject to change and are being updated on a continuous basis
Service NSW is responsible for implementing and administering these business support schemes. Whilst we have details around the eligibility rules for each of the above support measures, unless it is a simple or straight forward client scenario, we urge practitioners to wait for more guidance from Service NSW if in doubt.
The COVID-19 business grant applies for the first 3 weeks of the lockdown, namely 26 June to 17 July 2021. The one-off cash grant ranges from $7,500 to $15,000 depending on the decline in turnover over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. Only GST registered entities who have turnover between $75,000 to $50M for the year ended 30 June 2020 are eligible to apply. Sectors such as construction who have faced lockdown restrictions at a later point in the lockdown, may find eligibility for this grant problematic as the decline in turnover test applies over a 2 week period from 26 June to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. Southern border businesses have a different comparison period.
The COVID-19 micro-business grant presumably applies to entities who are not registered for GST and have aggregated annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 for the period ended 30 June 2020 on the proviso that this represents the primary income source for a person associated with the business. The entitlement is a fortnightly payment of $1,500 to cover business expenses during the lockdown. A turnover decline of 30% or more is required over a 2-week period commencing 26 June 2021 and ending on 30 July 2021, compared to same period in 2019. If the entity has applied for either the COVID-19 business grant or JobSaver payment, they are not eligible for this fortnightly payment. Payments apply from 26 June and can be backdated.
The JobSaver weekly payment kicks in from week 4 (from 18 July onwards) and is meant to supplement support to businesses who received the COVID-19 business grant and continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions. The fortnightly payment will be equivalent to 40% of the NSW weekly payroll, subject to a minimum amount of $1,500 and a maximum of $100,000. If you are a non-employing business such as a sole trader, you may be entitled to a payment of $1,000 per week.
Each of these schemes has strict eligibility criteria that must be met and supported by prescribed documentation. Each scheme allows some limited flexibility for alternative circumstances, but these are at the discretion of Service NSW. More guidance is expected to be released for alternative circumstances that will be allowed.
Successful applications may be subject to an audit and evidence must be kept for a minimum of 5 years. Tax practitioners are encouraged to seek assurances from their client that they are relying on the information provided when completing the accountants letter and that the client has not done anything deliberately different in the way it usually accounts for its revenue compared to prior periods. The type of assurance practitioners may require will vary depending on the circumstances.
Software packages such as IPA books, MYOB and Xero have provided functionality to assist practitioners in calculating the decline in turnover percentage between two periods.