COVID-19 Assistance

The ACT Government is delivering tax relief measures to help businesses and households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out what support you may be eligible for below.

If you require any further information, you can call us on (02) 6207 0028.

For more information about other support included in the COVID-19 Economic Survival Package, please visit the COVID-19 website.

Payroll tax waiver

  • A six-month payroll tax waiver, from April to September 2020, is available for businesses whose operations are directly impacted by the prohibited activities list due to COVID-19.
  • To apply for a waiver, please complete this Payroll tax waiver form.
  • If your application is approved, you will need to continue lodging returns as normal, however, no payment is required during the waiver period.
  • If you lodge annually, the waiver will be applied to your annual reconciliation return, which is due on 21 July 2020. The amount will be calculated at 25% of the total tax payable.

Payroll tax deferral

  • If part of a group all ACT businesses with group Australia-wide wages of up to $10 million can defer their 2020-21 payroll tax, interest free until 1 July 2022. All ACT businesses that are not part of a group with Australia-wide wages of up to $10 million can defer their 2020-21 payroll tax, interest free until 1 July 2022.
  • To apply for deferral, please complete this Payroll tax deferral form.
  • For information about payroll tax and grouping, please see our Payroll tax page.

Construction deferral for payroll tax

  • ACT businesses in the construction industry can defer their payroll tax liability, interest-free for six months from April to September 2020.
  • To apply for a deferral, please complete this Construction industry payroll tax deferral application.

Payroll tax exemption of JobKeeper payments

  • Businesses are exempt from any payroll tax on wages subsidised by the Commonwealth JobKeeper payment scheme from 30 March 2020.

Delay of Q4 commercial rates assessments

  • Issuing of 2019-20 Quarter 4 commercial general rates notices has been delayed by four weeks to provide cash flow support to businesses. These will be payable one month after the date of issue.
  • Due dates for 2020-21 instalments will be gradually transitioned back to the regular timing.

Financial hardship

  • If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible to defer payment of your rates on your principal place of residence, interest-free for up to one year.
  • To apply for deferral, please complete this Rates deferral COVID-19 hardship application form.

Delay of Q4 residential rates and land tax assessments

  • Issuing of 2019-20 Quarter 4 residential rates instalments and land tax assessments has been delayed by four weeks to provide cash flow support to households. These will be payable one month after the date of the issue.
  • Due dates for 2020-21 instalments will be gradually transitioned back to the regular timing.

Rates rebate

  • From 1 July 2020, a rates rebate of $150 will be applied to all residential properties in the ACT.
  • In addition, there will be no increase in the Fire and Emergency Services Levy; the amount will be frozen at the 2019-20 rate.
  • These will be automatically applied to your 2020-21 rates bill, so you do not need to apply.

Rates rebate

  • From 1 July 2020, a rates rebate of $150 will be applied to all residential properties in the ACT.
  • In addition, there will be no increase in the Fire and Emergency Services Levy; the amount will be frozen at the 2019-20 rate.
  • This assistance will be automatically applied to your 2020-21 rates account, so you do not need to apply.

Land tax credit

  • Landlords, who reduce rent on their privately rented properties by at least 25% due to COVID-19, may be eligible for a land tax credit to cover 50% of the rental reduction, up to a limit of $1,300 per quarter.
  • If your application is approved, we will apply this contribution as a reduction to your land tax account.
  • To apply for a land tax credit please complete the Land tax credit application form.

Commercial rates rebate

  • A rates rebate of $2,622 will be applied to commercial properties with an average unimproved value (single property or unit) of $2 million or below.
  • The rebate amount will be automatically applied against any outstanding charges on your account and rolled over to future rates charges.
  • The issuing and due date of instalment notices for the 4th quarter 2019-20 for commercial properties has been delayed by 1 month.
  • If you are having trouble paying your commercial rates, please contact the debt team on debtmanagement@act.gov.au.

Commercial tenancy relief

  • Commercial landlords of properties with an average unimproved value (AUV) of $2m or below, with tenants who have been directly impacted by COVID-19, can apply for rent reduction support if they reduce rent for their tenants.
  • Support will be provided based on the following tiered category system:
Category 1

Businesses partially or not affected (no more than 30 per cent reduction in business income).

  • Business tenants should continue to pay rent and no rental reduction assistance will be provided by the ACT Government.
Category 2

Businesses significantly affected (at least 30 per cent reduction in business income) but still operating.

  • Landlords with business tenants in this category, can receive 25 per cent of rent reduction provided to tenants as a rebate from the government, capped at the lower of $5,000 per quarter (or around $380 per week) or total quarterly rates.
  • Owner-operated properties can receive a rebate equal to 50 per cent of their rates, capped at $5,000 per quarter (or around $380 per week).
Category 3

Businesses who have effectively shut-down operations (at least 80 per cent reduction in business income).

  • Landlords with business tenants in this category, can receive 50 per cent of rent reduction provided to tenants as a rebate from the government, capped at the lower of $8,000 per quarter (or around $615 per week) or total quarterly rates.
  • Owner-operated properties can receive a rebate equal to 80 per cent of their rates, capped at $8,000 per quarter (or around $615 per week).

  • If you are a landlord of commercial property with an AUV of $2m or less, renting to one or more tenants who fit into category 2 or 3, you can apply by completing the Commercial rates credit: Landlords application.
  • If you are the owner-operator of commercial property with an AUV of $2m or less and your business income has been impacted in the same way as category 2 or 3, you can apply for a rebate by completing the Commercial rates credit: Owner-operators application.
  • If you are the owner of commercial property with an AUV of more than $2m, you can still apply to the Government for assistance. However, the extent of support will depend on your circumstances. Click here to find out how to apply.
  • The City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy (CCMIL) will be reduced by 50 per cent for the 2020-21 financial year.
  • The balance of the payment will be deferred until February 2021 to help alleviate financial pressure on commercial property owners within the levy collection area. (Note: CCMIL is applied to all rateable commercial properties in the City and some selected areas of benefit in Braddon)

The ACT Government is offering stamp duty concessions in the ACT for some home buyers planning to live in their new property.

The following concessions will apply to contracts exchanged between 4 June 2020 and 30 June 2021:

  • No stamp duty on single residential dwelling blocks.
  • No stamp duty on off-the-plan unit (unit-titled apartment and townhouses) purchases up to $500,000.
  • An $11,400 stamp duty reduction for off-the-plan unit (unit-titled apartment and townhouses purchases between $500,000 and $750,000.
Eligibility requirements include:
  • Contracts must be signed and exchanged from 4 June until 30 June 2021
  • at least one buyer must live in the home continuously for at least one year, starting within 12 months of settlement or completion of construction.
  • the concessions relating to off the plan ‘units’ refer only to unit-titled apartments or townhouses.
  • the concession relating to ‘single residential dwelling blocks’ mean the land must be vacant when you purchase it, and the land title must only allow one residence/house to be built on the land.

Eligible new homeowners will be identified as part of the settlement process.

Further information is available at: Taxation Administration (Owner Occupier Duty) COVID-19 Exemption Scheme Determination 2020 DI2020-205

Questionnaire

To determine your eligibility and apply for this concession, complete the online questionnaire.

The Commonwealth Government announced a new HomeBuilder Grant (Grant) to provide economic support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Grant is available to eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a Grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.

The ACT Government is working with the Commonwealth Government to implement this program in the ACT, more information is available on the HomeBuilder Grant webpage.

The information on this page is current as at 14 July 2020.