Victoria’s Economic Response COVID19

30 June

Additional relief for hot zone businesses

The Premier of Victoria has issued a statement advising a return to Stage 3 lockdown protocols for ten Melbourne postcodes affecting 36 suburbs. These postcodes will remain at Stage 3 Restrictions at least until 29 July. Local businesses in these postcodes who were previously eligible for a Business Support Fund grant or a payroll tax refund will receive $5,000 from the Victorian Government.

2 June

Relief on JobKeeper payments

Businesses participating in the JobKeeper scheme in Victoria will be exempt from payroll tax and the WorkCover premium on payments to their employees if their staff are currently stood down.


Rent relief for tenants – land tax relief landlords

In Victoria, rent increases and evictions will be illegal for six months and tenants will be able to access assistance payments of up to $2000 under new laws to be introduced next week. The relief and protections in this legislation echo the decisions of the National Cabinet to support tenants and landlords through the coronavirus pandemic by reforming residential and commercial tenancy laws. Landlords will in turn receive 25% discount on their land tax bill and be able to defer land tax payment until March 2021. This relief is also available to land owners who are unable to secure a tenant because of COVID-19. For commercial landlords to be eligible, the property must be rented to a tenant with an annual turnover of up to $50 million, and the tenant must be eligible for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper Payment.

Code of Conduct Commercial Tenancies

Consistent with the National Cabinet agreement to implement a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies, the Government has legislated that eligible small and medium sized businesses can be granted rental waivers or deferrals.

Read our analysis on the Code of Conduct.

Payroll Tax Relief

Employers who pay annual taxable wages of up to $3 million may be eligible for the following measures:

  • Payroll tax for the remainder of the 2019-20 financial year waived
  • Refund of payroll tax paid in the 2019-20 financial year
  • Deferral of payroll tax for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year until January 2021

Eligible businesses will be sent more information on the relief measures, however you can contact the State Revenue Office of Victoria or the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 for more information.

Further information can be found at

Relief for those who don’t normally pay payroll tax

A $10,000 grant for businesses who don’t already pay payroll tax because their wages bill falls under the monthly threshold of $54,166.

Licensing fees

Liquor licensing fees for 2020 will be waived for affected venues and small businesses. Businesses that have already paid will be reimbursed.

Land tax

Land owners due to pay 2020 land tax that have at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million have the option of deferring their 2020 land tax payment until after 31 December 2020. The State Revenue Office will contact all taxpayers who are eligible for this deferral.

Commercial tenants in government buildings

Commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief.

Business Support Fund

The $500 million Business Support Fund will provide one-off grants of $10,000 to support affected businesses in the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation and food services, arts and entertainment, health and beauty services, retail other than supermarket, groceries, liquor and pharmacy businesses, and other services such as real estate agents as assessed against the criteria.

The Fund eligibility criteria now also includes include all businesses with a wages bill less than the payroll tax threshold of $650,000 that are participating in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper program, regardless of the sector they operate in. Applications are open until 1 June 2020.

Grants can be used towards business costs such as rent, utilities and salaries, and activities to support business continuity planning, such as seeking financial and legal advice.


Working for Victoria Fund

Under the $500 million Working for Victoria Fund, displaced workers will be eligible to apply for different types of work. Employers can register their requirements for talent and connect with candidates who meet their business needs.