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Small businesses in line for loans, grants and tax assistance in bushfire package

Support measures have been announced by the federal government to support small business affected by the devastating bushfires.

It is estimated that around 192,000 small businesses and sole traders have been impacted in the most severely affected areas and the package which includes loans, grants and some tax assistance has been devised in an attempt to get small business back on their feet.

The package includes:

  • Loans - Loans of up to $500,000 to businesses that have suffered significant loss of revenue. The loan would be up to 10 years and used to restore or replace damaged assets or for working capital.

    The loan would be available with a repayment holiday of up to two years, with no interest accruing during this period. The subsequent interest rate would be set at 50% of the ten-year Commonwealth government bond rate, currently around 0.6 per cent.
  • Grants - In addition to the disaster recovery grants put in place by state governments, the federal government is also providing top-up grants to eligible small businesses and non-profit organisations. This is uncapped and means that businesses and organisations that have been damaged as a result of the fires can access up to $50,000 in tax-free, grant funding.
  • Tax Assistance - Taxpayers in impacted postcodes now have until 28 May 2020 to lodge and pay business activity statements and income tax returns.

    Any businesses that pay their pay as you go instalments quarterly can now vary these instalments to zero for the December 2019 quarter and can claim a refund for any instalments made in the September 2019 quarter.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “This comprehensive package will make it easier for those who have suffered direct fire damage, or have been indirectly economically impacted following the bushfires, to get back on their feet”.

If you need help with any of the above, please call in at your local TaxAssist Accountants.

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