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CLIENT ALERT: 2021 COVID-19 NSW Business Grant

19 July 2021

The NSW Government has announced further details for the one-off payment to help businesses, sole traders or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions.

Grants between $7,500 and $15,000 are available to eligible businesses depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions.

Introduction

If you’re a business, sole trader or not-for-profit organisation in NSW and you’ve been impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible for a one-off grant of $7,500, $10,500 or $15,000.

The 2021 COVID-19 business grant provides cash flow support for businesses that experienced reduced demand or had to close due to the public health orders. Eligible applicants across NSW can use the grant for business costs incurred from 1 June 2021, including for utilities, wages and rent.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the grant, you must:

  • have an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • demonstrate your business was operating in NSW as at 1 June 2021
  • have had total annual Australian wages of $10 million or less as at 1 July 2020
  • have had an aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020
  • have business costs for which there is no other government support available
  • maintain your employee headcount as at 13 July 2021.

Three different grant amounts will be available depending on the decline in turnover experienced over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021, compared to the same period in 2019:

  • $7,500 for a decline of 30% or more
  • $10,500 for a decline of 50% or more
  • $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more.

Businesses and not-for-profit organisations on the NSW border with Victoria impacted by the stay-at-home orders that began on 27 May 2021 may use a different comparison period to demonstrate a decline in turnover. For each of the 3 grant amounts, these businesses must demonstrate a decline in turnover over a minimum 2-week period from 27 May 2021 to 17 July 2021.

What you need

  • a MyServiceNSW Account
  • your proof of identity
  • your valid ABN/ACN number
  • your business banking details for payment
  • Australian income tax return or Notice of Assessment
  • qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent details.

Evidence to support eligibility

If your business is not on the highly impacted industries list, you must:

  • declare that you meet the eligibility criteria
  • submit evidence that you experienced the relevant decline in turnover in the specified period
  • submit an Australian income tax return, Notice of Assessment or other documentation demonstrating the business had an aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020
  • lodge other supporting documents as required to demonstrate you meet the eligibility criteria.

If your business is on the highly impacted industries list, the same criteria above apply, however you only need to submit details of your qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent, unless your claim relates to eligibility for the $15,000 grant, in which case to receive the full amount, you must submit evidence that you experienced the relevant decline in turnover in the specified period.

Where evidence is required to show total annual Australian wages, and decline in turnover, this will be in the form of a letter from a qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent.

Decline in turnover

The NSW Government website advises that the Australian Taxation Office Goods and Services Tax (GST) concept will be applied when assessing whether an applicant experienced a 30% or more decline in national turnover.  This is the same as that used for JobKeeper purposes, and requires that a business must use the same cash or accruals accounting method as used for their BAS returns in determining their decline in turnover.

Aggregated annual turnover

The Australian Taxation Office income assessment concept will be applied when assessing whether an applicant had national aggregated annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive).  This requires a business to examine the turnover of their business and all connected entities to determine whether their turnover is within the threshold requirements.

Alternative circumstances

Businesses that cannot demonstrate the minimum $75,000 aggregated annual turnover or the minimum decline in turnover should contact Service NSW as they may still be eligible to apply if they:

  • were not operating for the full year to 30 June 2020 (e.g. they are a new business) but can demonstrate income consistent with $75,000 per annum over a shorter period prior to 26 June 2021, and they can demonstrate they have been significantly impacted by the Public Health Orders, or
  • their turnover in June/July 2019 was not representative of their usual or average turnover (e.g. due to drought or bushfires) which is usually $75,000 per annum or more, and they can demonstrate they have been significantly impacted by the Public Health Orders.

Auditing requirements

Successful applications may be subject to an audit. Service NSW can request a combination of the following documents to support its determination of eligibility and use of funds in accordance with this grant’s Terms and Conditions:

  • accountant’s letter
  • prior BAS statements
  • income tax declarations
  • audited profit and loss statements
  • receipts and invoices from purchases.

You’ll need to keep all documentary evidence relied upon in your application for a minimum of 5 years.

How to apply

  1. Check you meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. Have your documentation and evidence ready for uploading.
    Note: You cannot save and resume your application once you’ve started.
  3. Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
  4. Log in, or create your MyServiceNSW Account.
  5. Select and verify your identity documents.
  6. When your identity is verified, select ‘Continue’.
  7. Confirm your personal details.
  8. Enter your business details and answer the eligibility questions, then select ‘Next’.
  9. Provide information about your decline in turnover and upload your supporting documentation, then select ‘Next’.
  10. Enter your bank details, then select ‘Next’.
  11. Review your application.
  12. Check the declaration boxes.
  13. Select ‘Submit’ to complete your application.

When you submit your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email with your application reference number. If you do not receive this email within 5 minutes after completing your application, please check your junk mail folder, and then call 13 77 88 if you’re still unable to locate the email.

After your application is received, it will be reviewed by Service NSW, who will contact you if they need additional information to support your application. If your application is approved, Service NSW will transfer funds to your specified bank account within 5 business days from the approval date.

When to contact us

You will need to contact us to obtain an accountants letter to support the required decline in turnover if:

  1. Your business is outside the “highly impacted industries” list and you are making a claim; or
  2. Your business is on the “highly impacted industries” list and you are making a claim for $15,000 grant (tier 3)

We can also provide you with a copy of your 2020 income tax return where required, or assistance with finalisation and lodgement of your 2020 income tax return if not already completed.

If you supply our details to Service NSW for possible compliance checking, you should also let us know so we can support you if compliance checking takes place.

For further details on eligibility criteria and to apply, visit  Apply for the 2021 COVID-19 business grant.

Download the detail in this Client Update.