Monthly Archives: September 2021

Relief for commercial landlords

Relief is available to those commercial landlords who have given rent relief under the 2021 revised Commercial Rent Relief Scheme.

Under that scheme landlords are required to provide the following relief to their tenants:-

  • A reduction in rent commensurate with the decline in the business’s turnover.

  • Half of that reduction is to be waived permanently.

  • The other half is to be paid on a deferred basis.

  • Not evict any tenant.

  • Not to charge any outgoings where the tenant can’t occupy the building.

  • Extend the lease on the same terms as the period of rent relief.

You can read more at –

As part of this process, landlords are required to issue an acceptance letter.

To support landlords, the State Government has announced the following relief:-

  • A 25% Land Tax Relief (which is additional to any previous reduction).

  • A deferral of any residual Land Tax for the 2020 and 2021 years until 31st May 2022.

  • Small landlords who consequentially suffer hardship can receive up to $6,000 under the Commercial Hardship Fund #3. Small landlords are those with holdings of less than $3,000,000.

  • This grant can be increased to $10,000 where a landlord suffers acute hardship. Acute has been defined as where rent represents 70% or more of total gross income – with gross meaning income before deductions.

Applications close by 15th January 2022.

At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the revised Land Tax application form.

We will be in touch when the Land Tax applications open.


Statutory declaration for Victorian rent relief scheme

One of the requirements for the 2021 Victorian rent relief Scheme  is for the tenant to provide a Statutory Declaration.

You can access a Victorian Statutory Declaration by clicking here.

And you can read more about the scheme at

But please do so quickly as applications lodged before Friday result in the rent relief being back dated to 28th July.  Any applications lodged after that date will only receive rent relief from the date of application.

Important actions to obtain Victorian Small Business Rent Relief

A new rent relief system is now open to Victorian small businesses. 

Whilst it is similar to last year’s system, there are some important differences including:-

  • A tightened process (partly in light of the previous scheme relying on the fall in turnover as declared within the JobKeeper application).

  • Deemed acceptance of application for relief.

  • Mandatory re-assessment of rent relief (more later).

  • A two stage process.

What follows is a summary of the system and what you need to action; it is not a complete summary as that would cause this summary to lose clarity in favour of obscure scenarios not relevant to our clients.  Please also keep in mind that there will no doubt be changes and clarifications to this system (of which we will keep you aware by blogs on our web page).

So what is the relief available where there has been a 30% or more fall in turnover?

  • A reduction in rent proportional to the extent that turnover has fallen.

  • Half of that reduction is to be waived; the other half is to be deferred (and this will be on top of any amount deferred from last year’s program).

  • No rent increases during the period of relief (being from 28th July 2021 or latter qualifying date until 15th January 2022).

  • Tenants cannot be evicted.

What is turnover?

  • Turnover is your income – sales, fees, commissions etc.

  • Turnover is measured as per your GST method. That will be cash for the vast majority of small businesses. 

Tips and traps in respect of calculating turnover include

  • Make sure you test within your accounting software on your GST basis.

  • State covid grants are included.

  • Unlike the prior scheme, supplies within a GST group are now included.

  • Exclude input taxed supplies.

  • Includes GST free supplies.

  • For those on accrual for GST purposes, bad debts do not reduce turnover but discounts and credits do.

  • Beware of adjustment events and insurance settlements.

For most it should be relatively straight forward.  For others turnover for this scheme will not be the same as reported at G1 on a BAS.

What is the qualifying test?

  • For business trading before 1st Aril 2019 – compare three whole consecutive calendar months from 1st April 2021 to 30th September 2021 to the same three months in 2019.

  • For business that started trading between 1st Aril 2019 and 31st March 2020 – compare three whole consecutive calendar months from 1st April 2021 to 30th September 2021 to the average monthly turnover to 31st March 2020.

  • For business that started trading between 1st Aril 2020 and 31st March 2021 – compare three whole consecutive calendar months from 1st April 2021 to 30th September 2021 to the average monthly turnover to 31st July 2021.

  • For business that started trading after 1st April 2021 – parties must negotiate in good faith.

  • There are again alternative tests (which we briefly summarise as applying where natural disasters or sole trader unable to work).

Other key features of the system

  • Must be running a small business (turnover under $50,000,000).

  • Non for profits and charities also qualify.

  • Must have a lease agreement.

  • A business need not be registered for GST.

  • Landlords are under an obligation to consider waiving outgoings during the relief period if the tenant is unable to occupy the property.

  • A landlord must offer an extension to the lease term proportional to the period of rent relief.

What are the two steps I must satisfy in order to obtain rent relief?

  • Lodge an application.

  • Then provide

    supporting evidence within 14 days of lodging the application.

The Victorian Small Business Commission has provided two letters with which to lodge an application

  • A letter for both applying and submitting required information –  you can access it by clicking here.
  • A letter with which to make the initial application and a further letter with which to subsequently supply the required information –  you can access it by clicking here.

We are unable to link the documents at this time so please ask us for a copy.

One or more of the following items of information need to be supplied

  • Extracts from accounting records.

  • Bank statements.

  • A BAS or BAS’s that cover the period

  • Statement from a practising accountant.

  • AND a statutory declaration signed by yourself attesting that the information provided is true. 

It is your choice as to what you release so you can rightly elect not to release one of these items if you consider it too sensitive.  Furthermore, you are not under any obligation to release financial statements if requested.

A major change within this scheme is the introduction of a mandatory re-assessment.  By 31st October the tenant and landlord must check in and assess whether circumstances have changed (such as ending or extending lockdown) and adjust the rent relief accordingly.

Of utmost importance is the need to apply by 30th September to have any relief back dated to 28th July.  Applications after that date will only receive relief from the date of application. 

Two words of warning

  • So what if you have only suffered a decline in turnover since July or August? You might not have qualified yet but may well do so by the end of this month.  Perhaps it is best to apply to ensure you are entitled for back dated relief should you qualify.  If it turns out that you don’t qualify then you can withdraw your application and/or fail to supply the required information meaning that your claim is annulled.

  • If this system proves to be like JobKeeper, then we can expect modifications and clarifications. Please return to our web page blogs for updates.

Please note that we will shortly set out the relief available to landlords.

Who is to apply? 

  • As an accountant and tax agent, we are registered at act on your behalf with bodies such as the ATO and ASIC.  We don’t though have any dealings, association or authority with your landlord.  So as with last year’s rent relief system¸ we won’t be acting on your behalf unless you instruct us to do so and notify your landlord of our engagement.  If we do assist you with one or more parts of this process you will still need to sign a statutory declaration.

Please do act promptly to ensure any current entitlement is secured by the cut off date of 30th September.

We welcome any question you may have. 



The rundown on the expanded covid business grants

In a joint press release yesterday, the state and federal governments announced an expansion to the state covid business grants.

There is no across the board support.  Rather the payments to existing covid business grants will be increased. 

The key takeaways are as follows.

Small Business Covid Hardship Grant

  • The one-off payment entitlement has been increased from $14,000 to $20,000.

  • The press release stated that the application deadline of this coming Friday would be extended – but then went on to say that applications will close on 10th September!  The state web page still states 10th September (or until allocated funds run out).  Whatever it is the sooner the application goes in the sooner it gets paid.  And that all said, if the deadline is extended then more business will qualify.

  • The program was designed to cover those who “slipped through the cracks” but many small business that are suffering miss out on this as there turnover has not fallen by more than 70% over a two week period and done so due to covid.  That said, if you pay your GST on cash basis, don’t assume you don’t qualify.  One new client we picked up during the week was told by their accountant that they did not qualify – but they genuinely did!  

Business Costs Assistance Program

  • Businesses that are closed and appear on set list of industries can receive weekly payments of either $2,800, $5,600 or $8,400 (depending on payroll size).  The funds are paid to cover the cost of wages, rent, utilities, etc.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund

  • Payments are being automatically made to those previous recipients.

Covid Disaster Payment

  • Employees who have lost hours of work can receive a weekly payment under this federal payment.

  • It can also be claimed by micro businesses that do not qualify for the Hardship Grant.

In these difficult and uncertain times we welcome any question you may have.

In the meantime, we will continue to work through our client base to make sure all small businesses receive the grants they are entitled to.  

And may I take the opportunity to remind you to support your local small businesses.  Not only do they employ two-thirds of the workforce, they are the ones who support all the local sporting clubs, school fetes and the like.  Now is the time to return the favour!