State hands back $6.5m payroll tax
MORE than $6.5 million has been handed back to Townsville businesses as the State Government refunds payroll tax in the relief package.
Mundingburra MP Coralee O'Rourke said almost 300 businesses forced to shut down would be refunded payroll tax paid in January and February.
This comes as the State Government announced businesses would not pay payroll tax on JobKeeper payments.
"One of the biggest things I am focused on now is fighting to protect local jobs and giving Townsville businesses a break during these unprecedented times," Mrs O'Rourke said.
"Payroll tax paid by businesses this year has been refunded to help ease cash flow challenges they are facing, keeping locals in a job and local suppliers paid.
"Significant payroll tax refunds have also been paid to large state and national companies which employ Townsville locals."
A payroll tax holiday for March to May 2020 is available for small to medium sized businesses, and payroll tax payments from June until the end of December will be deferred until January next year.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said administrative arrangements had been fast-tracked to ensure payroll tax assessments did not include JobKeeper payments, providing additional effective relief of $360 million over six months to businesses employing Queenslanders.
"The Federal Government has decided to make JobKeeper a taxable allowance - that is, it will count as income when recipients come to file their tax return," Ms Trad said.
Federal MP Phillip Thompson called on the Townsville region Labor members to push for this change last week.
"Charging payroll tax on JobKeeper payments would have been kicking Townsville businesses in the guts while they were already down," Mr Thompson said.
But State Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper said Mr Thompson should look at why the Federal Government charged income tax on the JobKeeper payments.
"It's time to stand by the people of Townsville and not your mates in Canberra," Mr Harper said.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said while he applauded the JobKeeper initiative, it was time for Mr Thompson to look at the "unnecessary grab for tax" on the payments.
Originally published as State hands back $6.5m payroll tax