The Government has announced new financial support for businesses and organisations affected by the Omicron outbreak.
- New targeted COVID-19 Support Payment for the most affected businesses. Applications for the first payment open on 28 February.
- Top-up loan available under the Small Business Cashflow Scheme. This will be available by the end of March.
- Flexibility on tax payment terms extended by Inland Revenue.
COVID-19 Support Payment (CSP)
A new COVID-19 Support Payment will be available for businesses struggling with a business downturn during the Omicron outbreak.
Each COVID-19 Support Payment will be $4,000 per business plus $400 per full-time employee (FTE), capped at 50 FTEs or $24,000.
Businesses will have to show a 40% drop in 7 consecutive days within the 6 weeks prior to the shift to Phase 2 of the Omicron response on 15 February, compared to 7 days after that date.
Applications for the first payment open on 28 February 2022 with payments starting from 1 March. The Government has announced the payments will be available on a fortnightly basis for 6 weeks (3 payments in total).
More information is available on the Inland Revenue website at ird.govt.nz/csp
Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme
The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme grants eligible businesses an interest free loan (up to a capped maximum), if they repay it within 2 years.
The scheme was extended, broadening eligibility, and extending its availability to 31 December 2023.
Businesses or organisations that have fully repaid their loan before the end of 2023 can re-borrow.
In February 2022, the Government announced that the first two years of accrued base interest on all borrowers who have, or will, take out a loan, will be removed (meaning interest will only start accruing at the beginning of year 3).
A new top up loan will allow firms that have already accessed a loan to draw down an additional $10,000 with a new repayment period of five years, the first two years being interest free.
How to Apply
Businesses can apply for the SBCS and the top-up loan in their myIR account.
The details about the application process, including eligibility, and the loan's terms and conditions, are on the Inland Revenue website at ird.govt.nz/sbcs.
If you are considering applying, please ensure you read the terms and conditions.
Flexibility on Payment Terms
Inland Revenue can help with both GST and provisional tax due. Inland Revenue has discretion to grant extensions to filing dates for some income tax returns. Extensions can't be granted for PAYE & GST returns, but late filing penalties may be remitted. Under limited circumstances, late payment penalties may also be remitted.
If you are not able to pay your tax on time because of COVID-19, you can pay it off over time through an installment arrangement. You can set this up yourself, or give us a call to discuss your options.