22/11/2021 - 15:25

Industry warns on taxing lockdown grants

22/11/2021 - 15:25

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Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA has condemned “concerning” reports that businesses may be forced to pay tax on grants they received during COVID-19.

Industry warns on taxing lockdown grants
Photo: David Henry

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA has condemned “concerning” reports that businesses may be forced to pay tax on grants they received during COVID-19.

In a statement from the industry body today, chief economist Aaron Morey said it was critical that modest lockdown payments for WA businesses were not taxed away.

The response comes in the wake of an article published on Sunday claiming the federal government told the WA Treasury businesses were unlikely to meet tax exemption requirements.

According to the article, the Department of Treasury told WA Treasury there would need to be significant disruption for a business to qualify for tax exemptions.

The industry body has rejected this assessment, contesting that more than 66 per cent of its WA members had reported reduced turnover during the last economic lockdown.

“Reports that the ATO has advised WA Treasury that lockdown payments will be subject to tax, are concerning,” Mr Morey said.

“In the last economic lockdown, WA businesses suffered an average financial impact of $26,864,”

“More than half suffered cancellations and lost bookings.”

The chamber has also stood behind comments made by WA Small Business Minister Reece Whitby, who reportedly told media the state was being punished for its successes in managing COVID-19.

CCIWA said it had written to the federal treasurer to urge the government to exempt lockdown support from tax.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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