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Further land tax relief for landlords and business owners

On 20 August 2020, the Victorian Government announced further land tax relief for landlords and business owners to extend the commercial & residential tenancy relief schemes until 31 December 2020.


What is the further land tax relief?

  • For landlords of commercial & residential properties who provide eligible tenants with a 50% or more outright rent waiver for at least three months – the landlord will receive an increased 50% waiver of the property's 2020 land tax, and payment of the remaining tax can be deferred to 31 March 2021.
  • Owner-occupiers of commercial properties can obtain a 25% waiver of the property's 2020 land tax and payment of the remaining tax can be deferred to 31 March 2021, if their business meets the conditions in either of these two categories:

 

  1. For a licensed pub, club or restaurant under a general, full club or on-premises liquor licence:
  • at the premises level, annual turnover was no greater than $50 million in either the 2018-19 or 2019-20 financial year; and
  • turnover at that premises has reduced by at least 30% since March 2020

 

     2. For other businesses

  • annual aggregated turnover was no greater than $50 million in either the 2018-19 or 2019-20 financial year; and
  • they are eligible for, and participating in, the Australian Government's JobKeeper Payment.

Continue to provide rent relief?

Commercial landlords who apply for the land tax relief must continue to provide rent relief that complies with the requirements of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme – as explained in our previous Tax Alert.

 

We note that some guidelines were issued recently by the Small Business Commissioner which required that the reduction in turnover experienced by a commercial tenant be proportionately recognised in the rent relief offered by landlords.  This principle is now likely to be legislated, which may give the Small Business Commissioner the power to enforce such legislation against Landlord's who refuse to acknowledge rent relief requests.

 

At this time, we have no specific detail in relation to how such an enforceable power may work in practice.  As more detailed information becomes available, we will continue to provide further guidance.


How do you apply?

If you have previously applied for a 25% waiver and you want to apply for this further relief, you must make a new application through the "My Land Tax" platform on the Victorian SRO website – click here.

 

We note that the Victorian SRO has indicated there may be some delays with the application process while the "My Land Tax" platform is being updated to deal with these additional relief measures.


Please do not hesitate to contact your Lowe Lippmann Relationship Partner if you wish to discuss any of these matters further