The global COVID-19 pandemic has seen the cash flow dry up for many businesses, whether they’ve been instructed to temporarily close down operations or not. With less or no cash flow coming in, many businesses have been finding it difficult or impossible to continue paying their rent.
In a bid to ensure these retail shops and other commercial tenancies are able to continue operating when this is finally over, the Queensland Government has pledged $400 million in land tax relief for commercial property owners, which is to be passed on to their tenants. This is on top of over $3 billion of measures already announced this year to sustain all size businesses.
In an effort to ensure commercial property owners aren’t facing undue hardship, the state government is offering a three-month land tax rebate for the 2019-20 financial year. This will be followed up by a three-month land tax deferral in 2020-21 for any property owners who provide tenants affected by COVID-19 with rent relief.
Any commercial landowner can apply for land tax relief if they meet the following criteria:
- the landowner rents their property to tenant/s OR it is currently available for lease; AND
- due to COVID-19 pandemic, tenant/s are unable to pay rent OR the landowner is unable to secure a tenant; AND
- the landowner provides affected tenant/s with rent relief commensurate with the land tax rebate OR the landowner is unable to meet financial obligations because the property is unable to be leased; AND
- the landowner complies with the new leasing requirements, even if the lease is unregulated.
Rather than the land tax rebate applying to entire taxable holdings, it will only be applicable for properties that meet all of the above conditions and requirements. As long as eligibility is met for at least one tenancy in properties with multiple tenants such as mixed-use commercial developments, then the whole property will be eligible for this land tax rebate.
The State Government is doing what it can to provide financial support for both landlords and tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic. As long as all eligibility conditions and requirements are met, the land tax rebate will not need to be repaid.
Applications for the state government’s land tax rebate are open until 30 June 2020 via their website here.