Service NSW have now provided further guidance on key aspects of the NSW business support payments including additional testing periods for the Decline in Turnover eligibility criteria.

Read on below for further detail on:

Decline in Turnover

Some additional flexibility is being provided when it comes to passing the decline in turnover test to access the NSW COVID-19 business grant, JobSaver and the micro-business grant.

Service NSW has updated their website which now indicates that businesses and non-profit entities can pass this test if they can show a decline in turnover of at least 30% due to the Public Health Order over a minimum 2-week period within the relevant test period compared to:
  • The same period in 2019;
  • The same period in 2020; or
  • The 2-week period immediately before the start of the relevant test period.
The test period is dependent on which payment you are applying for:
  • COVID-19 business grant: 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 (this is changed to 27 May 2021 to 17 July 2021 for entities on the NSW border with Victoria);
  • JobSaver and the micro-business grant: 26 June 2021 until the Greater Sydney lockdown ends.
Whilst this additional flexibility is particularly helpful for entities that have commenced business activities since the comparison period in 2019 and for entities that have undertaken an acquisition, disposal or restructure, Service NSW has confirmed that these new comparative tests are available to all businesses. 

Current GST Turnover

The NSW Government has confirmed our approach that when applying the decline in turnover test you need to use the same method for which you report turnover on your Business Activity Statement (BAS):

  • If the entity accounts for GST on an accrual basis, you should use this method.
  • If the entity accounts for GST on a cash basis, you should use this method.

Key Questions

Service NSW is fielding up to 20,000 calls a day on various aspects of the Business Support Payments. A number of key questions were posed on the Service NSW webinar last night which we have highlighted below:

Q: How long after submitting your application can you expect payment of the grants?

A: Over 104,000 business grant applications have been made along with 67,000 JobSaver applications. Service NSW aims to pay all eligible applicants within 5 days of approval but there have been significant delays in working through the approvals process. Service NSW has added hundreds of new staff members into the assessment and contact teams in the past weeks to get on top of the demand and have advised that the turnaround for approvals will improve significantly in the coming weeks.

Q: If your business has already made an application for the COVID-19 Business Grant but due to the new comparison test periods now available, the business could have applied for a higher grant, can the original application be withdrawn or amended?

A: Unfortunately Service NSW had not yet contemplated this. Their response was "this is something we need to take on notice and clarify."

Q: Is it enough just to meet the 30% or more decline in turnover or does the decline need to be because of COVID-19?

A: The decline in turnover needs to be because of the impacts of COVID-19 and all businesses should maintain appropriate evidence to support this. There has to be a clear linkage between a decline in turnover and the public health restrictions in place. 

Q: What happens if lockdowns are extended beyond 28 August?

A: If lockdowns are extended beyond 28 August and/or restrictions are relaxed for certain industries, businesses may be required to provide evidence to show that they continue to meet the eligibility criteria for financial assistance. This may include re-declaring the business continues to experience a decline in turnover of 30 percent or more.

Don't Meet the Eligibility Criteria?

There are several circumstances where a business may not meet the eligibility criteria and supporting evidence requirements, but may still be eligible for the Grant. These circumstances include: 

  • Businesses not operating for the full year to 30 June 2020 (e.g. new businesses);
  • Businesses affected by drought, bushfires or other natural disasters;
  • Business acquisition, disposal or business restructure that has impacted the business’ turnover;
  • A sole trader or small partnership impacted by sickness, injury or leave;
  • A business that previously existed but only registered for GST after 1 June 2021.

Businesses in these circumstances should contact Service NSW to determine if an alternate comparison period, or alternative supporting evidence, can be applied.

Here to Help

As always, the FMA team are across the detail and ready to answer any questions you may have. 

Contact our office on +61 2 9540 6888 or via email at 
If you are not on our mailing list please click here to subscribe.
Copyright © 2021 FMA Partners Pty Ltd, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp