05 Oct 2021

COVID-19 affected Canberra commercial landlords eligible for land rates rebates up to $10,000

Commercial land owners in the Australian Capital Territory are eligible for land rates exemptions of up to $10,000 if they have been impacted by COVID-19 between 1 August 2021 and 31 December 2021, with the specific amount of the exemption being determined by whether the particular owner operates through a business tenant or directly on the land.  

Who is eligible?

Under the Rates (Commercial Land) Exemption 2021 (No 2) (ACT), which is taken to have commenced on 1 August 2021, an owner of commercial land in the ACT is eligible for a rates rebate if:

  1. the owner has not received, or been awaiting a decision on, an application for assistance under the COVID-19 Small Business Hardship Scheme;
  2. the owner operates the business either:
    1. directly on the land; or
    2. through a business tenant:
      1. who has received reduced (and not deferred) rent for a period of at least four weeks between 1 August 2021 and 31 December 2021; and
      2. the reduced rent arrangement commences between 1 August 2021 and 31 December 2021; or
      3. the reduced rent arrangement commenced after 1 April 2020 but before 1 August 2021, and the arrangement has continued into 1 August 2021; and
  3. the business has:
    1. made an annual turnover of less than $50 million in FY2020/2021 or is expected to have an annual turnover of less than $50 million in FY2021/2022; and
    2. made a turnover for any month from 1 August 2021 onwards that falls short of the business turnover for a comparison month in 2019 or 2020 by 30% or more; or
    3. not carried on business in 2019 or 2020, but otherwise satisfies ACT Revenue that the business is an affected business for the purposes of the exemption.

When to apply and how much will your rebate be?

If you are an eligible owner, you can apply to the ACT Revenue Commissioner to have your eligibility for an exemption confirmed. Applications must be submitted on or before 28 February 2022.

Once your eligibility is confirmed, you are eligible to receive:

  • if you operate a business directly on the land: rates exemption equal to 80% of the land rates for quarters 1 and 2 of 2021-2022 on that land, or $10,000, whichever is lower; or
  • if you operate through a business tenant: rates exemption equal to 50% of the total value of the rent reduction in the period between 1 August 2021 and 31 December 2021, or $10,000, whichever is lower.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.