On late Monday afternoon, the Queensland Government announced a new gaming tax relief scheme for pubs and clubs in the state, similar to those launched in other states across the country.
The Palaszczuk Government announced that from 1 April, the state’s 1100 pubs and clubs would be able to defer their gaming taxes for three months.
“Queensland pubs and clubs need our help to get through the coronavirus crisis. They’re the heart and soul of communities throughout the State and we’re determined to help them through these challenging times,” stated Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath.
“From April through to June, we’re delivering a three-month gaming tax deferral for pubs and clubs.”
The tax deferrals are worth roughly $50 million to the sector.
“In addition to this, around 50 licensees who have already paid their gaming machine taxes for March will have a total of $1.4 million returned to them.
“These measures come on top of the $22.7 million the government has already waived in liquor licensing renewal fees for 2020/21,” concluded D’Ath.
QHA CEO Bernie Hogan told Australian Hotelier that while the Association welcomed the tax relief, it is still lobbying for those taxes to be waived rather then deferred.
“The QHA thinks that this is a great first step. It shows that the Government understands that cash is absolutely king at the present time, and that cash flow is going to keep some Queenslanders still employed. So it’s a good, targeted tax relief package which works well with the larger suite of business relief initiatives the government has brought in.”
Hogan continued: “This is a good start. Like they’ve done in other states, it’s a deferral of the tax, and what we’ve got to do, thinking out to the other end of this shutdown period when the restrictions get lifted, is that we need to support the recover. So we’re still asking for a waiver of those taxes, otherwise it’s going to hinder recovery. I’m quite certain the Queensland Government understands that.”
At present, the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming (OLGR) has been tasked with examining options to allow for flexibility in how the gaming machine tax is to the repaid, including instalment plans. An OLGR spokesperson told Australian Hotelier that the Commissioner will consult with the industry peak bodies in considering suitable options.