1. About the scheme
1.1 To support businesses to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and incentivise business growth by reducing the cost of running a business, the NSW Government is providing a Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate ('the Rebate') to help small businesses with the cost of government fees and charges.
1.2 The $3,000 Small Business Rebate Scheme replaces the previous $1,500 and $2,000 Small Business Rebate Scheme as part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery package. Small businesses already registered for the Small Business Rebate Scheme will not be required to re-register; these businesses will receive an automatic increase to their digital voucher. New businesses registering for the Scheme will receive one $3,000 digital voucher.
1.3 The rebate will be available from 1 April 2021 until 11:59pm, 30 June 2022. Businesses can claim the rebate against invoices that were due and paid from 1 March 2021.
1.4 Service NSW will deliver the Rebate on behalf of the NSW Government.
1.5 By applying for the Rebate, applicants agree that their application may be subject to an audit by the NSW Government or its representatives.
1.6 If information in the application is found to be untrue or misleading, Service NSW may seek to recover any payments. The matter may be referred to NSW Police and criminal penalties may apply.
2. Available funding
2.1 Eligible businesses and not-for-profits can apply for a one-off Rebate to the value of $3,000, which can be drawn down on multiple times until the full value of $3,000 is reached.
3. How the rebate is to be used
3.1 The Rebate is provided in the form of a digital credit, which businesses can draw down on to offset the cost of eligible NSW and local government fees and charges.
3.2 Businesses apply for the Rebate through Service NSW’s website, demonstrating proof of eligibility in line with the criteria set out below, at which point they are granted a digital credit to the value of $3,000.
3.3 Businesses are able to claim the Rebate through their Service NSW Business Profile account, upon submitting proof of payment of any of the applicable licence fees and charges.
3.4 Claims must be made by a legitimate applicant authorised to act on behalf of the eligible business.
4. Eligible businesses
4.1 Small businesses (including non-employing sole traders) and not-for-profit organisations are eligible for $3,000 worth of rebates on government fees and charges if they:
- have total Australian wages below the NSW Government 2020–21 payroll tax threshold of $1.2 million
- have their own Australian Business Number (ABN) registered and/or are physically located and operating in New South Wales. Only one $3,000 rebate is available for a single ABN.
Employing small businesses only are eligible to claim 50% of the cost of rapid antigen tests (RATs), up to the rebate value of $3,000.
Entities where passive income, such as rent, interest, dividends and royalties, is more than 50% of the business’ income are not eligible for the rebate. (Note: if passive income is more than 50% of a business’ income but the business is actively providing services that relate to the passive income, the business should contact Service NSW to discuss their circumstances).
5. Evidence in support of eligibility
5.1 Evidence in support of eligibility at the time of applying for the Rebate include:
- valid and active ABN.
6. Additional terms and conditions
6.1 Applicants can submit multiple claims for the Rebate up to the $3,000 cap – they do not have to exhaust the entire $3,000 entitlement in one go.
6.2 Applicants will be required to provide supporting documentation:
- at the time of application (eligibility for the Rebate)
- each time they draw down from the $3,000 to which they are entitled (evidence of having paid the NSW or local government fees or charges for which they are claiming a rebate).
- if the customer is claiming road tolls, a statement of the corporate E-toll or Linkt account associated with the small business is required
- if the small business is claiming the cost of RATs, evidence of being an employing small business.
6.3 Eligible businesses can only claim rebates for charges due and paid from 1 March 2021.
6.4 If the business does not use the full rebate entitlement, the balance will lapse after 30 June 2022.
6.5 If fees or charges exceed $3,000, the business is entitled to a rebate only up to the $3,000 cap.
6.6 If businesses have received a waiver through a previous NSW or local government COVID-19 relief scheme, they are still entitled to a waiver of that fee for the following year.
7. Applicable licence fees and charges
7.1 The Rebate covers NSW Government charges and fees and local council rates and charges related to the cost of doing business.
7.2 All NSW Government fees and charges will be eligible, excepting those that are specifically excluded under the exclusion criteria (see below).
7.3 Exclusion criteria include:
- fines and penalties
- fees and charges in place that have the key purpose of discouraging or inducing behaviour changes
- Commonwealth government charges
- rent on government premises
- NSW and Commonwealth Government taxes.
7.4 A list of exclusions is provided at Appendix A. The NSW Government reserves the right to make updates to the guidelines, including the list of exclusions, at any time.
7.5 Eligible government fees and charges must be incurred and paid between 1 March 2021 and 30 June 2022. If a government fee or charge is added to the list of eligible fees and charges following program go-live, a customer is eligible to claim the fee or charge if it was incurred between 1 March 2021 and 30 June 2022.
8. Inclusion of road tolls in the list of eligible fees and charges
8.1 To further support businesses with the cost of doing business in NSW, road tolls are now included in the Scheme’s list of eligible fees and charges. The policy intent of this inclusion is to assist in NSW’s economic recovery following the Public Health Orders for the COVID-19 Delta outbreak. The following terms and conditions apply when claiming the cost of road tolls:
- Only road tolls incurred between 1 March 2021 and 30 June 2022 are eligible,
- Road tolls must be incurred on NSW roads,
- Only road tolls that are paid to Linkt and E-Toll are eligible for the rebate,
- The vehicle must be used for the purposes of the Registered Business claiming the rebate, and
- The road toll must have been charged to the vehicle’s tag number on an E-Toll account or Linkt account held by the Registered Business.
Businesses can claim the full value of the $3,000 rebate against road tolls.
9. Inclusion of rapid antigen tests for business use in the list of eligible fees and charges
9.1 To assist small businesses with meeting the cost of rapid antigen tests (RATs), employing small businesses who are eligible for the Scheme can claim 50% of the cost of RATs purchased for business use, up to the rebate value of $3,000.
9.2 The following terms and conditions apply when claiming the cost of RATs:
- The small business must be an employing small business and upload evidence such as most recent Business Activity Statement (BAS) or Instalment Activity Statement (IAS) within the 2021–22 financial year, 2020–21 payroll tax reconciliation return, or a copy of the business' payroll report showing a W1 figure using Single Touch Payroll (STP).
- 50% of the cost of RATs can be claimed through the scheme, up to the rebate value of $3,000.
- Small businesses may choose to use none of the rebate value against the cost of RATs, and use the entire $3,000 against the cost of other government fees and charges.
- RATs must be used by the business claiming the rebate and cannot be on-sold or given away.
9.3 'COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test' means a COVID-19 rapid antigen self-test (for home use) that is approved by the Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.
10. Evaluation and reporting
10.1 The intent of the Rebate is to support businesses to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and incentivise business growth by reducing the cost of starting or running a business.
10.2 Service NSW will survey businesses at the end of the Rebate to gather data on whether the Rebate has supported this intent.
10.3 At the point of application businesses will be asked to tick a box if they consent to being contacted for monitoring and evaluation purposes, to establish a pool from which to draw.
If you are not sure if a fee or charge that you wish to claim for is excluded from the rebate, please contact Service NSW by calling 13 77 88.
The NSW Government reserves the right to make updates to the guidelines, including the list of exclusions, at any time.
Fines and penalties
- penalty notices under Schedule 2 of the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016
- late payment fees (Lord Howe Island Board)
- returned cheque fees (Lord Howe Island Board)
- late payment fees (property and commercial).
Fees and charges in place that have the key purpose of discouraging or inducing behaviour changes
- Transport for NSW:
- parking space levies.
- Liquor & Gaming NSW:
- compliance risk loadings (includes compliance risk loadings, patron capacity risk loadings and location risk loadings).
- NSW Environment Protection Authority:
- prevention notice fees
- clean-up notice fees
- compliance cost-recovery orders.
Commonwealth government charges
All fees and charges that are purely Commonwealth government charges are excluded from the Rebate.
Rent on government premises
- lease fees for commercial property on Crown land
- general trading licence fees.
NSW and Commonwealth government taxes
All NSW and Commonwealth government charges that are purely a tax are excluded from the Rebate, including:
- Transport for NSW
- passenger service levies
- taxi transfer levies.