Millions of dollars in cash support has begun flowing to businesses through the largest tax refund package in modern New Zealand history.
Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says the first week of operation of the $3 billion loss carry-back scheme has seen hundreds of applications refunded by IRD. A second support package, the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme, has also gone live.
“More than $62 million in tax refunds have been paid in the first week, to 676 businesses who applied under the loss carry-back provisions,” Mr Nash said. “The tax refunds are a cash lifeline for businesses with non-wage fixed costs, like rent, interest and insurance. Without this support these otherwise viable SMEs may be forced to close.
“My strong advice to businesses is to talk to their accountant, bookkeeper or tax agent, or log onto the MyIR portal, to ensure they take advantage of the government support as quickly as possible.
“A second package of support is available through the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme. It is now officially open for business, from today to 12 June. Payments will be made within 5 days of a loan being approved.
“The scheme is already proving very popular. In just the first couple of hours after it opened this morning, more than 6,000 businesses applied for a loan. The total applied for so far exceeds $100 million.
“So whether you are a sole trader, wanting to borrow up to $11,800 interest free, or have 50 staff and want to borrow up to $100,000 interest free, go online to the MyIR site and check out the details.
“In just a couple of weeks, IRD has built an entirely new system to process applications for loans that are interest free if repaid in the first year. These are an important source of working capital for businesses.
“Around 98% of IRD staff in the Capital are working from home during the lockdown. It is a testament to their skills and tenacity that the small business loan scheme has been stood up in such a short space of time.
“The scheme has been brought to life by some of the best public servants in New Zealand, working from their kitchen tables and home offices. They have given specialist briefings to tax agents and the accounting profession to help businesses apply. They have trained call centre staff and dedicated web teams to help answer technical questions. I am grateful for their service,” Mr Nash said.