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This webpage has everything you need to know about COVID-19 in one place. Find-out what help is available, get advice from industry experts and read the latest updates.


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COVID-19: BNH Support
COVID-19: BNH Support
COVID-19: Legal Implications (1)
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COVID-19: Mental Resilience
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COVID-19: Working Remotely
COVID-19: Working Remotely
COVID-19: Accounting Implications
COVID-19: Accounting Implications
COVID-19: General Business Implications
COVID-19: General Business Implications

Tax and Business Support Options


The COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme has been modified. This is to help businesses that need to shut down under Alert Level 4 pay workers for an extended period of time.

The modified wage subsidy scheme will support employers and their staff to maintain an employment connection and ensure an income for affected employees, even if the employee is unable to actually work any hours. Applications for the modified wage subsidy scheme will be open until New Zealand moves down from COVID-19 Alert Level 4. Applications can be made on the Work and Income website.

The wage subsidy scheme:

  • supports employers adversely affected by COVID-19, so that they can continue to pay their employees;
  • supports workers to ensure they continue to receive income, even if they are unable to work.

Use the Wage Subsidy Eligibility Tool.


There are a number of business cash flow and tax measures that have been announced, including:

  • Giving Inland Revenue the discretion to remit use-of-money interest (UOMI) for customers significantly adversely affected by COVID-19.
  • Increasing the provisional tax threshold from $2,500 to $5,000 from 2020/2021.
  • Increasing the small asset depreciation threshold from $500 to $1,000 — and to $5,000 for the 2020/21 tax year.
  • Allowing depreciation on commercial and industrial buildings from 2020/2021.
  • Removing the hours test from the In-Work Tax Credit (IWTC) from 1 July 2020.

More information on the business cash flow and tax measures can be found from Inland Revenue.


There are further parts to the wider $12.1 billion package that you may be interested in, including income support and further investment in the health response.

More information on the wider package can be found from the Treasury.

Please note: Businesses can now start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government has launched a Business Finance Guarantee Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, to protect jobs and support the economy. The Crown, in partnership with participating approved banks, will support targeted new loans (including increases to existing limits) to eligible businesses, as a response to difficulties caused by COVID-19.

Under the scheme, businesses with annual revenue between $250,000 and $80 million can apply to their banks for loans up to $500,000, for up to three years. The scheme will offer a total of $6.25 billion in loans to New Zealand businesses.

The Government is guaranteeing 80% of the risk, while the banks are covering the remaining 20%. A normal lending process will be followed by the banks, which will make the lending decisions. Further details can be found on the banks’ websites.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Business Finance Support Guarantee Scheme. 

Related Articles

The package will include a 6 month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and small to medium sized businesses whose incomes have been affected by the economic disruption from COVID-19.

Related Article: 

The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help businesses facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable, with the aim of keeping New Zealanders in jobs.

The temporary changes include:

  • giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency duties under the Companies Act
  • enabling businesses affected by COVID-19 to place existing debts into hibernation until they are able to start trading normally again
  • allowing the use of electronic signatures where necessary due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • giving the Registrar of Companies the power to temporarily extend deadlines imposed on companies, incorporated societies, charitable trusts and other entities under legislation
  • giving temporary relief for entities that are unable to comply with requirements in their constitutions or rules because of COVID-19.

Read the Cabinet paper | Read the Cabinet minute | Read: How the measures will work

Government announced a further set of tax proposals to help businesses manage the impacts of COVID-19. These include:

  • greater flexibility for taxpayers in respect to tax deadlines
  • changes to the tax loss continuity rules
  • a tax loss carry-back scheme.


This temporary change should be introduced in a bill in the week beginning 27 April.

Businesses expecting to make a loss in either the 2019/20 year or the 2020/21 year would be able to estimate the loss and use it to offset profits in the past year. In other words, they could carry the loss back one year.

This change means IRD could refund some or all the tax already paid for the year they were in profit. It means firms could cash out all or some of their losses in 2019/20 or 2020/21. Without this change, firms would have to carry forward any loss to a year when they make a profit.

Read more here.


The Government proposes a permanent loss carry-back scheme, applying to the 2021/22 and later income years. There will be public consultation about this measure in the second half of 2020.


The Government proposes relaxing the tax loss continuity rules. It intends passing legislation before the end of March 2021, and for it to apply to the 2020/21 and later income years.

Currently, if a company has more than a 51% change in ownership it cannot keep its tax losses.

The introduction of a ‘same or similar business’ test, means a business could carry forward losses. To meet the test, the business must continue in the same or a similar way it did before ownership changed. This test is modelled on Australia’s rules.

Read more here.

Government announced a further $25 million in funding for the Regional Business Partner Network (RBPN). Approximately $4 million will go to help strengthen call centres to ensure more people can access the service quickly. Roughly $20 million will be invested in the direct business consultancy services to ensure that a wider range of businesses can get the support they need.

To find out what support is available for your business, visit the Regional Business Partner Network website (external link).

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