Business sector wants payroll tax reforms in future budgets

A HOPED-FOR payroll tax exemption threshold adjustment that could have shaved about $235 million from 20,000 Queensland businesses did not appear in this State Budget.

But Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland was pleased the 2015-16 budget did not impose new taxes, fees or charges on businesses.

The advocacy group also supported the 25% payroll tax rebate up to 2018 for businesses that put on apprentices and trainees.

Advocacy general manager Nick Behrens said he was disappointed the payroll tax exemption threshold did not rise from $1.1 million to $1.2 million.

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"This is something that would have meaningfully assisted 20,000 businesses. That would have saved them $235 million," he said.

It should come as no surprise it was absent since the move was an LNP election promise and not one Labor had factored in.

But CCIQ has recommended the long-term phasing out of payroll tax, believing it would positively affect both wages growth and jobs.

BDO tax partner Leisa Rafter welcomed the $40 million Business Development Fund, as well as an extra $4.7 million in 2015-16 to enhance and transform online services.

"Queensland is full of businesses who are screaming for this kind of funding so it's great to see it become available," she said.

"Payroll tax is a direct disincentive to employment so it's good to see reform for employers of apprentices and trainees, or new companies.

"However employers will be looking for further reform in future budgets."


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