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COVID-19 general financial support

General financial support available to businesses:

Programme  What it does Available for How to apply
Transition Fund This one-off payment would be $4000 per eligible business, plus $400 per full-time equivalent (FTE) worker up to a cap of 50. 

Your business may be able to get the payment if it had reduced income between 3 October and 9 November.

The transition payment will be available through the RSP system in myIR, and has the same eligibility criteria.

Apply via the IRD website
Resurgence support payment

Payments will be fortnightly and $3000 per business plus $800 per FTE, up to 50 FTEs. This will make the maximum payment $43 thousand.

The affected revenue periods for the remaining payments are:

4th RSP – 22 October 2021 to 1 December 2021.
5th RSP – 5 November 2021 to 1 December 2021
6th RSP  - 19 November 2021 to 1 December 2021
7th RSP (the Transition Payment) – 3 October to 9 November 2021

Applications for these payments will close at midnight on 13 January 2022.

Businesses who are directly affected when there’s a move to Alert Level 2 or above for 7 days or more, with at least 30% downturn over 7 days. Applications are open until midnight, 13 January 2022 via Inland Revenue.
Short term absence payment Helps businesses pay workers who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result. Businesses or self-employed people waiting for a COVID-19 test result. Apply via WINZ. Call 0800 40 80 40 for questions.
Leave support scheme Helps to pay employees if they can't work due to Ministry of Health advice. Businesses that have employees who are unable to work due to MOH advice.  Apply via WINZ. Call 0800 40 80 40 for questions.
Small business cashflow (loan) scheme Loans of up to $100,000, interest-free if repaid within two years. Businesses with 50 or fewer FTEs that have been adversely affected by COVID-19 (full details here). Apply via IRD by 31 December 2023

Other options that may be relevant for your business include tax relief including the Temporary loss carry-back scheme, the Business Finance Guarantee SchemeBusiness debt hibernation or options through your bank like mortgage holidays and payment suspensions for loans and credit cards. 

IRD - support for businesses:

IRD can support businesses in the following ways:

  • Write-off penalties, interest incurred due to hardship or reduced cashflow.

IRD can already remit penalties and interest for the reason above if the person is suffering that hardship from COVID-19 impacts. This is a seamless process through the taxpayers MyIR account.

  • Extend no interest timeframes for IRD Small Business loans. Write-off loans for hardship.

Currently, the period in which lenders under the small business cashflow scheme have two years interest-free and there is currently no plans to increase this at present.

In terms of the ability to write off loans under the small business cashflow scheme, because the scheme is included in the definition of “tax” the general provisions that are currently available to write off amounts of tax for hardship can also be used for the small business cashflow scheme. So the power is there already.

  • Show more leniency for tax payment deferrals, tax payment write-offs for hardship and simplify the process.

​This is basically linked to the first point about the ability to write off interest and penalties. IRD prefer not to defer due dates as it is an overly complex process, however, IRD considers options when taxpayers miss payment dates because they are affected by COVID issues. IRD can consider removing both interest and penalties, again, taxpayers can apply for this relief via their MyIR account and this is a user-friendly process (essentially ticking a box).

One thing IRD do want taxpayers to do is to file their tax returns to establish any liabilities as this allows IRD to both assist taxpayers with instalment arrangements if needed due to COVID but also because that information is used as the basis for a number of the government's COVID response measures such as the wage subsidy and resurgence support payment. So the message to taxpayers is to file the information and then IRD can assist in dealing with the payment.

In terms of hardship write-offs, there are existing provisions for the Commissioner to write off tax under hardship which can be used if necessary and appropriate.

Please contact IRD if you need support.