The State Taxation Acts Amendments (Relief Measures) Bill has now passed both houses of parliament and Royal Assent was received on Tuesday 28 April 2020.

The Act provides that the Treasurer may direct the Commissioner of State Revenue to give effect to emergency tax relief measures as announced by the State Government. These will include the tax relief measures announced by the State Government in relation to COVID-19 on 16 March 2020 and 15 April 2020.

The State Government has announced that if a landlord provides tenants impacted by COVID-19 with rent relief, they will be eligible for a 25 per cent discount on land tax, with any remaining land tax able to be deferred until March 2021.

It is expected that land tax relief will be available from Friday 1 May through the State Revenue Office website portal.

Commercial and Retail Leasing Code

The COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 has also now been passed by the Victorian parliament.

The Bill creates the powers to enable regulations to give effect to the National Cabinet's Conduct. It will operate retrospectively form 29 March 2020 to 29 September 2020.

The regulations under the Bill have not as yet been released, although these are expected to be heavily aligned to the key items of the Code and according to the State Government, will not go beyond the Code.

Once the regulations are released, Landlords and Tenants will have the certainty they need to be able to go about confirming agreements to vary the terms of their lease.

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