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Why you need to include your coronavirus payments in your tax return

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As well as JobKeeper and JobSeeker, there are numerous other COVID-19 government support programs for businesses and individuals.

A question that often crops up is how payments are treated for tax.

Business support

coronavirus payments taxable

Grants are taxable, whether provided as a one-off lump sum or a series of payments.

Examples include: NSW small business support grant; South Australian $10,000 emergency grant and job accelerator grant; Victorian business support fund; Northern Territory survival fund and improvement grant; Western Australian small business grant; Queensland COVID-19 adaption grant.

Leave payments to individuals

The leave payment - a lump sum of $1500 - is available to help people during the 14 days of self-isolation.

Paid by Services Australia, it replaces Victoria's $1500 worker support payment. You need to include it as income in your tax return.

The payment is for people in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales who can't earn an income because they must self-isolate or quarantine. They must be directed to do this by a health official or department. Individuals may also be able to get it if they are caring for someone with COVID-19.

Victorian workers can also apply for a $300 payment while they self-isolate to wait for the results of a COVID-19 test. This is paid by the state government and is also taxable.

We're cutting through the confusion to help you manage your money during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here for more on how COVID-19 could affect your job, budget, super and investments.

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Mark Chapman is director of tax communications at H&R Block, Australia's largest firm of tax accountants, and is a regular contributor to Money. Mark is the author of Life and Taxes: A Look at Life Through Tax.
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