COSBOA welcomes Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's announcement on Monday that rapid antigen tests (RATs) will be tax deductible for businesses and workers. For businesses, the tests will be exempt from fringe benefit tax (FBT). Workers on a marginal tax rate of 32.5% will receive a refund of $6.50 for every $20 pack of RATs bought for work-related purposes.
COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd said "We're pleased about this announcement. It's a step in the right direction to reducing the financial burden being experienced by small business owners seeking to provide a safe environment for their staff and customers."
Ms Boyd continued "RATs are an essential tool for small businesses to keep COVID-19 out of the workplace, remain open, and keep people employed, but the cost can add up quickly. COSBOA members are telling us that some small employers are spending thousands of dollars a week."
"While it will be a relief to know that these tests are tax deductible and exempt from FBT, the immediate financial burden remains."
Ms Boyd concluded "Small business owners have bent over backwards to reduce the spread of COVID-19. They've had to close for months at a time, implement infection control measures, enforce vaccination mandates and other rules, and take on significant debt. Let's not allow the cost of RATs to be the final straw that pushes businesses to close their doors."