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Rent or Lease Payment Changes Due to COVID-19

The ATO has provided updates regarding the tax implications when a landlord gives, or a tenant receives, rent concessions (such as waivers or deferrals of rent) as a result of COVID-19. 

For example, the ATO provides the following advice for tenants that have received a rent waiver.

If the waived rent is related to a past period of occupancy that the tenant has already incurred and claimed a deduction for, they are still entitled to that deduction.

However:

  • if they have already paid the incurred rent and it has been waived and refunded to the tenant, they will need to include this amount in their assessable income when they receive it; or
  • if they have not already paid the incurred rent and it has been waived, the rent waiver will be a debt forgiveness.

When such a debt is forgiven, the tenant will make a gain. The amount isn't usually included in the business's assessable income — it is instead offset against amounts that could otherwise reduce the business's taxable income.

If the waived rent is related to a future period of occupancy, they will not be entitled to a deduction for that amount.

Editor: These types of rent concessions can give rise to various tax implications for both tenants and landlords (including GST implications), so please contact our office if you would like assistance in this regard.

If you would like to discuss this please contact our office.

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