top of page

Update on Government Subsidies


Applications for the initial two-week Wage Subsidy August 2021, which opened on 20 August 2021, close at 11.59pm on Thursday 2 September 2021.

Applications for a second round of Wage Subsidy – to be known as Wage Subsidy August 2021 #2 – open at 9.00am on Friday 3 September.

The IRD is looking at adding the Wage Subsidy info available in My IR for taxpayers that receive it directly.


You should have applied for the RSP by now. If you have not then you can still apply:

"If the increase in alert levels lasts for more than 7 days, you can choose a different start date for the 7-day period where your business or organization has experienced a drop in revenue. The total 7-day period must be within the increased alert level period."


THE TECNZ explained this very clearly in there newsletter yesterday.

Tourism businesses would generally qualify for the Seasonal Comparison period, which means you can compare the same two weeks of lockdown to either 2020 or 2019.

Please read below the explanation from MSD about the ‘Seasonal Comparison Period’ and how the Wage Subsidy can apply to you.

Seasonal comparison period

To qualify for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (August 2021), a business must have experienced (or expect to experience) a minimum 40% decline in revenue during the current revenue test period.
Generally, businesses must determine their decline in revenue using the default comparison period.
However, for businesses who have highly seasonal fluctuations in their revenue, the default comparison period might not give an accurate representation of what the business would have been expecting to earn during the current revenue test period. These businesses can use the seasonal comparison period.
The seasonal comparison period is the same period of 14 consecutive days as the current revenue test period, in 2020 or 2019.
The business can choose if the period in 2020 or 2019 gives the most accurate representation of what the business would have been expecting to earn during the current revenue test period.
Types of seasonal business
Some examples of businesses with highly seasonal revenue could be seasonal work such as harvesting fruit and vegetables, music festival or event planners whose peak seasons are during the summer months, or tourism businesses where the season starts on a specific date.
For example, the 6 weeks before the COVID-19 Alert Level change (i.e. the default comparison period) is their seasonal quiet period where they do not usually have any revenue coming in, or their revenue is low, but the 2 weeks after the Alert Level change is where they would have started to have revenue coming in, or increased revenue.
If they compare their revenue in the 14 days since the Alert Level change with a period of 14 consecutive days from the 6 weeks prior, it will look like the business has not had a loss of revenue. However, if they compare their revenue to the same 14-day period in 2019, they have clearly had a 40% decline in revenue they can attribute to the seasonal nature of their business. This is the 14-day period since the Alert Level changed, but in 2019.
If asked, businesses will need to provide evidence to show the basis on which they consider their revenue to be seasonal and how the seasonality makes it harder to meet the decline in revenue with the default comparison period.
This could be information about:
the type of work the business does or
financial records showing the fluctuation in their revenue in different seasons.
The seasonal comparison period must be a reasonable representation of what the business would have been expecting to earn now if the business was not affected by the current escalation in Alert Levels.
Jayne runs a tourism business and applies for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (August 2021) on 20 August 2021.
Her business is highly seasonal and their peak season only begins on 23 August 2021.
If Jayne used the default comparison period, this would not show her revenue decline as the business did not have much revenue in the 6 weeks before the first escalation to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021.
However, if she uses the seasonal comparison period, this shows what revenue the business would have received at the same time two years ago (before the business was impacted by COVID-19 in 2019).
Jayne compares what the business would have expected to get between 17 August and 30 August 2021, to the revenue received between 17 and 30 August 2019 and calculates a revenue loss of 40%. Jayne's business meets the qualifications for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (August 2021).


bottom of page