South Australian businesses whose employees qualify for the federal government’s $1500-a-fortnight JobKeeper support payments will be exempt from paying any payroll tax on the wage subsidy.

Under existing laws, the JobKeeper payment would attract payroll tax. The government will be introducing urgent legislation into State Parliament on Tuesday to amend the Payroll Tax Act 2009 to exempt the JobKeeper payments from payroll tax.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said the state government had moved swiftly to exempt these payments from payroll tax, to ensure no unintended impost to businesses already impacted by the pandemic.

“We want to do everything in our power to ensure local businesses and jobs are supported throughout the greatest economic challenge of our time,” said Treasurer Lucas.

As many as 6 million Australian workers are expected to benefit from the wage subsidy, which will be issued from the first week of May but backdated to March 30.