Unexpected $344K Payroll Tax Debt Strikes Popular Kedron Cafe

The owners of the popular Farmhouse Cafe in Kedron are facing a significant financial challenge after being hit with an unexpected payroll tax debt.

Read: Farm House Pays Tribute to Fresh Food Producers

Amanda and John Scott, owners of the cafe, were reportedly given just two weeks to pay 70 percent of the $344,000 debt. This sudden financial burden has emerged due to an “outdated” state government rule that led to their inadvertent breach of payroll tax regulations.

Located at the former site of Farmer Joe’s, the Farmhouse Cafe is recognised as one of Queensland’s top cafes, renowned for its healthy dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. The cafe, alongside the Scotts’ other business, Oh Boy Bok Choy in Stafford, fell afoul of a grouping rule in Queensland’s payroll tax law. 

Payroll tax
Photo credit: Noni Creasey/Google Maps 

According to this rule, if a business is related to another, they are treated as a single entity for payroll tax purposes. This means once the combined wages of the businesses exceed $1.3 million, a 4.75 percent payroll tax applies to all related entities, regardless of individual wage bills.

Payroll tax
Photo credit: Michael Stone/Google Maps 

The Scotts, who also previously owned a gelateria, were unaware of this rule until a phone call from the Queensland Revenue Office (QRO) in May. This was followed by a $344,000 bill, backdated five years to the opening of their second business, including interest charges. 

Mrs Scott expressed frustration at the handling of the situation, noting their reliance on their accountant and the lack of prior communication from the QRO over the past five years. 

Despite acknowledging their responsibility, she criticised the process, highlighting the severe impact on their businesses, which employ around 70 people. The substantial tax bill has forced the owners to take out a mortgage to manage the payment. 

Photo credit: Lesley Greenhalgh/Google Maps

A spokesman for the QRO refrained from commenting on individual cases and did not explain the five-year delay in notifying the Scotts. It is understood that QRO’s compliance actions depend on data matching with the Australian Taxation Office.

The incident has spurred calls from industry experts, including the Australian Restaurant and Cafes Association (ARCA), to abolish the controversial payroll tax entirely. ARCA, a newly formed body representing approximately 50,000 hospitality businesses, argues that eliminating the tax would support the struggling industry.

Read: Rode Meats Under New Management As Owners Retire After 43 Years

The tax issue has also impacted the Scotts’ future business plans, causing them to abandon the idea of opening another cafe, citing it as a disincentive for business expansion.

Published 11-June-2024

Farm House Kedron Hires Security to Protect Staffers Against Abuse Over Vaccine Mandate

Diners who visit Farm House Kedron should expect to undergo a thorough check-in process with a staff and security guard before they enter the restaurant to ensure compliance with the state’s newly-implemented vaccine mandate.

Owner John Scott confirmed that they hired security staff to prevent any abuse of their hospitality workers, who are only complying with the rules so Farm House Kedron won’t incur a costly fine from the government.

Mr Scott said that businesses in Queensland that do not conduct a proper COVID-19 check-in could be fined between $6,000 and $13,000. The cost of paying for security will not matter if it means protecting Farm House Kedron’s service staff from incurring abuse from diners who refuse to follow the mandate, which was implemented beginning 17 December 2021.

That weekend, a man who could not show his vaccination certificate but wanted to dine inside accused Felipe Rizzi, the Kedron restaurant’s manager, of discrimination. Mr Rizzi also dealt with a customer who yelled at him and a law enforcer who insisted on being allowed inside the restaurant because he had a badge but no proof of vaccination. 

Photo Credit: FarmHouseKedron/Facebook

“Our biggest thanks and sincerest apologies to our extremely hard working Manager Felipe Rizzi for the abuse he has endured today, by following the government mandate, and requesting guests show proof of vaccination,” the management posted on their social media pages, stating that they have given Mr Rizzi a few days off so he could recover from the abuse. 

“From the man screaming at him and accusing him of discrimination, to the lady yelling ‘I have money to spend’ and the law enforcement agent who asked to be let in on a badge instead of a certificate…For those who we could not tell whether it was ‘a trick’ to see if he would bend, or really just belligerence – we apologise.”

“If you wish to complain please email info@farmhousekedron.com.au but please refrain from abusing our team, who like everyone else, come to work to earn a living.”

Mr Rizzi said that there were customers who seemed to be unaware of the vaccination mandate but this didn’t justify their rude behavior towards the staff. However, 99 per cent of their visitors have been respectful, compliant, and actually pleased to have the popular eatery re-open at full capacity for vaccinated guests. 

Photo Credit: FarmHouseKedron/Facebook

Per Queensland Government, the following restrictions will apply to the unvaccinated in the hospitality setting:

Photo Credit: Screen Grab from QLD Health

Learn more about the mandate and what fully vaccinated people, or those who’ve had two doses of COVID-19, should carry with them if they are going outside from the official site. 

Top Breakfast Places in Kedron

Kedron is home to a number of cafes and restaurants serving tasty and Instagram-worthy dishes that are sure to brighten up your day. While breakfast is considered as the most important meal of the day, most people don’t have the time to prepare a hearty meal early in the morning. Good thing is, you can kickstart your day with healthy and delicious breakfast meals from these top breakfast places in Kedron.

Nana & Da’s

Photo credit: Facebook/Nana & Da’s

One of the most visited breakfast stops in Kedron, Nana & Da’s is a popular pet-friendly cafe serving homestyle food. The cafe has an outdoor dining area where pet lovers can enjoy dining with their furry friends.

Read: Dog Friendly Café Lets Kedron Pet Lovers Enjoy Time With Furry Friends

Photo credit: Facebook/Nana & Da’s

Their freshly brewed coffee is a local favourite paired with a vast offering from their breakfast menu.

Photo credit: Facebook/Nana & Da’s

You can also indulge in this decadent apple crumble pancakes with slow-cooked cinnamon apples that is sure to satisfy your sweet cravings in the morning.

Nana & Da’s is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and they serve dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Fridays.

Location: 12 Homebush Road, Kedron

Farm House, Kedron

Photo credit: Facebook/Farm House, Kedron

Farm House, Kedron is one of the most recommended breakfast places Kedron. The cafe is popular for serving healthy dishes made with ingredients sourced from local and regional fresh food producers and dairy farms.

Read: Farm House Pays Tribute to Fresh Food Producers

Photo credit: Facebook/Farm House, Kedron

Try their beautiful and tasty ricotta hot cake or check out their early and all day breakfast menu  which includes Breakfast Gnocchi, Crispy Cheese & Potato Cake, and New Farmhouse Summer Bowl.

Photo credit: Facebook/Farm House, Kedron

Farm House, Kedron is open from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. seven days a week. To learn more, visit their website and their Facebook page.

Location: 9, Somerset Road, Kedron

Fuzzy Duck Cafe

Photo credit: Facebook/Fuzzy Duck

Another local favourite, Fuzzy Duck features a vibrant, quirky cafe located on the busy Kitchener Road. The family-owned cafe is known for their good food and laid-back atmosphere.

Photo credit: Facebook/Fuzzy Duck

Have a taste of their Instagram-worthy Breakfast Panna Cotta and check out their selection of all-day brunch menu.

Photo credit: Facebook/Fuzzy Duck

Fuzzy Duck is open from Mondays to Fridays, 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and until 3:00 p.m. on weekends. Visit their website or Facebook page to learn more.

Location:145 Kitchener Road, Kedron


What’s On in Kedron Cafes for the Holiday Season

Wondering whether you’ll get your regular fix of coffee from the cafes within the neighbourhood on Christmas Day? Or whether there’s a special menu for the holidays?

Here we list what’s cooking in cafes around town for this holiday season.

Farm House Kedron

Farm House Kedron remains open between Christmas and New Year from 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will be serving their special Queensland Prawn tacos with mango and coriander salsa, crispy vermicelli and namjim sauce all through this period.

Credit: Farm House Kedron

The cafe, however, will be closed from the 25th to 26th of December and the 1st of January.

Farm House Kedron holds a special spot among residents of Kedron because it serves as a tribute to Farmer Joe’s which was closed in 2009 to pave way for a road construction. The closure of Farmer Joe’s has been sad as it was a community hub where local fresh produce were bought and sold. In the hopes to still support the local farmers in Kedron, Farm House sees to it that they remain to buy supplies from them. The cafe hopes that more and more local farmers will soon come to them. As for its customers, Farm House Kedron aims to take food from the farm to the plate.

Farm House Kedron is at 9, Somerset Road

Fuzzy Duck

Fuzzy Duck has just reinvented itself as a restaurant last November, held their soft launch on 7th of December, and is now getting ready for official re-opening in 2018. It may not have your regular fill of coffee for the holiday season, but the place’s specialty gift shop is filled with quirky items for gifts. It has been restocked with a variety of succulents and other potted plants.

Credit: Fuzzy Duck Facebook

Credit: Fuzzy Duck Facebook

Credit: Fuzzy Duck Facebook

Credit: Fuzzy Duck Cafe

Credit: Fuzzy Duck Facebook

Credit: Fuzzy Duck Facebook

Owned by a family who is passionate about good food and great coffee, Fuzzy Duck promises to be everyone’s “kitchen table away from home”.

Fuzzy Duck is at 145 Kitchener Road, Kedron

Nana & Da’s

This cafe at 12 Homebush Road Kedron has unfortunately officially closed for the year on the 22nd of December to allow for its staff and crew to enjoy the holiday seasons too. The place will open again on the 19th of January and everything will be business as usual then.

Credit: Nana & Da’s