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Important Stimulus Package Update

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Our office is remaining open to all queries. We are postponing face to face meetings, however we are still able to provide advice remotely via email, phone or video conferencing.

Important Stimulus Package Update

Cashflow assistance for businesses:

  1. ATO Credit of up to $100,000 for PAYG-Withholding

This is an extension of the previously advised $25,000 PAYG withholding credit. It has now been increased to a maximum of $100,000 with a minimum of $20,000 for eligible businesses. This covers up to 100% of amounts withheld from salary and wages for the March 2020 and June 2020 quarters. It will be applied automatically to activity statements after lodging the March 2020 Activity Statement.

Eligible businesses are businesses with a turnover of under $50 million that employed staff on or before the 12th of March 2020.

It will also now apply to not-for-profits.

The credit will be split over the following periods

  1. March to May 2020 – minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $50,000
  2. June to September 2020 – a further minimum of $10,000 and a further maximum of $50,000

The second payment will require the businesses to be still active, and will be delivered as a portion of the amount previously received under this incentive.

It will be paid as follows:

  • Quarterly Activity Statement lodgers = half of the amount previously credited, on lodgement of June 2020 BAS and a half on lodgement of the September 2020 BAS.
  • Monthly Activity Statement lodgers = quarter of amount previously credited, on lodgement of the June, July, August and September 2020 BAS/IAS’s.
  1. Supporting apprentices and trainees

The Government is supporting small businesses to retain their apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice.

Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter).

For more information please contact our office or follow this link.

Support for business investment:

  1. Increasing the instant asset write-off:

The Government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020. The higher IAWO threshold provides cash flow benefits for businesses that will be able to immediately deduct purchases of eligible assets each costing less than $150,000. The threshold applies on a per asset basis, so eligible businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets.

  1. Backing business Investment:

The Government is introducing a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.

For more information please contact our office or follow this link.

Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses and their directors:

The government has introduced temporary rules to help distressed businesses that are worried about insolvency and bankruptcy implications from the impact of COVID-19.

Under these rules, the threshold for issuing statutory demands has increased from $2,000 to $20,000 and the minimum amount of debt before bankruptcy proceedings can be started has increased from $5,000 to $20,000.

There has also been relaxation on the insolvent trading rules, to relieve directors of personal liability that would otherwise be associated with insolvent trading, for a period of six months.

For more information please contact our office or follow this link.

Supporting lenders by guaranteeing new debts:

The coronavirus Small & Medium Entities (SME) guarantee Scheme has been proposed by the Government. This scheme will provide a Government guarantee of 50% to support short-term unsecured loans to SME’s for working capital. This scheme is intended to enhance these lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit, which will result in SMEs being able to access additional funding to help support them through the upcoming months.

Other eligibility criteria include:

  1. Turnover of less than $50 million
  2. Maximum loans of $250,000
  3. Loan term of 3 years
  4. No repayments required for the first 6 months
  5. Loans will otherwise be unsecured finance

For more information please contact our office or follow this link.

Early access to super:

Individuals impacted by COVID-19 will be able to access $10,000 from their super between April 2020 and June 2020, with a further $10,000 available in the 2021 financial year, if eligibility criteria are met. People accessing their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veteran’s Affairs payments.

Eligibility criteria are:

  • You are unemployed; or
  • On or after 1 January 2020 you were:
    • made redundant or
    • had your working hours reduced by more than 20% or
    • you are a sole trader whose business was suspended or has had their hours reduced by more than 20%; or
  • Eligible to receive one of the following government payments
    • Jobseeker
    • Youth allowance for job seekers
    • Parenting payment
    • Special payment
    • Farm household allowance

To access super under these measures you must apply at www.mygov.au and be able to certify that you met the criteria. This is the same whether you have a regulated fund or SMSF. Please do not just take cash from your SMSF!

For more information please contact our office or follow this link.

Providing support for retirees:

Pension minimums will be reduced by 50% for both 2020 and 2021 financial years. This is designed to take the pressure off anyone who doesn’t require access to their pension for personal cash flow. It allows for capital to remain in the market to avoid crystallising losses.

For more information please contact our office or follow this link.

Payments to support for individuals & households:

  1. Coronavirus supplement for individuals:

The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid for both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next 6 months.

Eligibility criteria for Coronavirus supplement are:

  • Jobseeker Payment (previously known as Newstart Allowance)
  • Youth allowance Jobseeker
  • Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single)
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Special Benefit recipients

Anyone who is eligible for Coronavirus supplement will receive the full rate of the supplement of $550 per fortnight.

For more information please contact our office or follow this link.

  1. Stimulus payments:

The Government is providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Around half of those that will benefit are pensioners.

  • The first payment will be available to people who are eligible payment recipient and concession card holders at any time from 12 March 2020 to 13 April 2020 inclusive
  • The second payment will be available to people who are eligible payment recipient and concession card holders on 10 July 2020

A person can only receive one $750 payment in each round of payments, even if they qualify in each round of payments in multiple ways.

The payment will be tax free and will also not count as income for Social Security, Farm Household Allowance and Veteran payments.

For more information please contact our office or follow this link.

ATO Administrative Support:

A number of administrative concessions have been announced by the ATO. These include:

  • Deferring by up to four months the payment date of amounts due through the BAS (including PAYG Instalments), income tax assessments, fringe benefits tax assessments and excise. You still need to lodge the forms on the usual due date
  • Allow those on a quarterly reporting cycle, to opt into monthly GST reporting in order to get quicker access to GST refunds that may be applicable. You will need to remain on a monthly reporting cycle for a minimum of 12 months if you opt in
  • Allowing businesses to vary pay as you go instalments to zero for March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG-I to zero will also be able to claim a refund for any instalments paid in September 2019 and December 2019 quarters
  • Remitting any interest and penalties incurred on or after 23 January 2020 that have been applied to tax liabilities
  • Working with affected businesses to help them pay their existing and ongoing tax liabilities by allowing low interest payment plan options

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