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Business Tips – COVID Support Packages SIMPLIFIED – Aust. Govt.

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Still confused about all the help that is available?

I have spent many hours reading all the Treasury and ATO website information to get my head around what is offered and how it works

There have been many calls from confused clients that has taken up hours some days to explain how these work – especially the Boosting Cash Flow $20,000 which some businesses have asked about – “when do we get the money?”, not realising this is a CREDIT via the activity statement system!

Here I collated all the links and made my own summary to have a reference point for us all.

Background - Due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 significant economic consequences, the Australian Government has enacted a response that was passed in Parliament this week, to support individuals, households, businesses and broader community.

Here is a comprehensive summary of several ATO Treasury and government websites to give easy reliable access.

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Business

JobKeeper – From 30 March wages paid - Support for employers

There will be a $1,500 per fortnight JobKeeper Payment that employers will receive if STILL employing staff, if they have a decrease in turnover of more than 30% (if turnover is less than $1 Bill) and MUST pass onto staff, less some tax, and it is optional whether you can also afford to pay the super on it.

ATO details JobKeeper Payment

ATO site to REGISTER***.

Treasury fact-sheets.

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

The first support is delivered as a CREDIT when lodging the March to June activity statements minimum $10,000 to max $50,000 over the March, April May and June activity statements. It is based on PAYG paid on wages.

Additional support is delivered as a CREDIT when lodging the June to Sept activity statements minimum $10,000 to max $50,000 over the June, July, Aug and Sep activity statements. To qualify the entity must continue to be active.

These will also be automatically calculated by the ATO as a credit on the activity statement, no forms required, from 28 April for active employers prior to 12 March 2020. Where this raises a refund position, it will be refunded within 14 days.

See great detailed examples at both these links -

Treasury fact sheet.

ATO details.

Protect Distressed Businesses – Increased thresholds for Statutory Demand, Response time and Insolvency

Otherwise profitable and viable businesses temporarily face financial distress, and there is a safety net to make sure that when the crisis has passed they can resume normal business operations. One element of that safety net is to lessen the threat of actions that could unnecessarily push them into insolvency and force the winding up of the business.

Treasury.

Instant Asset Write-off Increase

The instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and is expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020.

Treasury.

ATO details.

Business Investment – Accelerated Depreciation

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, as accelerated depreciation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.

Treasury.

ATO details.

Apprentices and Trainees

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 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).

Treasury.

Support for Coronavirus Regions and Communities

Funds will be available to assist regions significantly affected during the outbreak and the recovery. In addition, the Government is assisting our airline industry by providing relief from a number of taxes and Government charges estimated to total up to $715 million.

Treasury fact sheet.

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Individuals

Income Support

Expanded eligibility for Income Support for 6 months to both new and existing people for JobSeeker (former Newstart) and 4 other payments PLUS a Coronavirus Supplement of an additional $550, per fortnight. This supplement has expanded eligibility for employees who have been stood down or lost employment, sole traders (who try to sustain their business when possible), self-employed, casuals, contract workers and carers for someone affected by Coronavirus. Asset tests waived but income tests such as leave payouts or insurance payments will apply, plus reduced waiting periods. Payments from 27 April.

Treasury.

Services Aust. details.

Household payments – pensioners, social security and concession card holders

$750 from 31 March and a second payment again from 10 July 2020, for pensioners and concession card holders. For 5 payment recipients such as JobSeeker and Youth Allowance and receiving the Coronavirus Supplement above, will not the second $750.

Treasury.

Services Aust. details.

Individuals - Temporary Early Release of Super

Individuals and sole traders directly impacted can access up to $10,000 of super tax-free and can apply in April 2020 via MyGov website, plus a further $10,000 from July 2020, tax-free.

Treasury.

ATO details.

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Retirees

Lower Deeming rates

The deeming rates reduced to upper 2.25% and lower 0.25% rates for income support recipients

Treasury.

Services Aust. details.

Temporary Reduced Minimum Drawdown rates on pensions

Account-based pensions will have rates halved for the 19/20 and 20/21 years (but not be able to put any amounts already paid over the applicable %).

Treasury.

ATO details.

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Flow of Credit

SME Credit

Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to SME lenders to support new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs. The Scheme will guarantee up to $40 billion of new lending, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit.

Treasury fact sheet.

Other Measures

The Government is cutting red tape by providing a temporary exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers. This reform will help small businesses get access to credit quickly and efficiently.

The RBA announced a term funding facility for the banking system. Banks will have access to at least $90 billion in funding at a fixed interest rate of 0.25 per cent. This will reinforce the benefits of a low cash rate by reducing funding costs for banks, which in turn will help reduce interest rates for borrowers.

Treasury page.

For more see the following pages –

All Government departments – visit australia.gov.au

Treasury’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus

ATO Covid19

Need help? Not sure?

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