Important information re: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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News & Latest Updates

16th April 2020

JobKeeper instructions

We have put together a handy email for clients JobKeeper instructions.


14th April 2020

Enrol and apply for the JobKeeper payment

Please review the ATO website for instructions on how to enrol and apply for the JobKeeper payment.


5th April 2020

JobKeeper Payments Legislation to Pass Parliament on Wednesday

On Sunday The Federal Attorney General gave a commitment to Australian businesses that "the JobKeeper Payment legislation would pass parliament on Wednesday (8th April 2020), no matter how late the parliament needs to sit to get the bill passed."

"This is one of the most important drafting exercises post WW2, with $130 billion of economy and job saving expenditure to be passed. Five hundred thousand businesses have already applied for the payments. The application process will rely on self-assessment and a high level of honesty is expected" the minister said.

Porter also explained that "11,000 enterprise agreements would require adjustment for the JobKeeper Payment to be implemented."

To facilitate this the government is working closely with the ACTU to pass temporary changes to Employee and Industrial relations law, to ensure businesses can pass on the payments without breaching existing legislation around the Fair Work Act.

"Any changes to IR laws will be subject to a six-month expiry date" he said, which could only be changed in future with parliament's backing.


22nd March 2020

Federal Government coronavirus economic stimulus stage 2

Biggest takeaway for our clients: Please let us help you with your March 2020 Business Activity Statements so as to ensure they are completed correctly.


12th March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) response RE Office Operations

There is no doubt that you are aware of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) sweeping throughout the world.
In line with recent public announcements, our office will remain open. However, some measures are being put in place to keep our staff and clients safe from the potential spread of this virus.

  • If you're visiting us, please feel free to use our hand sanitiser, available at our front desk.
  • All surfaces will be disinfected each morning/evening.
  • Immediately enacting a policy for all staff/clients to not attend our premises if cold/flu symptoms appear (as per symptom list available at novel-coronavirus-2019-symptoms)
  • Immediately migrating to telephone/skype appointments in place of in-person meetings, where practicable.
  • A contingency plan will be put in place if/when future quarantine measures require @home isolation in order to have the least impact on operations

We wish to navigate this current health crisis with the least inconvenience to our clients. We wish to thank you very much for your understanding and co-operation during these unprecedented times.


12th March 2020

$17.6bn stimulus package announced by federal government

https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Overview-Economic_Response_to_the_Coronavirus.pdf

Instant asset write-off increased

For new or second-hand assets first used or installed ready for use from 12 March until 30 June 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold will be increased from $30,000 to $150,000 for businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from the current $50 million threshold). The threshold applies on a per asset basis, so eligible businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets. The threshold will revert to $1,000 for small businesses (turnover less than $10 million) from 1 July 2020, however businesses not entitled to the instant asset write off from 1 July 2020 may be entitled to the 50% investment incentive as below.

A note of caution – this incentive will be most beneficial to businesses that are in a taxable profit situation. Businesses that are in a loss situation or that have minimal taxable income won't see a tax benefit by using this incentive and for this reason, we urge caution for all of our clients to ensure that any asset purchases are in line with your business planning and cashflow expectations.

Backing business investment incentive

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 aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million per annum will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset upon installation, provided it was acquired after 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. There is no asset value threshold for this 50% investment incentive. Existing depreciation rules apply to the balance of the asset's cost.

Boosting cash flow for employers

Up to a $25,000 tax-free payment to small and medium-sized businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million that employ workers, between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020. These eligible businesses will receive a payment equal to 50% of their PAYG withheld, delivered as a credit in their BAS from March to June 2020, with a minimum $2,000 payment and up to a cap of $25,000. This payment will be applied automatically on lodgement of the BAS's for those periods. You DO NOT need to register separately.

Supporting apprentices and trainees

Eligible small business employers will be able to apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice's or trainee's (in training as at 1 March 2020) wage for up to 9 months from 1 January to 30 September 2020, up to $21,000 per apprentice. Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020 with final claims for payment due by 31 December 2020. We will bring more information to you once it is available with regards to how you can register for this incentive.

Stimulus payments

A one-off $750 payment will be available from 31 March 2020 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders including pensioners. There will be one payment per eligible recipient. This payment is automatic – if you are currently receiving an eligible benefit, Centrelink will deposit the payment into your bank account, there is no need for you to register. Payments will commence sometime after 31 March 2020.

Assistance for severely affected regions

The Government has set aside $1 billion to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.

There are significant support measures to assist those affected by COVID-19

Options available to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 include:

  • Deferring by up to four months the payment date of amounts due through the business activity statement (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, fringe benefits tax assessments and excise
  • Allow businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting in order to get quicker access to GST refunds they may be entitled to
  • Allowing businesses to vary Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the 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 them to enter into low interest payment plans.

(for more - ATO Administration support measures)

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