Helping Businesses Navigate Through COVID-19

This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

12 GREAT FEATURE OF THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT BUSINESS SUPPORT PACKAGE

In light of the COVID-19 situation, we strive to help our clients and business partners in whatever way we can. Here are 12 Great Feature of the Australian Government Business Support Package and some key resources to check for further information.

1. PAYG REFUNDS

Eligible businesses will be able to have the PAYG Tax they have paid refunded up to $50 000.

If you're a quarterly pay as you go (PAYG) instalments payer you can vary your PAYG instalments on your activity statement for the March 2020 quarter. You can do this by lodging a revised activity statement before your instalment is due and before you lodge your income tax return for the year. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment rate or amount can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters.

AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Learn more about available tax support, super obligations and who to contact for help.

2. THE INCREASED INSTANT ASSET WRITE-OFF TO $150 000

Instantly write of any asset second hand or new assets up to $150 000 in value. As many as you like

Under normal circumstances, individual assets less than $30,000 are eligible for the instant asset write off. The Government has lifted this threshold to $150,000 for assets that are either installed or ready for first use by 30 June 2020.

AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Learn more about the increasing the Instant Asset Write-Off.(ATO).

Eligibility

The Government is expanding access so that more businesses can take advantage of the IAWO. The annual turnover threshold for businesses is increasing from $50 million to $500 million. Expanding the threshold will mean an additional 5,300 businesses who employ around 1.9 million Australians will be able to access the IAWO for the first time.

Timing

This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second‑hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe.

3. ACCELERATED DEPRECIATION DEDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS

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.

Eligibility

Businesses with aggregated turnover below $500 million, purchasing certain new depreciable assets.

Timing

Applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021.

AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Find out more about Backing business investment on the Australian Taxation Office website.

4. INCREASED AND ACCELERATED INCOME SUPPORT

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 to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months and will not be income tested.

SERVICES AUSTRALIA

Find out more about applying for income support and the Coronavirus supplement

Eligibility

Both existing and new recipients of Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.

Timing

The Coronavirus Supplement and expanded access for payments will commence from 27 April 2020.

How to apply

If you’re not an existing or new recipient of Coronavirus supplement you’ll need to apply to Services Australia.

5. ASSISTANCE FOR AFFECTED REGIONS, COMMUNITIES AND INDUSTRIES

The Government has created an initial $1 billion support fund to provide assistance to industries and regions severely affected by the economic impacts of Coronavirus.

These funds will be available to assist during the next few months and over the year ahead to ensure these communities are well placed to recover.

Eligibility

The Deputy Prime Minister will work with affected industries and communities to develop recovery plans and measures.

Timing

The $1 billion will be available for distribution through existing or new mechanisms as soon as practicable.

THE TREASURY

Find out more about support for affected regions and communities

6. EARLY ACCESS TO SUPERANNUATION

You can access up to $10,000 of your superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from mid-April 2020.

While superannuation helps people save for retirement, the Government recognises that for those significantly financially affected by the coronavirus, accessing some of their superannuation today may outweigh the benefits of maintaining those savings until retirement.

AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Find out more about applying for early access to your super.

Eligibility

  • You are unemployed; or
  • You are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance;
  • on or after 1 January 2020

– you were made redundant; or
– your working hours were reduced by 20% or more; or
–if you are a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.

Timing

You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from 20 April 2020.

7. SME GUARANTEE SCHEME

The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will provide support for these businesses. Under the Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital.

This will provide businesses with funding to meet immediate cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit. Businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans.

THE TREASURY

Find out more about the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme

Timing

The Scheme will commence by early April 2020 and be available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.

How to apply

If you’re interested in the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme you should approach your financial institution for more information. The Government is working with banks and other lenders to ensure loans are available as soon as possible.

8. ASSISTANCE TO HELP PAY THE WAGES OF APPRENTICES OR TRAINEES

The Government is supporting small business to retain their apprentices and trainees. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000, per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter).

Support will also be provided to the National Apprentice Employment Network, who are responsible for coordinating the re‑employment of displaced apprentices and trainees throughout their network of host employers across Australia.

AUSTRALIAN APPRENTICESHIPS

Find out more about how to apply, including information on eligibility, by contacting an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider.

Eligibility

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice or trainee’s wage for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. The subsidy will be available to small businesses employing fewer than 20 full-time employees who retain an apprentice or trainee. The apprentice or trainee must have been in training with a small business as at 1 March 2020.

Timing

Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020.

9. CASUAL EMPLOYEES

If you employ a casual employee and they can’t work because they become sick or need to self-isolate, or their income has been otherwise impacted by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus, they may be eligible for income support payments.

The Government is making these payments quicker to access by waiving the usual waiting period in certain circumstances. Information on income support is available on the Services Australia website.

SERVICES AUSTRALIA

Visit the Services Australia website to know more about this offer.

10. WAGE GUARANTEE FOR WORKING AUSTRALIANS

The Australian Government will be guaranteeing wages up to $1500 per fortnight to help business continue to employ staff.

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. This assistance will help businesses to keep people in their jobs and re-start when the crisis is over. For employees, this means they can keep their job and earn an income – even if their hours have been cut.

AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Find out more about JobKeeper Payment

Eligibility

  • Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice or trainee’s wage for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.
  • The subsidy will be available to small businesses employing fewer than 20 full-time employees who retain an apprentice or trainee.
  • The apprentice or trainee must have been in training with a small business as at 1 March 2020.

Timing

The subsidy will start on 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by employers in the first week of May. Businesses will be able to register their interest in participating in the Payment from 30 March 2020 on the ATO website.

11. LENDER HARDSHIP SUPPORT:

Check with your current bank or lender as they may be able to offer Loan Repayment Pauses

12. ATO SUPPORT:

Unable to pay taxes? Contact the ATO to speak with their team to make alternative arrangements on a case by case basis.

AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Contact the ATO to make an arrangement.

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