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In response to the coronavirus threat and government advice, we have implemented a working from home system. We will conduct business as usual however our offices will be shut. You can send documents to us electronically.



 

Coronavirus - economic stimulus package


The Australian government has been putting together an economic stimulus package to help Australians get through the coronavirus pandemic and its economic effects. However the package has repeatedly changed and would be expected to continue to change as the situation in Australia changes.

For up-to-date information as it unfolds, the government's economic stimulus package and other resources can be found here:


As at 27/04/2020 the summary of the package for businesses is:

Businesses


JobKeeper payment

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.

These businesses will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020.

See JobKeeper Payment - Information for employers

Sole Traders can also apply for the JobKeeper payment - See - Support for sole traders

Current process:
  1. Enrol business for JobKeeper wage subsidies - You can apply for this subsidy via the Business Portal. We can also enroll our clients for this payment. Please email us for more information (info@bentleyaccounting.com.au).
  2. Identify and maintain your eligible employees
  3. Employers and eligible employees must complete a nomination form
  4. Make monthly business declarations for the JobKeeper payment (we are waiting for more details to be released for this step)
More information on the JobKeeper payment can be found here

The ATO has also released a range of guidance on the JobKeeper Payment including:


Supporting apprentices and trainees

See - Supporting apprentices and trainees

To support small businesses to retain their apprentices and trainees, eligible businesses can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice's, or trainee's wage paid during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter).

Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer. This measure will ensure the continued development of the skilled workforce. Support will also be provided to the National Apprentice Employment Network, the peak national body representing Group Training Organisations, to co-ordinate the re-employment of displaced apprentices and trainees throughout their network of host employers across Australia.


Depreciation

See - Delivering support for business investment

Also See - Delivering support for business investment

Enhanced depreciation measures (instant asset write-off threshold increased from $30,000 to $150,000 (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).

Other new assets - plant, equipment and specified intangible assets, such as patents - Get an instant deduction of 50% of the cost of the asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset's cost (applies to assets acquired after announcement and first used or installed by 30 June 2021).


Boosting cash flow for employers

See - Boosting cash flow for employers

Only for Small and medium sized business entities and Not-for-profits with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers will be eligible. The payments will only be available to active eligible employers established before 12 March 2020.

Receive between $20,000 to $100,000 if you are an employer paying wages and withholding tax from those wages.

Paid as an automatic credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020 upon employers lodging eligible upcoming activity statements. Paid in 2 stages:

Stage 1: $10,000 - $50,000: Jan-Mar 2020: Eligible employers that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees' salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 100% of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $50,000.

Stage 2: 25% of the total Stage 1 payment, per month, for the period June to September 2020. Must keep paying wages to be eligible.


Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

See - Providing temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

The Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary and targeted relief from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus health crisis.

The ATO will tailor solutions for owners or directors of business that are currently struggling due to the Coronavirus, including temporary reduction of payments or deferrals, or withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notices and wind-ups.


Temporary early release of superannuation
The government is allowing individuals affected by the coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs payments.

Eligibility (any of the following applies to you):
  1. You are unemployed.
  2. 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.
  3. On or after 1 January 2020, either
    1. you were made redundant
    2. your working hours were reduced by 20% or more
    3. if you are a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.
If you are eligible for the early release, you can apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website: my.gov.au

You will need to certify that you meet the eligibility criteria.


Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates
The government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50% for 2019-20 and 2020-21. This measure will benefit retirees holding these products by reducing the need to sell investment assets to fund minimum drawdown requirements.

The government is also reducing both the upper and lower social security deeming rates by a further 0.25 percentage points in addition to the 0.5 percentage point reduction to both rates announced on 12 March 2020.

Also read:
  • Supporting the Flow of Credit
    The Government, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority have taken coordinated action to ensure the flow of credit in the Australian economy. Timely access to credit is vital for businesses to manage the impacts of the Coronavirus.
     
  • Supporting Individuals and Households
    The Australian Government is providing financial assistance to Australians. This assistance includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation.











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