The economy is changing quickly due to COVID-19. Announcements are made regularly and new measures are rapidly being put in place, to help businesses and individuals address the significant economic impacts of the Coronavirus. We will continue to add information as more details become available. Please note, we have only provided a brief summary of each measure – it’s best that you talk directly to us to understand the finer details and eligibility requirements.
- Available to eligible businesses with a drop in turnover of more than 30% compared with the same period last year
- Employees need to be employed as of 1 March 2020 or have been hired between 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020 and meet the eligibility criteria
- Businesses without employees (including sole traders) may also be eligible
- Subsidy starts from 30 March and will last until 28 March 2021
- Make sure you know what the revamped eligibility rules are for the JobKeeper exentension, announced on 21 July 2020 and 6 August 2020. Our article explains more.
- Contact us if you are unclear on your eligibility, the process or if you want us to apply on your behalf.
If your employment has been terminated or there is no chance of being re-hired if you have been stood down, you should register for the JobSeeker payments. Alternatively, if you were stood down since 1 March you may be eligible for the JobKeeper payments mentioned above.
- Approximately $550 per fortnight is available to eligible people over the age of 22 – until 24 September 2020
- From 25 September 2020 the supplement will be available at $250 per fortnight until 31 December 2020, and means testing will be reintroduced
- Need to be unemployed and looking for work
- Payments will be backdated to the date you lodged your intent to claim
- Register your intent to claim a JobSeeker payment through the MyGov website
- If you were stood down from 1 March 2020 and you could be re-hired, contact your employer to discuss accessing the JobKeeper payments.
Cash flow boost
- $100,000 available based on the PAYG Withholding figure in your activity statement
- Minimum payment of $20,000
- Eligible businesses need to employ people and have an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million
- Automatic payment made by the ATO as a credit in the monthly or quarterly activity statement
- Payments are available for activity statements filed from April 2020
- Even though the payments are automatic and paid according to the PAYGW submitted in your activity statement, we suggest you contact us to discuss your eligibility for these payments.
Measures encouraging investment
Instant asset write-off
- The instant asset write-off threshold has increased from $30,000 to $150,000 for eligible assets
- Expanded to include businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of up to $500 million (from $50 million)
- New or second-hand assets need to be first used or installed between 12 March 2020 and 31 December 2020
- If you are thinking of buying any new equipment, machinery or vehicles for your business, contact us to find out how best to do this.
- Claim 50% up front of the depreciable cost of eligible assets first used or installed between 12 March 2020 and 30 June 2020
- New assets such as plant, equipment and specified intangible assets, such as patents can be appreciated
- Available until 30 June 2021
- You cannot claim both the instant asset write-off and the accelerated depreciation. The accelerated depreciation is meant for assets that are ineligible under the other incentive. Contact us to make sure you don’t get this wrong.
Other measures for businesses
- New National Code of Conduct for commercial landlords and tenants to provide rent relief to tenants who have signed up for the JobKeeper payment (with turnover less than $50m)
- Rent reductions should be in proportion to a tenant’s decline in turnover due to COVID-19 and are offered as waivers or deferrals
- At least 50% of rent relief should be offered as waivers
- Deferrals must be covered over the balance of the lease term, and in no less period than 12 months
- Landlords cannot terminate leases due to non-payment of rent or outgoings
- Individual negotiations between landlord and tenant need to take place but the terms of the mandatory code should be followed. We recommend any agreements are documented and signed by both parties. Contact us if you need clarification on your position.
Apprentices and trainees
- 50% of apprentices and trainees’ wages can be reimbursed from January 2020 to September 2020
- Up to $7,000 available per quarter per apprentice/trainee (maximum $21,000)
- Eligible businesses need to employ fewer than 20 full-time employees
- Claims need to be lodged by 31 December 2020
- Register for the subsidy from early April 2020. Contact us to discuss how.
Supporting the flow of credit
There are a number of measures announced to give SMEs timely access to credit, including:
- Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme
- 6-month exemption from lending obligations
- Reduced cost of credit
- Supporting non-ADI and smaller ADI lenders in the securitisation market
- Changes to the bank capital ratios to support banks’ lending to customers
State specific measures
The South Australian Government has announced further measures to support businesses:
- Automatic 6-month waiver for businesses with grouped wages up to $4 million
- Businesses with grouped wages over $4 million may be eligible for a deferral of payments but need to apply
- Not required to pay any payroll tax between April 2020 and September 2020
- Deferred liabilities still need to be paid by October 2020
- Monthly Payroll Tax Returns still need to be lodged on time
- Businesses with grouped wages up to $4 million are automatically eligible but over $4 million requires an online application. Contact us if you have any queries.
- Landlords may be eligible for a 25% reduction in land tax on a parcel of land in the 2019-20 land tax year
- 2019/2020 land tax payment deferrals for third and fourth quarters for eligible businesses and individuals for up to six months
- The Land Tax Transition Fund relief has been increased from 50% to 100%
- Applications for the land tax relief are open until 30 June 2020. Contact us if you are unclear about anything.
The Government has announced two measures to provide support for retirees:
- Temporary reduction in minimum drawdown requirements
- Changes to social security deeming rates
The Government is allowing eligible individuals to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020 and a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2020. There is strict and limited eligibility criteria surrounding this measure. Contact us to discuss, if you think you may eligible.
Other support for businesses
SA Power Networks relief package
- SA Power Networks is providing tariff relief for up to 80,000 businesses
- Any business with less than 25% of their usual power consumption between April 2020 and June 2020 (who normally use up to 40MWh per annum) can benefit from a network charge rebate – this is normally a fixed charge and can make up approximately 40% of the power bill
- The relief is available through their retailer and provides a reduction in power bills for businesses who are temporarily hibernating as a result of COVID-19
- Talk to your energy retailer about your eligibility