On 30 March, the Federal Government released the third stage of its economic plan to support businesses and workers through the coronavirus outbreak. This package builds on existing support delivered by all arms of Government, now totalling more than $320 billion. What does this mean for you?
The following benefits announced by the Federal Government are available Australia-wide:
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- JobKeeper Payment
- Boosting Cash Flow Assistance for Employers
- Temporary Relief for Financially Distressed Businesses
- Delivering Support for Business Investment
- Supporting the Flow of Credit
- National Business Resources
- State and Territory Support and Business Resources
If your business has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 you will be able to access a wages subsidy to continue paying your employees.
Eligible employers will receive $1500 per fortnight (before tax) for each eligible employee, for a maximum of 6 months.
Eligible employers include businesses, not-for-profits and self-employed individuals who have a turnover of less than $1 billion and whose turnover has reduced by 30%.
Eligible employees include full-time, part-time and long-term casual staff who have been employed by an eligible employer since 1 March 2020. This includes staff who have been stood-down or rehired.
Payments will begin in the first week of May but will be back-dated to 30 March. Register here: https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/JobKeeper-payment/.
If you employ workers and have an annual turnover of less than $50 million, you are eligible for cash flow assistance from the Federal Government.
This means the Australian Tax Office (ATO) will reimburse 100% of the pay which you collect and withhold from your employees for tax. If you are not required to withhold tax, you will receive a minimum payment of $20,000. The maximum payment is $100,000 per business.
The ATO will deliver this payment as a credit to your business when you lodge your quarterly or monthly activity statements. This measure is effective until July 2020.
If your business remains active, you will receive an additional $20,000 to $100,000 in the July – October 2020 period. This figure will be equal to the total payments you received under this scheme between March and July.
The Federal Government has put a number of measures in place to help businesses avoid insolvency over the next 6 months.
This includes temporary increases in the threshold at which at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on your business or initiate bankruptcy proceedings; and the time you have to respond.
Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million are eligible for investment support.
The Instant Asset Write-Off (IAWO) threshold is being temporarily lifted from $30,000 to $150,000. This means you can immediately deduct purchases of assets which cost up to $150,000 each. This applies until 30 June 2020.
Until 30 June 2021, you are also eligible for a 50% deduction on the cost of certain depreciable assets.
Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million can access a loan of up to $250,000, which will be guaranteed by the Federal Government.
Loans will be unsecured, meaning that you will not have to provide an asset as security; and will be for up to 3 years, with an initial 6 month repayment holiday. The scheme applies to new loans made from early April until 30 September 2020.
A range of measures have also been undertaken to provide small businesses with quicker and more efficient access to credit.
Businesses can also access further benefits offered by their State/Territory Government:
All ACT businesses which pay up to $10 million in annual wages/salaries can apply to defer their 2020-2021 payroll tax until 1 July 2022.
Small businesses with electricity usage of less than 100 megawatts per year will automatically receive rebates of $750 in their next electricity bill.
Eligible commercial rate payers will receive a credit of $2,622 on their 2019-20 rates. They can also apply to defer payment of rates (interest free) up to October 2020.
Up to four hours of one-on-one business management advice is also available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19 or the recent bushfires. Call (02)6297 3121 to make an appointment.
NSW businesses with a payroll of over $10 million can defer their payroll tax for 6 months. If your business has a payroll of less than $10 million, your payroll tax will be waived for 3 months, then deferred for an additional 3 months.
The threshold for payroll tax will also be lifted to $1 million in the financial year 2020-21.
NSW business owners can access free, personalised advice through Business Connect. Select an advisor and book online or call 1300 134 359.
More information: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-small-businesses.
NT businesses can apply for a Business Improvement Grant of between $10,000 and $20,000. Grants will also be available to businesses requiring structural adjustment due to COVID-19.
More information: https://businessrecovery.nt.gov.au/businesses.
In Qld, you may be entitled to a low interest loan of up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest free period. Apply online here: http://www.qrida.qld.gov.au/current-programs/covid-19-business-support/queensland-covid19-jobs-support-scheme.
Small and medium businesses will receive a 2 month payroll tax refund, a 3 month payroll tax holiday and deferral of all payroll tax payments until the end of 2020.
Sole traders, small and medium businesses will automatically get a $500 rebate on their power bill.
More information: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/.
SA businesses with an annual payroll of up to $4 million will receive a 6-month payroll tax waiver. Businesses with an annual payroll of more than $4 million can apply for a 6-month deferral.
If you employ people, have an annual payroll of less than 1.5 million and were ineligible for the payroll tax waiver, you may be entitled to a $10,000 emergency cash grant. Applications close 1 June 2020. Register here to be alerted when applications open.
Businesses with outstanding quarterly land tax bills for 2019-20 can defer payments for 6 months.
Tasmanian businesses with an annual payroll of less than $5 million will have their payroll tax for 2019-20 financial year waived.
Eligible small businesses will have their water and electricity bills waived for the first quarterly bill received after 1 April this year.
Land tax will be waived for 2020-21 for commercial properties of business owners financially impacted by COVID-19.
Small businesses may also be eligible for a range of Tasmanian grant programs and loan schemes.
More information: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/stimulus-and-support.
Small businesses with an annual payroll up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived.
Landowners with at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million can defer their 2020 land tax payment until 2021.
More information: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
WA businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $4 million will also receive a one-off grant of $17,500.
Small businesses which consume less than 50MWh per annum will also receive a one-off $2,500 credit on electricity bills.
Businesses with an annual payroll of less than $7.5 million will have their payroll tax waived for 4 months. Affected businesses can apply for interest free payment arrangements and for a range of taxes and duties.
The payroll tax threshold will also increase to $1 million from July 1, 2020.
More information: https://www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/coronavirus.