COVID-19 Summary of Government assistance for both business and individuals


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The Australian Federal Government and ATO have announced measures to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19), which are summarised by Spark Accounting Solutions as followings:

  • Tax payments deferred

Taxes are a major burden on Australian businesses during this pandemic. The ATO understands the pressure they are facing, so it has given affected companies the option to defer income tax payments, excise payments and various instalments for up to six months.

If your business has been adversely affected by the COVID-19, you should contact the ATO Emergency Support or us. The ATO doesn't automatically grant relief, so you need to be proactive about applying.

  • Possible remittance of penalties and interest

The ATO recognises the challenges some businesses face in keeping up with their taxes. Businesses may have some of their interest and penalties remitted.

You need to keep accurate records of your revenue and taxes owed. You will only be able to remit interest and penalties that you incurred after January 23, 2020. The remittances are not guaranteed and are granted at the ATO's discretion.

  • JobKeeper Payment for employers and employees – (For Business)

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.

  • SME Guarantee Scheme - Unsecured business loan Maximum $250,000 - (For Business)

The Government, Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority have taken coordinated action to support the flow of credit in the Australian economy, in particular for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

  • Boosting cash flow for employers - (For Business)

The Government is providing temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations that employ staff during the economic downturn associated with the coronavirus.

Through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Government will provide tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible businesses, delivered through credits in the activity statement system, when eligible businesses lodge their activity statements.

  • Supporting apprentices and trainees - (For Business)

If you employ an apprentice or trainee, you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020.

  • A hold on Evictions for Renters - (For both business & individual)

The Prime Minister has announced new measures to help renters. Evictions will be put on hold over the next 6 months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress, who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of the coronavirus.

  • Increased and accelerated income support - (For Individual)

Income support payments and establishing a new, time limited Coronavirus Supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. Payments will commence from 27 April 2020.

  • Early access to superannuation - (For Employee)

Max $20,000 Tax-free payment from your superannuation account. Individuals affected by the coronavirus can access up to $10,000 of their 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 20 April 2020.

  • Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries - (For business)

$1 billion has been set aside to support regions and communities most significantly affected by the 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.

  • Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses - (For Business)

There is a temporary increase to 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. This 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.

  • Increasing the Instant Asset Write-Off - (For Business)

The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). 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.

  • Backing Business Investment (BBI) – (For Business)

A time limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021.

  • Liquor licence fees waived - (For Business)

Businesses that have paid for a renewable liquor licence for 2020 will be reimbursed their licence fee and those yet to pay will have the fee waived.

The State Revenue Office will administer the reimbursement, regardless of whether the licence fee was paid to it or the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

  • Land tax deferral - (For both business & individual)

Land owners due to pay 2020 land tax that have at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million have the option of deferring their 2020 land tax payment until after 31 December 2020.

The State Revenue Office will contact all taxpayers who are eligible for this deferral.

  • International Freight Assistance Mechanism - (For Business)

The Australian Government is establishing an International Freight Assistance Mechanism to back Australia’s agriculture and seafood export sectors.

$110 million will help exporters get their high-quality produce into key overseas markets. Return flights will bring back items critical to the ongoing health response. This includes vital medical supplies, medicines and equipment.

  • Support for existing government program participants and applicants - (For Business)

If you're an existing government program grantee and have been impacted by the coronavirus, you may be eligible to seek additional time to meet your reporting obligations or to complete your project.

  • JobSeeker Payment - (For individual)

Financial help from centerlink if you’re between 22 and Age Pension age and looking for work. It’s also for when you’re sick or injured and can’t do your usual work or study for a short time.

  • Other monetary and financial help from for individuals

Centerlink and the department called Services Australia provides one stop solutions for helping people who affected by the COVID-19. All you need to do is to call Centerlink, then, Centerlink will do a full evaluation on you automatically, and make the payment to you automatically. Here is the contact details of centerlink and the department of Services Australia

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/contact-us

At the last but not least, If you have been adversely affected by the COVID-19, you should contact and apply with related authorised department or contact Spark Accounting Solutions at

  • 03 9028 8660 or email Hello@sparksolutions.com.au

The ATO and federal government doesn't automatically grant relief, so you need to be proactive about get action today!

Disclaimer:

  • This article is for information purpose and general advice only. It can not be used as personal advices.

  • some assistances mentioned in the article, are still in the process of legislation. It is all subjected to the final legislations

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