As the impacts of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) become increasingly felt across Australia and globally, our main objectives now are to support you and your business in any possible way to navigate this uncharted turmoil. This resource centre will be a continual source of updates and information to help you prepare and respond to issues you may face.
It is difficult to predict at this early stage how long, and to what extent, businesses will be affected by the evolving crisis. With specialists across business risk, business continuity, workforce, tax, compliance, supply chain and restructuring, we are here to help you and your business any way we can.
The Federal Government’s stimulus packages will offer some welcomed relief for businesses.
The Government has flagged that more support is coming and we will keep you updated on changes that are likely to impact you and your business.
As always, we are here to support you in times of difficulty. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any of the measures or the financial impact you are currently facing, in general.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGES SUMMARISED
Following the release of their first $17.6 billion COVID-19 stimulus package on 12 March 2020, the Australian Government has released a second $66.1 billion COVID-19 stimulus package on 22 March 2020 to provide further assistance to impacted Australian businesses and workers.
On 30 March 2020, the Australian Government announced a new $130 billion six-month JobKeeper stimulus package to assist businesses to keep their workers employed.
We have summarised all the above details in a complete guide to answer any questions on whether you can access and how to access any of the incentives announced by the Australian Government.
As part of the financial relief from the government, eligible individuals affected by COVID-19 will be allowed early access to their superannuation. We have summarised the eligibility criteria and established a guide to assist you in applying for the incentive.
Australian Taxation Office
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is encouraging businesses impacted by the coronavirus to get in touch with the ATO to discuss relief options.
Options available to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 include:
- Potential to defer some payments and vary instalments that will be due, such as income tax, business activity statement (including PAYG instalments), FBT and excise payments by up to four months.
- Allow businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting in order to get quicker access to GST refunds they may be entitled to. You can only change from the start of a quarter, so a change now will take effect from 1 April 2020.
- Allowing businesses to vary Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters.
- Remitting interest and penalties applied to tax liabilities incurred after 23 January 2020.
- Working with businesses affected to help them pay their existing and ongoing tax liabilities by allowing them to enter a low interest payment plan.
Employers still need to meet super guarantee obligations for their employees. By law, we can’t vary the contribution due date or waive the super guarantee charge where super guarantee payments late or unpaid.
These relief options will not be automatically applied, you or your accountant will need to discuss your business impacts due to the COVID-19 situation with the ATO to get the relief.
Anyone impacted by COVID-19 is advised to contact us as soon as possible so we can assist in any way possible including negotiating with the ATO.
Following the release of details concerning the Federal government JobKeeper package we now have further clarity over the eligibility and application process.
The JobKeeper payment has been established to assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 as 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.
Broadly, to be eligible as an employer you will need to have been carrying on a business as at 1 March 2020 and have since seen a downturn in GST turnover of at least 30%. For employees to be eligible they will need to have been permanently employed or a long term casual at 1 March 2020.
For full details of eligibility requirements please see the following checklist which apply each of the tests as well as a walkthrough of the enrolment and application process.
To help you in managing potential risks of transmission and communicating important messages with your employees and customers, we have developed resources, which you are free to download and use within your business.
Does your business need assistance navigating COVID-19?
With specialists across business risk, business continuity, workforce, tax, compliance, supply chain and restructuring, we are here to help.