As we go through these unprecedented times, we are doing our best to not only understand the different changes in taxation that are occurring from immediate tax changes being implemented by the government in these extreme circumstance but to also let people know how these relate to their circumstances and what is available to them.
The second Australian Coronavirus (Covid-19) Stimulus Package was announced on Sunday 22nd March 2020, to go along with the first Australian Covid-19 Stimulus Package. There were also new lock down measures put in place, which puts many businesses in a situation which they have never experienced before. We are here to support your businesses and assist where we can. Everyone has a different situation, and we’ve listened to many people’s situation in the past few weeks, and been here for advice and for a shoulder to cry on (while maintaining social distancing of course.) There have been many tears, and we feel for so many people and hope we can assist as many people as we can in these tough times.
We found that news.com.au had done a very good job of summarising the new additions to the stimulus package. You can read their article here
We have included the quick guide details from their site below, as we felt it was very useful for people to see in one place.
FOR ANYONE WHO LOSES A JOB OR IS ALREADY UNEMPLOYED
New $550 coronavirus supplement available for six months from April 27.
It essentially doubles the current $550 a fortnight payment and will be for any new or current recipients of JobSeeker Payment (formerly Newstart), Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit. Asset test and waiting period will be waived.
Jobseeker requirements reduced
Jobseeker requirements dropped to four job searches a month (or one a week) to reflect market conditions, and anyone with caring responsibilities or who needs to self-isolate can seek an exemption from mutual obligation requirements without medical evidence.
Second $750 Payment for seniors and other social security recipients
A second $750 payment for seniors and other social security recipients, which means a couple on the age pension would get $750 each under the first round from March 31, and then again in the second round from July 13. It’s potentially a $3000 boost for the household. The second payment is not available to anyone on the coronavirus supplement.
Reduced Deeming Rates and changes to minimum drawdown rates
0.25% cut to deeming rate, after RBA cut the cash rate last week.
More flexibility on retirement savings, with minimum drawdown requirements for superannuation account-based pensions halved for 2019-20 and 2020-21.
Australians in financial hardship can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.
You can access this if:
- you are unemployed; or
- 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; or
- on or after 1 January 2020:
- you were made redundant; or
- your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or
- if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.
People accessing their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
Apply directly to the ATO through the MyGov website.
Cash Flow Assistance
Payments of at least $20,000 or up $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profits (NFPs) that employ people, so they can keep operating, pay staff, and pay their bills.
Businesses and NFPs, including charities, with annual turnover under $50 million are eligible.
Temporary Relief For Financial Distressed Businesses
A temporary increase in the threshold for a creditor to initiate bankruptcy proceedings from $2000 to $20,000. This will apply for six months.
Companies will also get longer to respond to a bankruptcy notice, which will be extended temporarily from 21 days to six months.
Business Investment Incentives
The Government will introduce new scheme to guarantee 50 per cent of new unsecured loans for small and medium businesses to be used for working capital. This will enhance lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit. The scheme will start by early April and be available for new loans made by participating lenders until September 30.
- Treasury Guide to the economic response to the Coronavirus
- Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Cases
- Department of social services information and support
- South Australian Covid-19 Clinics and Testing Centres
- Fact sheet from treasury.gov.au regarding income support for individuals
- Information on home office tax claims