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.
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 payment in the July – October 2020 period. This will be equal to the total payments you received under this scheme between March and July. View the Fact Sheet: Cash Flow Assistance for Businesses for more informaiton.
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. View the Fact Sheet: Providing Temporary Relief for Financially Distressed Businesses for more information.
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. View the Fact Sheet: Delivering Support for Business Investment for more information.
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. View the Fact Sheet: Supporting the Flow of Credit for more information.
Businesses can also access further benefits offered by their State/Territory Government:
In the 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 also receive a credit of $2,622 on their 2019-20 rates.
In 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.
More information: https://www.treasury.nsw.gov.au/Covid-19Stimulus
In NT, eligible businesses will receive grants of $10,000 to $20,000 to improve their businesses. Grants will also be available to businesses requiring structural adjustment due to COVID-19.
Electricity prices for small/medium businesses will also be frozen from 1 July 2020 until 1 July 2021.
More information: http://newsroom.nt.gov.au/mediaRelease/32101.
In Qld, you may be entitled to a low interest loan of up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest free period. Register your interest: http://www.qrida.qld.gov.au/current-programs/covid-19-business-support/queensland-covid19-jobs-support-scheme.
Qld businesses can also defer payroll tax payments until 3 August 2020. The Office of State Revenue will work with affected businesses to create repayment plans.
In 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 are eligible for a 6-month deferral.
Businesses with outstanding quarterly land tax bills for 2019-20 can defer payments for 6 months.
SA Business Resources
24 March 2020: Daily Update from Country SA PHN from the SA COVID-19 Command Centre. Regional testing centres across SA are now open with protocols set for key elements of operations. Read more here.
In Tas, you can apply to have your payroll tax waived for April to June 2020 if your payroll is less than $5 million.
In Vic, the government will refund the payroll tax already paid by small and medium businesses in the 2019-20 financial year. Small and medium businesses can also defer payroll tax payments for the first 3 months of the 2020-21 financial year until January 2021.
Further measures include rent relief for commercial tenants in government buildings; deferral of 2020 land tax payments; and repayment of outstanding supplier invoices within 5 days.
In WA, small and medium businesses impacted by COVID-19 can defer payment of their 2019-20 payroll tax until July 21, 2020.
WA businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $4 million will also receive a one-off grant of $17,500. The payroll tax threshold will also increase to $1 million from July 1, 2020.
WA Business Support Resources