Help for individuals

Help for individuals

Services Australia has an online payment guide that guides you through the payments available if you are impacted by COVID-19 and what you might be able to access.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment for Victoria
If you have to self-isolate or quarantine at home because of COVID-19 or are caring for someone who is, and cannot earn an income as a result, you might be eligible for a $1,500 payment.

Tightening of access to income support
From 25 September 2020, the assets test and the Liquid Assets Waiting Period (applies to those with assets such as cash savings worth over $5,500 for singles or $11,000 for singles with children and partnered people) will be reintroduced for access to income support payments.

In addition, partner income testing will resume from 25 September 2020, albeit with higher thresholds than those pre COVID-19. That is, you will not be eligible for income support if you are not earning an income but your partner earns $3,086.11 per fortnight or $80,238.89 per annum.

Job seeking requirements that were suspended from 24 March 2020 have been introduced from 9 June 2020. Some leniency has been provided for Victorians if you maintain contact with your employment service provider.

Coronavirus supplement
The Coronavirus supplement will continue, albeit on a reduced rate of $250 per fortnight (from $550), from 25 September until 31 December 2020 for eligible individuals.

27 April to 24 Sept. 2020 = $550 per fortnight
25 Sept. to 31 Dec. 2020 = $250 per fortnight

Your questions answered
During lock down I have had to work from home. I’ve set up a full home office with paintings, plants, a desk, computer equipment, a water tower and a sculpture. I presume I can claim everything I have purchased for this office and claim part of my mortgage and running costs?In general, home office expenses are designed for those who run their business out of home. If you are merely working from home and not running a business at home, then it’s unlikely you will be able to claim occupancy expenses such as mortgage interest or rent. Keep in mind that if you claim occupancy costs, this will impact on your access to the CGT main residence exemption.The water cooler is unlikely to be deductible as food and drink is considered to be private in nature. The items that beautify your office will generally only be deductible if they are displayed in open viewing areas in premises used for income producing purposes including reception areas, waiting rooms and foyers.If you are working from home and have set up a home office for this purpose, you can claim a deduction for your expenses based on the 80 cents per hour short cut method, the 52 cents per hour method (which excludes phone, internet, or the decline in value of equipment which are all claimed separately), or the actual method.

If you have any questions or need further support please get in touch via email reception@primeadvisory.com.au or call 02 9415 1511.

Read More
Help for business

Help for business

The Government has announced further changes to the JobKeeper scheme. The good news is that employees that missed out on JobKeeper because they were not employed on 1 March 2020 might now be eligible. The proposed changes would enable employees employed on 1 July 2020 to receive JobKeeper payments from 3 August if they meet the other eligibility criteria. If you have employees impacted by this change, you will still need to work through the eligibility requirements including providing JobKeeper Payment Employee Nomination, but just remember that these changes are not yet law.

JobKeeper will also be extended beyond 27 September 2020. To receive JobKeeper from 28 September 2020, employers will need to reassess their eligibility with reference to actual GST turnover for the September 2020 quarter (for JobKeeper payments between 28 September to 3 January 2021), and again for the December 2020 quarter (for payments between 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021).

Most businesses will generally use their Business Activity Statement (BAS) reporting to assess eligibility. However, as the BAS is generally not due until the month after the end of the quarter, eligibility for JobKeeper will need to be assessed in advance of the BAS reporting deadlines to meet the wage condition for eligible employees.

However, the ATO will have discretion to extend the time an entity has to pay employees in order to meet the wage condition.

From 28 September 2020 the payment rates for JobKeeper will reduce and split into a higher and lower rate. Whether an eligible employee can access the higher or lower rate will depend on the number of hours they worked during a 4-week test period. The higher rate will apply to employees who worked at least 20 hours a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods prior to either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020. Between 28 September 2020 and 3 January 2021, the higher rate is $1,200 per fortnight, and $750 for the lower rate. Between 4 January and 28 March 2021, the higher rate is $1,000 per fortnight and $650 for the lower rate.

JobKeeper payment rate 30 Mar to 27 Sept 2020 28 Sept to 3 Jan 2021 4 Jan 2021 to 28 Mar 2021
< 20 hours $1,500 $750 $650
> 20 hours $1,500 $1,200 $1,000

Cashflow boost payments

If your business received the first cashflow boost tranche, you will receive a further cashflow boost for the June to September quarters of the same amount. If you report quarterly, the cashflow boost will be paid in two equal payments for June and September. If you report monthly, the cashflow boost is provided in four equal payments.

The cashflow boost is applied to reduce any liabilities in the same reporting period with any excess amount being paid as a cash refund from the ATO.

Support for business employing apprentices and trainees

JobTrainer provides a 50% reimbursement to eligible employers for the cost of apprentice or trainee wages up to $7,000 per quarter. Originally only for small businesses employing less than 20 employees, the subsidy recently expanded to include businesses with under 200 employees.

For small businesses (under 20 employees), the apprentice had to be employed on 1 March 2020 or on 1 July 2020 for claims after this date (claims are open now). For medium sized businesses (under 200 employees), the apprentice had to be employed on 1 July 2020 (claims open 1 October 2020). To access the subsidy, you will need to provide evidence of wages paid to the apprentice.

The subsidy is also accessible to larger employers employing apprentices let go by a small/medium business where that apprentice was eligible for the wage subsidy.

The subsidy is scheduled to end on 31 March 2021.

State & territory based support

In addition to general waivers, reductions or rebates on some Government licensing and fees, each State and Territory has some form of support accessible to certain businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Australian Capital Territory

Support Description Closes
Rate deferrals Rate deferrals for commercial property owners affected by COVID-19. 1 April 2021
Payroll tax deferral All ACT businesses with Australia-wide wages of up to $10 million can apply to defer their 2020-21 payroll tax, until 1 July 2022.

New South Wales

Support Description Closes
Payroll tax deferral Option of deferring 2019-20 payroll tax to October 2020. Instalment plans can be entered into after October 2020.

Payroll tax threshold has increased to $1m for 2020-21.

Small business recovery grant Grants of between $500 and $3,000 to help small business reopen safely. 16 Aug. 2020
Export assistance grants Up to $10,000 for up to 1,000 eligible small or medium NSW export businesses that have experienced disruptions to freight channels or reductions in orders. Opening soon.

Northern Territory

Support Description Closes
Business hardship package A package of concessions including payroll tax waiver or deferral, council rates, utilities and rate concessions. 30 Sept. 2020

Queensland

Support Description Closes
Adaption grant Funding of up to $10,000 for regional micro and small businesses to adapt and sustain operations. When allocation exhausted
Payroll tax relief Payroll tax deferrals for the 2020 calendar year. 31 Dec. 2020

South Australia

Support Description Closes
Support when employing apprentices A range of grants and support when you hire an apprentice – up to $5,000 for hiring an apprentice, $1,500 on equipment reimbursement, and up to $5,200 off the Group Training Organisation charge out rate. Generally 31 Aug. 2020

Tasmania

Support Description Closes
Small business sustainability Grants of up to $5,000 for businesses with fewer than 20 employees to reopen and rebuild. 24 Aug. 2020

Victoria

Support Description Closes
Business Support Fund One-off grant of $10,000 for employers in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire and $5,000 in regional local government areas. 14 Sept. 2020
Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Up to $225 per night up to a maximum of $1,125 per bookable accommodation for cancelled bookings during stage 3 restrictions. 19 Aug. 2020
CBD Business Support Fund $20m fund for CBD businesses. No details available as yet but register your interest.
Night-time economy support $30m fund for hospitality businesses. No details available as yet but register your interest.
Payroll tax deferrals Businesses with payrolls up to $10 million can defer their liabilities for the first half of the 2020-21 financial year.
Payroll tax refunds Eligible businesses can claim an emergency tax relief refund of payroll tax already paid in the 2019-20 financial year.

Western Australia

Support Description Closes
International competitiveness co-investment Matched funding of between $50,000 and $100,000 for existing exporters (under 200 employees) of food, beverages and services into Asia. 12 Aug. 2020
Payroll tax relief The tax-free threshold increased to $1m on 1 July 2020.

Automatic grants of $17,500 are being paid to employers with annual Australian taxable wages of more than $1m and up to $4m in 2018-19.

Support when employing apprentices A one-off payment of $6,000 for an apprentice and $3,000 for a trainee employed from 1 July 2020. 30 June 2021
Incentive to employee apprentices Incentive of up to $8,500 for employing an apprentice or trainee from 1 July 2019.
Local Capability Fund Fund to increase capability of SMEs for planning, improvements to internal infrastructure, plant and equipment and training. Current rounds include cost recovery for: PPE manufacturing (up to $500k) and feasibility (up to $20k), and general recovery and growth (up to $100k) for supply to certain industries. 30 June 2021

 

For further support please get in touch 02 9415 1511 or email reception@primeadvisory.com.au.

Read More
NSW Government New $3k Grants for Small Businesses.

NSW Government New $3k Grants for Small Businesses.

From 1 July, the NSW Government will give further support to small businesses of between $500 and $3,000 to assist in safely reopening or upscaling their operations. These costs must be incurred from 1 July 2020. They can include business advice & continuity planning, cleaning products & additional cleaning services, fit-out changes, staff training & counseling, marketing, communications, and advertising.

This new grant comes as the NSW state government’s previous $10,000 grant comes to a halt at the end of the 2020 financial year. The first grant was taken up by 49,000 businesses totalling $490 million of support given by the NSW state government. This comes from a $750 million funding pool, in which the new grant will be funded.

Note if you have claimed the first $10,000 support grant previously you may also be eligible for this $3,000 recovery grant. To be eligible your business or not-for-profit will need to;

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) as at 1 March 2020 registered in NSW
  • Have total Australian wages below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000 as at 1 March 2020
  • Have fewer than 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff (including non-employing businesses) as at 1 March 2020
  • Have an annual turnover of more than $75,000 as at 1 March 2020
  • Have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% from March to July 2020 compared to the equivalent period (of at least 2 weeks) in 2019
  • Are in a highly impacted industry as at 1 March 2020
  • Have costs from 1 July 2020 associated with safely reopening or scaling up their business and can support these costs by providing invoices if required

If you are eligible, please apply online here.

Please note that the grant closes on 16 August, so if you need assistance in understanding if you are eligible for this NSW small business recovery grant, please contact us on 02 9415 1511 or email us.

Read More
New financial year = new super rules.

New financial year = new super rules.

This new 2020/21 financial year sees two main changes to superannuation with pending legislation that may include additional changes that will apply this financial year.  This financial year will see the termination of the work test for individuals 66 and 67 who wish to make personal non-concessional contributions and see an extension of spouse contributions to those aged between 70 to 75 years. Note, we are currently awaiting legislation that will allow for access to the ‘bring forward’ rules.

Termination of the work test for individuals 66 and 67 years old
From 1 July 2020, those under the age of 67 years can make personal contributions without needing to satisfy a work test. In the financial year a person reaches the age of 67, personal contributions can be made prior to reaching 67 years old.

Extension of spouse contributions to those 70 to 75 years old
Until 30 June 2020, it was only possible to make spouse contributions up until the age of 70 years. Between the ages of 65 and 70 years, the spouse was required to meet the work test of 40 hours in 30 consecutive days for the year in which the contribution was made. However, from 1 July 2020 this has now been extended to apply to spouse contributions made between the age of 67 years, and 28 days in the month after the spouse reaches 75 years old, which puts it in line with other personal superannuation contributions. The work test must be met prior to the spouse contributions being made to the fund.

If you would like to know how these new changes apply to you, please get in touch with our team by phone 02 9415 1511 or email reception@primeadvisory.com.au.

 

This strategy is not for everyone and has been provided as general information only and prepared without taking into account your financial position, objectives, and needs. You should consider its appropriateness and seek financial advice before making any financial decisions.

Read More
JobKeeper 2.0

JobKeeper 2.0

The second tranche of the JobKeeper scheme changes the eligibility test for employers and the method and amount paid to employees.

If your business currently receives JobKeeper, your arrangements will generally remain unchanged until 27 September 2020. From 28 September 2020, employers seeking to claim JobKeeper payments will need to reassess their eligibility and prove an actual decline in turnover.

Eligibility
To continue receiving JobKeeper payments, employers will need to reassess their eligibility with reference to actual GST turnover for the June and September 2020 quarters (for payments between 28 September to 3 January 2021), and again for the June, September and December 2020 quarters (for payments between 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021).

Eligible employers
The broad eligibility tests to access JobKeeper remain the same with an extended decline in turnover test.

  • On 1 March 2020, carried on a business in Australia OR was a non‑profit body pursuing its objectives principally in Australia; and
    • before the end of the JobKeeper fortnight, it met the decline in turnover test*:
      • >15% for an ACNC-registered charity (excluding universities, or schools within the meaning of the GST Act – these entities need to meet the basic turnover test)
      • > 50% for large businesses:
        • aggregated turnover for the test period is likely to be $1 billion or more, or aggregated turnover for the previous year to the test period was $1 billion or more (a small business that forms part of a group that is a large business must have a >50% decline in turnover to satisfy the test).
      • ­>30% for all other qualifying entities.
    • And, was not:
      • on 1 March 2020, subject to Major Bank Levy for any quarter ending before this date, a member of a consolidated group and another member of the group had been subject to the levy; or
      • a government body of a particular kind, or a wholly-owned entity of such a body; or
      • at any time in the fortnight, a provisional liquidator or liquidator has been appointed to the business or a trustee in bankruptcy had been appointed to the individual’s property.

1 March 2020 is an absolute date. An employer that had ceased trading, commenced after 1 March 2020, or was not pursuing its objectives in Australia at that date, is not eligible.

*Additional tests apply from 28 September 2020.

Additional decline in turnover tests
To receive JobKeeper payments from 28 September 2020, businesses will need to meet the basic eligibility tests and an extended decline in turnover test based on actual GST turnover.

  30 March to 27 September 2020 28 September to 3 January 2021 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021
Decline in turnover Projected GST turnover for a relevant month or quarter is expected to fall by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same period in 2019.* Actual GST turnover in the June and September 2020 quarters fell by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same periods in 2019.

The decline for both of the quarters needs to be met to continue receiving JobKeeper payments.

Actual GST turnover in the June, September and December 2020 quarters fell by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same periods in 2019. The decline for all three of the quarters needs to be met to continue receiving JobKeeper payments.

* Alternative tests potentially apply where a business fails the basic test and does not have a relevant comparison period.

Most businesses will generally use their Business Activity Statement (BAS) reporting to assess eligibility. However, as the BAS deadlines are generally not due until the month after the end of the quarter, eligibility for JobKeeper will need to be assessed in advance of the BAS reporting deadlines to meet the wage condition for eligible employees. However, the ATO will have discretion to extend the time an entity has to pay employees in order to meet the wage condition.

Alternative arrangements are expected to be put in place for businesses and not-for-profits that are not required to lodge a BAS (for example, if the entity is a member of a GST group).

Alternative tests
The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances where it is not appropriate to compare actual turnover in a quarter in 2020 with actual turnover in a quarter in 2019, in line with the Commissioner’s existing discretion.

Eligible employees
Employee eligibility will remain broadly the same but the value of the payment will change from 28 September based on average weekly hours in February 2020.

  • On 1 March 2020:
    • Was aged 16 years and over; and
    • If the individual was aged 16 or 17, was either financially independent or was not undertaking full-time study;
    • Was an employee other than a casual, or was a long-term casual*; and
    • Was an Australian resident (under the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991), or a resident for tax purposes and held a Subclass 444 (Special category) visa**.
  • And, at any point during the JobKeeper fortnight:
    • Was an employee of the employer; and
    • Was not an excluded employee:
      • An employee receiving parental leave pay or dad and partner pay; or
      • An employee receiving workers compensation payments in relation to total incapacity.
    • And, has provided the JobKeeper Payment Employee Nomination to the employer:
      • Agreeing to be nominated by the employer as an eligible employee under the JobKeeper scheme; and
      • Confirming that they have not agreed to be nominated by another employer; and
      • If they are a long-term casual, they do not have permanent employment with another employer.

*A ‘long term casual employee’ is a person who has been employed by the business on a regular and systematic basis during the period of 12 months that ended on 1 March 2020 (1 March 2019 to 1 March 2020). These are likely to be employees with a recurring work schedule or a reasonable expectation of ongoing work.

JobKeeper payments

JobKeeper 30 March to 27 September 2020 28 September to 3 January 2021 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021
Payment $1,500 per fortnight per employee ·     $1,200 per fortnight per employee or business participant who worked > 20 hours per week

·     $750 per fortnight per employee or business participant working < 20 hours per week

·     $1,000 per fortnight per employee or business participant who worked > 20 hours per week

·     $650 per fortnight per employee or business participant working < 20 hours per week

Assessing if an employee has worked 20 hours or more
JobKeeper payments from 28 September 2020 are paid at a lower rate for employees who worked less than 20 hours per week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020.

The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests for those situations where an employee’s or business participant’s hours were not usual during February 2020. Also, the ATO will provide guidance on how this will be dealt with when pay periods are not weekly.

Can I keep getting JobKeeper until September?
If your business and your employees passed the original eligibility tests to access JobKeeper, and you have fulfilled your wage requirements, you can continue to claim JobKeeper up until the last JobKeeper fortnight that ends on 27 September 2020.

ATO assistant commissioner Andrew Watson said in a recent interview, “Once you’re in, you’re in to the end of September. If you meet the eligibility test once, you’re in it for the whole time.” The original eligibility test was a once only test although there are ongoing conditions that need to be satisfied for each JobKeeper fortnight.

 

Finally, if you need assistance regarding any of the Governments stimulus packages please get in touch with our team by phone 02 9415 1511 or email reception@primeadvisory.com.au.

Read More

SIGN UP

For our free e-newsletter

TAKE A HEALTH CHECK

For our free e-newsletter

Personal