IMPORTANT: JobKeeper updates including extensions, eligibility and more.

IMPORTANT: JobKeeper updates including extensions, eligibility and more.

After a week of frantic registrations for the JobKeeper payment, the Tax Commissioner and Treasurer have begun to make some amendments to the scheme. Please see below the key changes that may impact you.

Registration deadline extended.

On Friday 24th April the Tax Commissioner extended the registration deadline for April and May JobKeeper payments to 31 May 2020. However, to be eligible for April JobKeeper payments employers will still need to ensure that staff have been paid at least $1,500 for the first two JobKeeper fortnights (30 March – 12 April and 13 April – 26 April) by the end of April.

Eligibility changes for 16 & 17 year olds.

Full time students who are 17 years or younger and not financially independent have been excluded from receiving JobKeeper payments. This change will apply prospectively so employers who have already paid employees will not be out of pocket. Clients should take this change into account before making further payments to these employees. For more updates made to JobKeeper please click here.

Dedicated hotlines for employers to call to bridge finances.

The government have noted that many employers are experiencing cashflow difficulties whilst waiting for JobKeeper payments to arrive for their employees. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has arranged dedicated hotlines with the major banks so employers are able to call in relation to accessing financial support to bridge the timing of wages payments to JobKeeper reimbursements. We note that it would be best to approach a bank that you already have an account with, but all bank hotline numbers are below:

  • Westpac – 1300 731 073
  • NAB – 1800 562 533 (1800 JobKeeper)
  • CBA – 13 26 07
  • ANZ –  1800 571 123

As always, we are here to help so please get in touch 02 9415 1511 or email reception@primeadvisory.com.au.

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URGENT ACTION REQUIRED: JobKeeper registration deadline & more.

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED: JobKeeper registration deadline & more.

PrimeAdvisory Director, Christian Borkowski, updates business clients on 3 important stimulus developments that (likely) require your immediate action.

Note updates have been made and posted on our new blog, click here.

1. JobKeeper Registration (note updates have been made to deadlines, please click here)

  • If you intend to claim JobKeeper payments for your employees for the month of April then you must register no later than 26th April and you must have paid all eligible employees at least $3,000 during the period 30th March to 26th
  • Registrations, (for April payments), open on 20th April & close on 26th
  • For clarity, if you haven’t registered by 26th April or paid your eligible employees at least $3,000 since 30th March then your business will not be eligible to receive any JobKeeper payments in respect of any employees for the 2 fortnights covering the period commencing 30th March and ending on 26th
  • Your business will still be eligible for future payments, but you will have missed out on these first 2 fortnights.
  • We have provided the following information on key dates & the registration process here: https://www.ato.gov.au/general/jobkeeper-payment/employers/enrol-and-apply-for-the-jobkeeper-payment/
  • You may be comfortable self-registering, but if you require assistance with registration please don’t hesitate to contact us – we are here to help!

JobKeeper Eligibility & Advice (note updates have been made to deadlines, please click here)

  • The purpose of this email is to ensure you are registered before the 26th April deadline.
  • We are available (and will be in contact with you), to provide all the advice you require in relation to eligibility of your business and employees after you have registered.
  • We recently provided this downloadable guide as an overview of available stimulus measures.
  • Government & ATO updates are being released regularly and we will keep you informed as required.

2. Small Business $10,000 Support Grant

  • The NSW government has announced a $10,000 grant available to businesses with revenue greater than $75,000 and annual payroll of less than $900,000.
  • The grant is intended to assist heavily affected (75% decline in turnover) small businesses to meet their ongoing expenses (including occupancy costs, insurance, professional advice, creditors etc)
  • Eligibility & registration process information is available here: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-small-business-covid-19-support-grant
  • Applications open on 17th April and close on 1st June 2020.
  • You may be comfortable self-registering, but if you require assistance with registration please don’t hesitate to contact us – we are here to help!

3. The PrimeAccounting 28 Step Stimulus & Business Continuity Checklist

  • We have developed a checklist as a tool to ensure that your business addresses every issue possible during these uncertain times, please get in contact if you have not yet received one.
  • Addressing these issues is important not just to survive, but hopefully thrive.
  • We are pleased to provide the checklist to use either as:
    • A “self-help” tool (DIY); or a
    • Partial DIY with some assistance from us; or a
    • Full advice & implementation by us.
  • We hope you find the checklist to be of value and look forward to your feedback.
  • If you choose the DIY path then you will find our downloadable guide & various blog articles to be great companion resources to the checklist.
  • If you choose to collaborate with us we look forward to working with you at this important time.

That’s all for now, but we’re sure to be in touch again shortly with more updates! For any assistance please get in contact 02 9415 1511 or email reception@primeadvisory.com.au.

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Federal Government coronavirus economic stimulus stage 3

Federal Government coronavirus economic stimulus stage 3

On 8th April 2020, the Australian Government’s JobKeeper payment passed parliament with an estimated $130 billion to be paid to hundreds of thousands of business to subsidise wages of about 6 million employees.

The JobKeeper Payment

The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses that have been impacted by Coronavirus and have seen significant reductions of between 30% – 50% in annual turnover.

The government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for up to 6 months.

The package aims to support employers to maintain connection to their employees while the business is experiencing a downturn so when the crisis is over, businesses can reactivate their operations again quickly.

The Jobkeeper Payment will also be available to self-employed.

Who can apply?

Employers (including non-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month), or
  • their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
  • charities that have lost 15 per cent of their turnover in the same period.
  • self-employed individuals will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment where they have suffered or expect to suffer a 30 per cent decline in turnover relative to a comparable prior period (of at least a month).

How to apply

Businesses need to apply to the ATO to participate in the scheme and provide supporting information demonstrating a downturn in their business. They also need to report the number of eligible employees employed by the business on a monthly basis

The ATO encourages employers looking to take advantage of the JobKeeper payment to register for updates at www.ato.gov.au/JobKeeper and the ATO will contact those registered as soon as more information is available.

For more information from the Government please click here.

Who is an eligible employee?

Employees on the books on 1 March 2020 and continues to be engaged by the business.

Includes full-time, part-time, long-term casuals (been with the business on a regular basis for at least 12 months as at 1 March 2020) and stood down employees.

An employee must be an Australian citizen, the holder of a Permanent Visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.

How can we help?

We are here to help, please feel free to give us a call 02 9415 1511 or email reception@primeadvisory.com.au, and we can discuss in further detail.

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SMSF information regarding tenancies in your property & COVID-19

SMSF information regarding tenancies in your property & COVID-19

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are causing significant financial distress for many businesses and individuals.

If your SMSF has a property and a tenant in financial distress, you may be able to provide your tenant with rental relief under an agreed commercial arrangement. This may even be the case when the tenant is a related party or yourself.

Ordinarily, charging a tenant a price that is less than market value in an SMSF is usually a breach of superannuation laws. However, the ATO have provided guidance which allows SMSF landlords to provide for a reduction in or waiver of rent because of the financial impacts of the COVID-19.

For the 2019–20 and 2020–21 financial years, the ATO will not take action where an SMSF gives a tenant – who may also be a related party – a temporary rent reduction during this period.

What do you need to do?

There are some important things you should ensure are in place when you are providing a rent reduction to a tenant, especially when this is a related party.

  • Ensure the relief only applies to rent.
    • Any relief offered to a tenant can only relate to the rent component of the lease agreement. The ATO concession does not extend to other lease incentives.
  • Ensure that the reduction in rent is only temporary.
    • This means it should have an agreed period of time or agreed date where the rent is reviewed in light of the economic circumstances.
  • The financial difficulty faced by the tenant is linked to the financial impacts of COVID-19.
    • Any negotiated rent relief will need to be measured against the COVID-19 financial impact suffered by your tenant.
  • Clear arrangements which detail the amount of discount, waiver or deferral of the rent.
    • In evidencing that the rent relief is reasonable, it would be best practice if it is consistent with an approach taken by an arm’s length landlord.
  • Ensure you have proper documentation which allows your independent auditor to be satisfied that the temporary rent relief satisfies all of the above.
    • This may take the form of a signed minute, renewed lease agreement or anything deemed appropriate to amend the terms of the lease temporarily.
    • Even if you are both the tenant and landlord, the above should all be documented.

These are extraordinary times and the ATO is providing this guidance to allow SMSF trustees to be flexible and agile.

If trustees act in good faith in implementing a reasonable and measured reduction in rent because of the impacts of COVID-19 they should not fall foul of the law.

How can we help?

If you need assistance providing rental relief or whether this is the right action for you and your specific circumstances, please feel free to give us a call 02 9415 1511, and we can discuss in further detail.

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New working from home tax rate.

New working from home tax rate.

On 7th April 2020, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced special arrangements this year, due to COVID-19, to make it easier for people to claim deductions for working from home. The new arrangement will allow people to claim an increased rate of 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses incurred during the period 1 March 2020 to 30 September 2020, including;

  • Electricity expenses associated with heating, cooling and lighting the area at home which is being used for work.
  • Cleaning costs for a dedicated work area.
  • Phone and internet expenses.
  • Computer consumables (e.g., printer paper and ink) and stationery.
  • Depreciation of home office furniture and furnishings (e.g., an office desk and a chair).
  • Depreciation of home office equipment (e.g., a computer and a printer).

Multiple people living in the same house can claim this new rate. For example, a couple living together could each individually claim the 80 cents per hour rate. The requirement to have a dedicated work from home area has also been removed and now you will only be required to keep a record of the number of hours worked from home. The new rate does not prohibit people from making a working from home claim under existing arrangements, where you calculate all or part of your running expenses. Claims for working from home expenses prior to 1 March 2020 cannot be calculated using the new rate, and must use the pre-existing working from home approach and requirements, more from the ATO.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact the team 02 9415 1511 or email us reception@primeadvisory.com.au to see how this may apply to you.

For a more detailed explanation on what you can (and can’t) claim on tax if you’re working from home click here.

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