If you are experiencing financial hardship please talk to your accountant and see if you can qualify for relief assistance options that are currently available from the government. 

Here are a few recommendations for small to medium-size businesses:

  • Businesses are now eligible to receive between anywhere from $20,0000 to $100,000 based on the PAYG that the business has withheld over the past 6 months. This applies to businesses with a turnover of less than $50m and at least one employee. This is paid in two instalments, with the first one in April and then a second payment made in July.
  • The threshold for bankruptcy credit has also changed from $2,000 to $20,000, and instead of the 21-day period day period business owners previously had to respond, they will now be allowed six months.
  • The Government will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans as of today and it gets better for any business that is already affected by the Virus. Those businesses will not have any requirements to make existing loan repayments for the next six months.
  • The instant asset in increased write-off threshold by fivefold, rising from $30,000 to $150,000 for new or second‑hand assets first used or installed ready for use until 30 June 2020. Access to the write-off will also be expanded to include businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million, up from $50 million. Businesses will be able to immediately deduct purchases of eligible assets, each costing less than $150,000. The threshold applies on a per asset basis, so eligible businesses can immediately write‑off multiple assets.
  • Backdated payments from Jan 1 will commence for 50% of apprentice and trainee salaries. This is for eligible employers and will run until September this year. This is valid as long as the trainee or apprentice was employed in the business as of March the 1st.

EMPLOYEES, CASUALS AND SOLE TRADERS

  • If your wages are reduced to under $1,075 a fortnight, you are now able to claim for Newstart. 
  • The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. These changes will apply for the next six months and paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. Those categories are:
  • Jobseeker Payment (and all payments progressively transitioning to JobSeeker Payment; those currently receiving Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Wife Pension).
    • Youth Allowance Jobseeker
    • Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single)
    • Farm Household Allowance
    • Special Benefit recipients
  • Anyone who is eligible for the Coronavirus supplement will receive the full rate of the supplement of $550 per fortnight.
  • For the period of the Coronavirus supplement, there will be expanded access to the income support payments listed above.
  • Expanded Access: Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria will provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment; sole traders; the self-employed; casual workers; and contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the Coronavirus. This could also include a person required to care for someone who is affected by the Coronavirus.
  • Reduced means-testing: Asset testing for JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker and Parenting Payment will be waived for the period of the Coronavirus supplement. Income testing will still apply to the person’s other payments, consistent with current arrangements.
  • Reduced waiting times: The one-week Ordinary Waiting Period has already been waived.
  • There’ll be no assets test or wait for Newstart. You could also qualify for rental assistance of up to $139.60f/n for those with no children and $185.36f/n with three + children, energy supplement, pharmaceutical allowance and family tax benefits.
  • You will now be able to access some of your super if you get into strife financially. If your income drops by 20% or more, you can apply to receive $10,000 each financial year over the next two years, which will be tax-free
  • The ‘Big Banks’ will allow eligible mortgage-holders to defer their mortgage repayments for up to six months.
  • The banks also unveiled a plan to delay repayments on up to $100 billion in small business loans.

That’s where we’re at so far with Government stimulus, but expect more to come, as Australia gets tighter with its restrictions due to the Coronavirus.

The media is presenting a case of doom and gloom, and for most people, this will be a very challenging period of time, however, take note of your entitlements and what is on offer for you.

NEXT WEEK WE WILL BE RELEASING INFORMATION ON HOW TO STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM.  STAY CONNECTED WITH US FOR ON-GOING SUPPORT.