Do You Have a Pandemic Business Plan

pandemic business planAs the world continues to fight against the coronavirus pandemic and countries try to flatten the curve, businesses have started adapting to a “new normal.” But if there is one lesson many entrepreneurs are learning from our situation, it’s the importance of having a pandemic business plan.

What is a pandemic business plan?

A pandemic business plan is your company’s guide to responding to emergencies, particularly in a long-term crisis like the coronavirus spread. It contains policies for communicating among employees and clients. This plan also includes budget contingencies and other strategies to ensure your business stays in operation during any situation.

How do you create a pandemic business plan?

The first step to creating a pandemic business plan is to build a team of experienced and trusted individuals who truly understand how your company operates. When possible, try to include members from all departments, like your HR, operations, and your top management team. This way, you’re able to see the bigger picture and how each department would play a role in an emergency.

When you have your risk management team all set up, it’s time to do the work:

1. Set up guidelines

Lay the foundation of your pandemic business plan. Create the guiding principles that everyone must follow during a situation like a pandemic. Your guidelines should include how the company will continue providing and supporting your employees.

Will you be offering medical care for your staff? Who will be responsible for caring and communicating with your team? Additionally, this is the part where you may need to decide whether to temporarily pause any ongoing programs to ensure you have enough budget for your business essentials.

2. Develop a communications plan

Communication is vital in an emergency and especially during a pandemic. Set up a communications program or policy that ensures your staff receive important company updates and messages even when they’re not in the office. The same goes for your clients. How do you plan to reach out to them and let them know of significant company changes or updates?

3. Create a flexible workforce schedule

Understandably, you may want to continue providing services to your clients and maintaining business operations even during this time. However, you should make sure that your company can do this safely.

Think about setting up a flexible work schedule for your staff. When possible, give them the option to work from home.

The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way many entrepreneurs and companies do business. What changes have you implemented in your workplace? If you need help adapting to our current situation, Glance Consultants can assist you. We offer strategic business advice and planning, business performance management, and cashflow management.

Call us at 03 9885 9793 or fill out our contact form for your enquiries. We continue to commit ourselves as your trusted advisor in your ever-changing business journey.

Leadership Characteristics To Help Your Business Outlast the Coronavirus Outbreak

leadership in times of crisis

Do you feel like you’re being pulled from every direction while trying to keep your business afloat during the COVID-19 outbreak?

We are living in difficult times. As we start adapting to our current situation, however, here’s something to keep in mind as business owners and leaders of your organisation:

 

 

“It is in times of crisis that good leaders emerge” — Rudolph Giuliani

While it may seem difficult, there is no better time than now to be visible and take charge in all aspects of your business. Your customers need you. Most importantly, your employees need your support and direction.

Here are some leadership characteristics to help you during this time:

Confident and Calm

If you’re the first one to go screaming out the door, then don’t expect your employees to be calm.

Your staff, customers, and other stakeholders are relying on your leadership to get your business through the challenging months ahead. This isn’t the time for self-doubt and inaction. It’s the time to implement your crisis management plan or create one if you don’t have any.

While your leadership is essential during this period, it doesn’t mean that you have to do everything on your own. Get everyone on board and remember, “We are all in this together.”

Transparent

Communication is critical in times of crisis. When everyone understands the challenges that your company is facing and what you’re doing to solve those issues, there will be no cause to panic. Your staff won’t have to worry about the future of your business, which directly affects their future.  

Innovative

Now is a great time to think out of the box. Since the outbreak, many businesses have opted to continue their operations from home. Can your business do the same? If yes, what technologies will you and your staff need to get the business going?

Some basic applications and services you may need are: 

  • A video messaging application for your weekly meetings
  • An online file hosting service so your team could access documents conveniently
  • Online accounting software to keep your books up-to-date
  • An online calendar to schedule workflows, team huddles, and client meetings

Compassionate

If there is one important characteristic a leader should have during this time, it’s compassion. Don’t get too caught up with managing your business that you end up forgetting the needs of your people.

Every member of your staff is handling the situation differently. Check-in on them regularly and see how you can help make things easier for them.

The Coronavirus pandemic has caught many businesses off guard. While the future may seem uncertain, one thing is for sure. Your business could thrive and survive any crisis with good leadership.

For assistance and support, get in touch with Glance Consultants. We offer a range of services for Small to Medium Enterprise. You can send an email to enquiries@glanceconsultants.com.au or call us at 03 9885 9793.

How to Maintain Customer Relationships During the Coronavirus Outbreak

how to maintain customer relationships during the coronavirus outbreakCOVID-19 has forced many organisations to scale down their business activities, if not temporarily stop their operations altogether. 

While we’re all going through a difficult time and struggling to adapt to our present situation, let’s not forget about our customers. What you do right now could determine the way your customers will work with you in the future. 

Here are some tips to help you nurture customer relationships during the outbreak. 

Humanise Your Brand

Empathy can go a long way — especially during these times. Show your customers that your organisation is more than the services or products you provide. Let them know the steps you’re taking to support your customers, employees and stakeholders. 

The best way to do this is through social media channels. Additionally, consider sending out email newsletters regularly.   

Develop a Customer Communication Strategy

Uncertainties can easily lead to anxiety in the part of your customers. Communication is important. Please don’t leave your customers in the dark. But make sure everyone in your company is saying the same things when reaching out to them. 

To avoid wrong information being sent out or miscommunication, it’s best to create a customer communication task force within your company. This group will be responsible for creating your customer communication strategy. Keep the team small and when possible, choose key individuals that are familiar with the customer-facing side of your business.

Prioritise Customer Issues and Inquiries

It’s understandable for customers to reach out to you more often during a crisis. To ensure you’re providing support promptly, develop a system that prioritises more pressing issues. This way, you could provide immediate assistance to customers who need your support ASAP.

Additionally, never forget to reach out to customers for follow-up. This way, you can make sure that you provided appropriate assistance for them.  

Stick to Your Company Values

It’s easy to forget about your company values, mission, and vision when you’re trying to keep your business afloat. 

Remember that it’s during these times that your customers need you to stick to your promises. Assure them that you will continue to provide the level of support they’ve come to love about your organisation. 

Do you need help managing your business during this time? Glance Consultants is here to assist you. We can help you find a stimulus package that your business is eligible for and get you the financial support you need. 

To learn more about our services, you may call us at 03 9885 9793 or send an email to enquiries@glanceconsultants.com.au

JOBKEEPER PAYMENT

General

WHAT IS THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

The JobKeeper Payment is a payment made to eligible businesses and not-for-profits affected by the
Coronavirus to support them in retaining employees.
Eligible businesses that elect to participate will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible
employee to support the people they employed as at 1 March 2020 who are retained in employment.
Businesses must have paid their employees before they are entitled to receive the JobKeeper payment.
Where an employee’s total remuneration is less than $1,500 per fortnight (before tax), or has been stood
down, the employer must provide the employee at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). Where an employee
earns more than $1,500 per fortnight, employers can use the payment to subsidise the employee’s wages.
Self-employed individuals will also be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment.

WHEN WILL THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT COMMENCE?

The JobKeeper Payment will be available from 30 March 2020.

HOW LONG WILL THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT LAST FOR?

The JobKeeper Payment will be available for the period until 27 September 2020.
Employers

IS MY BUSINESS ELIGIBLE?

Employers (including not-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:
• their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion (and if part of a group for income tax purposes,
the group has a combined turnover of less than $1 billion) and estimate their turnover has fallen or
will likely fall by 30 per cent or more; or
• their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more (or if part of a group for income tax purposes, the
group has a combined turnover of $1 billion or more) and estimate their turnover has fallen or will
likely fall by 50 per cent or more; or
• their business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.
For charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), they will be
eligible for the subsidy if they estimate their turnover has fallen or will likely fall by 15 per cent or more
relative to a comparable period.
JobKeeper Payments are paid in respect of each eligible employee who was employed at 1 March 2020 and
is currently employed by the business (including those who are stood down or re-hired).

WHAT TYPE OF ENTITIES ARE ELIGIBLE?

All business types, including not-for-profits, will be eligible with the exception of those listed below.
The following entities will not be eligible:
• Australian Government and its agencies,
• State and Territory governments and their agencies,
• Foreign governments and their agencies;
• Local council governments;
• Wholly-owned corporations of any of the above; and
• A business subject to the Major Bank Levy.
Additionally, a company that is in liquidation, or a partnership, trust or sole trader in bankruptcy, will not be
eligible.
Some sectors may not be eligible if they are separately provided with support from the Government that
explicitly requires them to forgo access to the JobKeeper Payment.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IF I WANT TO PARTICIPATE?

Eligible employers need to determine if they want to participate in this program by electing into it. More
details will be provided about how to do that.
The JobKeeper Payment will be administered by the ATO.
“If you want to participate, you can register your interest on the ATO website to keep updated on
information about the JobKeeper payment via https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/
If you register you will receive updates and information from the ATO about how and when to claim the
JobKeeper payment.
If you are a BAS or Tax agent you do not need to register each client separately, unless you are registering
each client to receive the information directly.

HOW DO I WORK OUT WHICH OF MY EMPLOYEES ARE ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES?

You will only be able to claim the JobKeeper payment for eligible employees that were in your employment
on 1 March 2020, and continue to be employed while you are claiming the JobKeeper payment.
An eligible employee is an employee who:
• is currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
• is a full-time or part-time employee, or a casual employed on a regular and systematic basis for longer
than 12 months as at 1 March 2020;
• was aged 16 years or older at 1 March 2020;
• was an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa
Holder at 1 March 2020;
• was a resident for Australian tax purposes on 1 March 2020; and
• is not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
You can only claim JobKeeper payment for eligible employees if you pay the $1,500 per fortnight (before
tax) to each eligible employee.
These payments should be made using your payroll system and reported to the ATO via Single Touch
Payroll. This will support the online claim process when it is available.
Last updated: 5 April 2020 3
If you do not report through Single Touch Payroll, you can still claim the JobKeeper payment; however
there will be a manual claim process.
You will be required to advise your employees whether you have nominated them as an eligible employee
for the purposes of the payment.

WHEN WILL I RECEIVE THE FIRST PAYMENT?

The first payments by the ATO will be received by employers in the first week of May.

HOW OFTEN WILL THESE PAYMENTS BE MADE?

The payments will be made by the ATO monthly in arrears.

WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBLE PAYMENT PERIODS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR A JOBKEEPER
SUBSIDY?

Employers will need to satisfy payment requirements for their eligible employees in respect of each 14 day
period covered by the scheme. The first period starts on Monday 30 March 2020 and ends on
Sunday 12 April 2020.
The payment requirement is that they pay their eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight in
the scheme payment periods. Where an employer pays their staff monthly, the ATO will be able to
reallocate payments between periods. However, overall an employee must have received the equivalent of
$1,500 per fortnight.
The final period will start on Monday 14 September 2020 and end on Sunday 27 September 2020.

IF I HAVE STOOD DOWN MY EMPLOYEES AFTER 1 MARCH 2020, AND ARE NO LONGER
PAYING THEM, DO I NEED TO PAY THEM, FOR WHAT PERIOD AND BY WHEN?

Yes. You can claim JobKeeper for employees that were stood down after 1 March 2020. To be eligible in
relation to these employees, you will need to pay them a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight (before tax) for
the payment periods of the JobKeeper Scheme.
The first payment period under the scheme is from 30 March 2020 to 12 April 2020. Where an employer
pays their staff monthly the monthly payment must be equivalent to the required fortnightly payment.
For all following payment periods you will need to continue to pay your employees a minimum of
$1,500 per fortnight (before tax), before the end of the payment period.

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF TURNOVER?

Turnover will be defined according to the current calculation for GST purposes and is reported on Business
Activity Statements. It includes all taxable supplies and all GST free supplies but not input taxed supplies.
There are some modifications for businesses that are part of a GST group.
Further information on GST turnover, and how to calculate it, is available at ato.gov.au

IS THIS TURNOVER TEST RELATED TO ONLY TURNOVER IN AUSTRALIA, OR DOES IT INCLUDE
OVERSEAS OPERATIONS AS WELL?

Under the GST law, only Australian based sales are included and therefore, only Australian based turnover
is relevant. A decline in overseas operations will not be counted in the turnover test.

MY BUSINESS HAS ONLY JUST STARTED OR MY BUSINESS HAS “LUMPY” INCOME. HOW CAN
I SELF-ASSESS THAT MY TURNOVER HAS FALLEN 30 PER CENT?

To establish that a business has faced or is likely to face a 30 per cent or more or 50 per cent or more fall in
turnover, most businesses would be expected to establish that their turnover has fallen in the relevant
month or quarter (depending on the Business Activity Statement reporting period of that business) relative
to their turnover in a corresponding period a year earlier.
Where a business was not in operation a year earlier, or where their turnover a year earlier was not
representative of their usual or average turnover, (e.g. because there was a large interim acquisition, they
were newly established, were scaling up, or their turnover is typically highly variable), the Tax
Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information that the business can provide to
establish that they have been adversely affected by the impacts of the Coronavirus.
The Tax Commissioner will also have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in
specific circumstances (e.g. eligibility may be established as soon as a business ceases or significantly
curtails its operations). There will be some tolerance where employers, in good faith, estimate a 30 per cent
or more or 50 per cent or more fall in turnover but actually experience a slightly smaller fall.

MY TURNOVER HAS NOT DECREASED BY 30 PER CENT THIS MONTH, BUT I BELIEVE IT WILL
IN THE COMING MONTH. AM I ELIGIBLE?

You can apply for the payment if you reasonably expect that your turnover will fall by 30 per cent or more
(or 50 per cent or more for businesses with a turnover of $1 billion or more) relative to your turnover in a
corresponding period a year earlier. The ATO will provide guidance about self-assessment of actual and
anticipated falls in turnover.

IT IS UNLIKELY THAT MY TURNOVER WILL DECREASE BY 30 PER CENT IN THE COMING
MONTH, BUT CAN I APPLY LATER IF MY TURNOVER DECREASES IN ONE OF THE
SUBSEQUENT MONTHS?

If a business does not meet the turnover test at the start of the JobKeeper scheme on 30 March 2020, the
business can start receiving the JobKeeper Payment at a later time once the turnover test has been met. In
this case, the JobKeeper Payment is not backdated to the commencement of the scheme. Businesses can
receive JobKeeper Payments up to 27 September 2020.

MY BUSINESS IS STILL OPERATING AND MY EMPLOYEES ARE STILL WORKING. HOW WILL MY
PAYMENTS TO THEM BE AFFECTED?

In many cases, your payments and obligations to eligible employees will not change. Your business, if
eligible, will receive a $1,500 per fortnight subsidy to support their continued employment. However, if any
eligible employee currently earns less than $1,500 before tax per fortnight, you will need to pay them
$1,500 per fortnight before tax to receive the JobKeeper payment.

WHAT IF I PAY MY EMPLOYEES LESS THAN $1,500 PER FORTNIGHT BEFORE TAX?

To be able to claim the JobKeeper payment for an eligible employee, that employee must be paid a
minimum of $1,500 income per fortnight, before tax is withheld.
If you want to claim the subsidy for an eligible employee and they have not been paid $1,500 per fortnight
since 30 March 2020, employers must pay a ‘top-up’ payment to employees so that they are eligible. The
ATO will provide further guidance on how this will work.
The employer will be reimbursed $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee.
Employers cannot pay their employees less than $1,500 per fortnight and be entitled to a payment for that
employee.

WHAT IF I PAY MY EMPLOYEES MORE THAN $1,500 PER FORTNIGHT BEFORE TAX?

If the eligible employee is paid more than $1,500 a fortnight before tax, the employer will only be
reimbursed $1,500 per fortnight.

IF I HAVE STOOD DOWN MY EMPLOYEES WITHOUT PAY AFTER 1 MARCH 2020 CAN I ‘BACK
PAY’ THEM TO 30 MARCH 2020?

Yes. If you want to claim the JobKeeper Payment for your employees you will need to confirm your eligible
employees want to be part of the scheme and arrange for them to be paid a minimum of $1,500 per
fortnight before tax from 30 March 2020.

I LET MY EMPLOYEES GO AFTER 1 MARCH 2020. IF I RE-HIRE THEM, AM I ELIGIBLE TO
RECEIVE THE PAYMENT?

Yes. You can receive the payment if you re-hire any eligible employees you had at 1 March 2020. You can
receive the payment even if you then need to immediately stand them down, so long as they remain
employed.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO CONTINUE PAYING MY ELIGIBLE
EMPLOYEES UNTIL THE PAYMENTS ARE MADE?

The JobKeeper Payment is a reimbursement scheme that will be paid by the ATO monthly in arrears.
In cases where this may present cash flow difficulties, those businesses may want to speak to their bank to
discuss their options. The banks have said businesses may be able to use the upcoming JobKeeper payment
as a basis to seek credit in order to pay their employees until the scheme is making its first payments.

AM I REQUIRED TO PAY PAYGW AND SUPERANNUATION ON THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

You must pay a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight to your eligible employees, withholding income tax as
appropriate. The $1,500 per fortnight per employee is a before tax amount. Where an employee is paid
more than $1,500 per fortnight, the employer’s superannuation obligations will not change. Where an
employee is having their wages topped up to $1,500 per fortnight by the JobKeeper Payment, it will be up
to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wages paid by the JobKeeper
Payment.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY EMPLOYEE RESIGNS?

If an employee for whom you are receiving the JobKeeper Payment resigns, you must notify the ATO. You
may need to refund some money to the ATO.

I HIRED AN EMPLOYEE AFTER 1 MARCH 2020. CAN I RECEIVE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT FOR
THEM?

No. The employee must have been engaged as of 1 March 2020.

I PURCHASED A BUSINESS IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS AND RETAINED SOME CASUAL
EMPLOYEES WHO WORKED FOR THE PREVIOUS BUSINESS OWNER. ARE THE CASUAL
EMPLOYEES ELIGIBLE?

Employers must assess whether their casual employees satisfy the test of working for 12 months on a
regular and systemic basis. A casual may still meet this condition even if the entity operating the business
has changed recently.

I ACCEPTED SOME CASUAL EMPLOYEES FROM ANOTHER MEMBER OF MY CORPORATE
GROUP. ARE THE CASUAL EMPLOYEES ELIGIBLE?

Employers must assess whether their employees satisfy the test of working for 12 months on a regular and
systematic basis. A casual may still meet this condition even if they were they were transferred from
another member of a corporate group within the last 12 months.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I WANT TO RE-HIRE AN ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE WHO RECEIVED A
REDUNDANCY PACKAGE?

If an eligible employee has received a redundancy package and you wish to re-hire them, you will need to
consult with the employee and consider prevailing workplace arrangements to settle redundancy terms.

WILL THE ATO USE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENTS TO OFFSET A BAS DEBT?

The payment will generally be paid directly to the employer and not used to offset tax liabilities, as the
intent is that it is a payment that facilitates employers to pay their employees.

I RUN A LABOUR HIRE COMPANY. WILL EMPLOYEES BE ELIGIBLE IF THEIR ‘HOST EMPLOYER’
CLAIMS THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

Employees are only eligible in respect of their direct employer.

CAN I RECEIVE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT FOR EMPLOYEES IN RECEIPT OF WORKCOVER?

Employees will not be eligible for the JobKeeper scheme if they are fully incapacitated, unable to work and
being supported by a workers compensation scheme. In other cases, employees would be eligible as they
are in an employment relationship with their employer, provided their employer has an obligation to pay
some component of their salary or wages. If your employee is fully compensated under your workcover
insurance, they will be ineligible for the JobKeeper scheme.

SOME OF MY EMPLOYEES ARE NOT ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES FOR THE JOBKEEPER SCHEME.
WHAT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE FOR MY BUSINESS SO I CAN TRY AND RETAIN ALL OF MY
EMPLOYEES?

The Government is providing a range of support to businesses to address the significant economic
consequences of the Coronavirus. The Government is boosting cash flow for employers by providing up to
$100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profits, that employ people, with a
minimum payment of $20,000. These payments will help businesses with their cash flow so they can keep
operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff.
Other measures to support businesses include temporary relief for financially distressed businesses,
increasing the instant asset write-off and backing business investment.
Further information on the economic response to the Coronavirus is available on the Treasury website at
treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.

Employees

HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM AN ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE FOR THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

Eligible employees are employees who:
• are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
• are a full-time or part-time employee, or a casual employed on a regular and systematic basis for
longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020;
• were aged 16 years or older at 1 March 2020;
• were an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa
Holder at 1 March 2020;
• were a resident for Australian tax purposes on 1 March 2020; and
• are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

I AM AN ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE IN AN ELIGIBLE BUSINESS. HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE?

Eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight before tax. You will receive a payment
from your employer.

I AM STILL WORKING OR ON PAID LEAVE AND EARN MORE THAN $1,500 PER FORTNIGHT
BEFORE TAX. WILL MY PAY CHANGE?

No. If you receive $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, you will continue to receive your
regular income according to your prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper Payment will assist
your employer to continue operating by subsidising part of your income.

I AM STILL WORKING OR ON PAID LEAVE AND I EARN LESS THAN $1,500 PER FORTNIGHT
BEFORE TAX. HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE?

For eligible employees, if you receive less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, your employer
must pay you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. Your employer will continue to pay you your
ordinary income according to your prevailing workplace arrangements and provide a ‘top-up’ so you
receive $1,500 per fortnight, before tax

I HAVE BEEN STOOD DOWN. HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE?

If your employer is eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, and they elect to participate, your employer will
receive $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee. They will be required to pay you $1,500 (before
tax) per fortnight. The payment will be treated as income, and so will have tax withheld by your employer
on your behalf.

I HAVE TAKEN UP OTHER WORK AFTER BEING STOOD DOWN. WILL I STILL RECEIVE A
PAYMENT?

Yes. The JobKeeper Payment is not income-tested, so you may earn additional income without your
payment being affected as long as you are eligible and maintain your employment (including being stood
down) with your JobKeeper-eligible employer. However, you can only receive the JobKeeper payment from
one employer, your primary employer.

I WAS EMPLOYED ON 1 MARCH 2020, BUT I WAS STOOD DOWN OR LET GO AND I HAVE
APPLIED FOR OR AM CURRENTLY RECEIVING INCOME SUPPORT (SUCH AS THE JOBSEEKER
PAYMENT) FROM SERVICES AUSTRALIA. WILL I RECEIVE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

You will be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment if you have been stood down from work, or if your former
employer re-hires you. However, the JobKeeper Payment is treated as ordinary income for the purposes of
social security payments. You must therefore report your change in circumstances to Services Australia if
you are receiving income support, and this is likely to make you ineligible for the JobSeeker Payment or
other income support payments or eligible at a reduced rate.

WILL MY EMPLOYER PAY SUPERANNUATION ON THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

No superannuation guarantee payments are required to be paid on any additional payment made because
of the JobKeeper Payment.

I STARTED WORK WITH MY CURRENT EMPLOYER AFTER 1 MARCH 2020. WILL I RECEIVE
THIS PAYMENT FROM THAT EMPLOYER?

No. The JobKeeper Payment supports businesses to maintain eligible employees who were in their employ
on 1 March 2020. You may be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment if you are currently stood down by your
1 March 2020 employer or if you are re-hired by that employer.

I AM A CASUAL WORKER. AM I ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE PAYMENT?

You are eligible for the payment if you have been with your employer for 12 months at 1 March 2020 on a
regular and systematic basis. Apart from this, casual employees are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.
If you are ineligible for the JobKeeper Payment, you may be able to apply for support through Services
Australia depending on your personal circumstances.

I AM ON A FIXED TERM CONTRACT WITH MY EMPLOYER. AM I ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE
PAYMENT?

Fixed term contractors are eligible for the payment if you were employed at 1 March 2020 and meet the
other eligibility criteria for the JobKeeper Payment.

I HAVE MULTIPLE EMPLOYERS. WILL I RECEIVE MULTIPLE PAYMENTS?

No. Every employee is only able to receive one payment from one employer, their primary employer. Your
employers who have elected to participate in the JobKeeper Payment scheme may ask you to indicate
whether they are your primary employer. If you are employed by more than one employer, you should
contact your employers and indicate to them which is your primary employer.
The ATO will provide guidance on how to determine your primary employer.
You can continue to receive non-JobKeeper supported income from your non-primary employer.

I AM A CASUAL EMPLOYEE AND THE BUSINESS OWNER CHANGED WITHIN THE LAST
12 MONTHS. AM I ELIGIBLE?

You may still be eligible if you have been working for the business for at least 12 months as at
1 March 2020 on a regular and system basis, even if the entity operating the business has changed recently.
Your current employer will need to assess whether you meet this test.

I AM WORKING IN AUSTRALIA ON A TEMPORARY VISA. AM I ELIGIBLE?

To be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, an employee must be an Australian citizen, the holder of a
permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder at 1 March 2020.

I WAS WORKING IN AUSTRALIA ON 1 MARCH. I HAVE BEEN STOOD DOWN, AND RETURNED
TO MY HOME COUNTRY. AM I ELIGIBLE?

You may be eligible to receive the payment if you are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa,
or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder who has temporarily left the country. You will be eligible
for the payment if you are a resident of Australia for tax purposes and if you have been stood down from
work, or if your former employer re-employs you. If you have ceased employment, and are not rehired, you
will not be eligible for the payment.

I AM 15 YEARS OLD AND, APART FROM AGE, I MEET THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA. AM I
ELIGIBLE FOR THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT WHEN I TURN 16 LATER IN THE YEAR?

No. Employees must be at least 16 years of age on 1 March 2020 to be eligible.

I AM ON UNPAID OR PAID LEAVE. WILL I RECEIVE THE PAYMENT?

Yes, unless you are in receipt of Government Paid Parental Leave or Dad and Partner Pay. If you are an
eligible employee and your employer is an eligible employer, they will receive the payment whether you
are working, on leave, or have been stood down.

I AM NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT. WHAT SUPPORT CAN I GET FROM THE
GOVERNMENT?

If you are not an eligible employee, you may be able to access income support through Services Australia.
More information is available on the Services Australia website at servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals.

I AM RECEIVING WORKERS COMPENSATION. AM I ELIGIBLE?

If you are still working — such as reduced hours — then you will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper
Payment. However, if you are not currently working due to incapacity and you are being supported through
workers’ compensation arrangements then you will not be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

I AM RECEIVING PARENTAL LEAVE PAY OR DAD AND PARTNER PAY THROUGH SERVICES
AUSTRALIA. AM I ELIGIBLE?

For the period that you are receiving Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay then you will not be
eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

I CURRENTLY HAVE A SALARY SACRIFICE ARRANGEMENT WITH MY EMPLOYER. CAN IT
CONTINUE?

Yes. The JobKeeper payment may be paid to an employee in cash or as a fringe benefit or extra
superannuation contribution where the employee and employer agree.

Self-employed and other eligible businesses

I AM SELF-EMPLOYED. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE PAYMENT?

Yes. People who are self-employed will be eligible for the payment provided, at the time of applying, they:
• estimate their turnover has or will fall by 30 per cent or more;
• had an ABN on or before 12 March 2020, and
– either had an amount included in its assessable income for the 2018-19 year and it was included
in their income tax return lodged on or before 12 March 2020 (or such later time as allowed by
the Commissioner), or
– made a supply during the period 1 July 2018 to 12 March 2020 and provided this information to
the Commissioner on or before 12 March 2020 (or such later time as allowed by the
Commissioner);
• were actively engaged in the business;
• are not entitled to another JobKeeper Payment (either a nominated business participant of another
business or as an eligible employee);
• were aged at least 16 years of age as at 1 March 2020; and
• were an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa
Holder at 1 March 2020.

MY BUSINESS IS A PARTNERSHIP. CAN EACH PARTNER RECEIVE A JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

No. Only one partner can be nominated to receive a JobKeeper Payment along with any eligible employees,
noting a partner cannot be an employee.

CAN TRUSTS RECEIVE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

Trusts can receive JobKeeper payments for any eligible employees. Where beneficiaries of a trust only
receive distributions, rather than being paid salary and wages for work done, one individual beneficiary
(that is, not a corporate beneficiary) can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment.

I AM A COMPANY DIRECTOR THAT RECEIVES DIRECTOR FEES. AM I ELIGIBLE?

An eligible business can nominate only one director to receive the payment, as well as any eligible
employees. Only one person in a director capacity may receive the payment and that individual may not
receive the payment as an employee.

I AM PAID AS A SHAREHOLDER. AM I ELIGIBLE?

An eligible business that pays shareholders that provide labour in the form of dividends will only be able to
nominate one shareholder to receive the JobKeeper Payment.

I RECEIVE RENTAL INCOME AS A LANDLORD BUT AM NOT REGISTERED AS A BUSINESS. AM I
ELIGIBLE?

No. Only businesses with employees or self-employed people are eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

I AM SELF-EMPLOYED. HOW CAN I APPLY FOR THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

The ATO will administer the program with an online application process. You may be asked to provide your
ABN and a single Tax File Number for the eligible recipient of the JobKeeper Payment, and a declaration of
business activity.

I AM SELF-EMPLOYED AND ALSO HAVE A JOB. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE JOBKEEPER
PAYMENT?

An individual can only receive JobKeeper Payments from one source. However, if you are eligible for a
JobKeeper Payment, you can also receive income from other sources including another job.
Other programs

WILL THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT BE INCLUDED IN MY CHILD SUPPORT ASSESSMENT?

The JobKeeper Payment is included in adjusted taxable income. Parents should continue to report any
change to their income or wages as they normally would. A key principle of the child support scheme is that
children are supported by their parents in accordance with their financial capacity to do so.

CAN EMPLOYERS RECEIVE BOTH THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT AND THE SUPPORTING
APPRENTICES AND TRAINEES WAGE SUBSIDY?

Eligible small businesses can receive the 50 per cent wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees in the
Supporting Apprentices and Trainees measure from 1 January to 31 March 2020, and the JobKeeper
Payment. Where small businesses receive the JobKeeper Payment, they are not eligible to receive the
apprentice and trainee wage subsidy from 1 April 2020 onwards.
Further information on the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees measure is available on the Treasury
website at treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses.

Compliance

WHAT WILL BE DONE TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE?

This program will be subject to ATO compliance and audit activities. There will be a positive obligation on
employers to establish their eligibility and that of their employees. In addition, the ATO will cross-check
payments with Services Australia data, and data from other government agencies, and undertake activities
designed to identify multiple or ineligible payments to individuals.

WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT GOING TO DO TO ENSURE COMPANIES DON’T MANIPULATE
THEIR TURNOVER TO ENSURE THEY QUALIFY?

The ATO will provide guidance to help businesses self-assess their eligibility. This will include for
circumstances that do not fit neatly into more general circumstances that the majority of businesses are in.
The Government will include appropriate integrity rules to prevent employers from entering into artificial
schemes in order to get inappropriate access to payments.
There are serious consequences, including large penalties and possible imprisonment, for those trying to
illegally get benefits under the scheme.

WHAT IMPACT DOES THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT HAVE ON WORKPLACE ENTITLEMENTS AND
OBLIGATIONS?

Employers must continue to comply with their obligations in the Fair Work Act. The JobKeeper Payment
does not remove any workplace protections for employees. Enforcement in relation to Fair Work
entitlements will continue to sit with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Enforcement and compliance to ensure the JobKeeper Payment is passed on to employees will be done by
the ATO.

Jobseekers PDF

Last updated: 5 April 2020

JOBKEEPER PAYMENT — INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYERS

OBLIGATIONS ON EMPLOYERS

To receive the JobKeeper Payment, employers must:

  • Register an intention to apply on the ATO website and assess that they have or will experience the
    required turnover decline.
  • Provide information to the ATO on eligible employees. This includes information on the number of
    eligible employees engaged as at 1 March 2020 and those currently employed by the business
    (including those stood down or rehired). For most businesses, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll
    data to pre-populate the employee details for the business.
  • Ensure that each eligible employee receives at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). For
    employees that were already receiving this amount from the employer then their income will not
    change. For employees that have been receiving less than this amount, the employer will need to top
    up the payment to the employee up to $1,500, before tax. And for those employees earning more
    than this amount, the employer is able to provide them with a top-up.
  • Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
  • Continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible
    employees employed by the business.

BACKGROUND ON JOBKEEPER PAYMENT

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy
from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a
fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of
6 months.

ELIGIBLE EMPLOYERS

Employers 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 per cent 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 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

The employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020,
and confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged in order to receive JobKeeper Payments.

Not-for-profit entities (including charities) and self-employed individuals (businesses without employees)
that meet the turnover tests that apply for businesses are eligible to apply for JobKeeper Payments.

ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES

Eligible employees are employees who:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
  • were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
  • are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than
    12 months as at 1 March 2020);
  • are at least 16 years of age;
  • are 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; and
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

If your employees receive the JobKeeper Payment, this may affect their eligibility for payments from
Services Australia as they must report their JobKeeper Payment as income.

APPLICATION PROCESS

BUSINESSES WITH EMPLOYEES

Initially, employers can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from
30 March 2020.

Subsequently, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application.
The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.

Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide
monthly updates to the ATO.

Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum,
$1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of
the JobKeeper Payment.

Further details for businesses for employees will be provided on ato.gov.au.

BUSINESSES WITHOUT EMPLOYEES

Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can register their interest in applying for
JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.

Businesses without employees will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to
receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number and provide a declaration as to recent
business activity.

People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued
eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.

Further details for the self-employed will be provided on ato.gov.au.

Employer with employees on different wages

Adam owns a real estate business with two employees. The business is still operating at this stage but
Adam expects that turnover will decline by more than 30 per cent in the coming months. The
employees are:

  •  Anne, who is a permanent full-time employee on a salary of $3,000 per fortnight before tax and
    who continues working for the business; and
  • Nick, who is a permanent part-time employee on a salary of $1,000 per fortnight before tax and
    who continues working for the business.

Adam is eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment for each employee, which would have the following
benefits for the business and its employees:

  • The business continues to pay Anne her full-time salary of $3,000 per fortnight before tax, and the
    business will receive $1,500 per fortnight from the JobKeeper Payment to subsidise the cost of
    Anne’s salary and will continue paying the superannuation guarantee on Anne’s income;
    Last updated: 30 March 2020 3
  • The business continues to pay Nick his $1,000 per fortnight before tax salary and an additional
    $500 per fortnight before tax, totalling $1,500 per fortnight before tax. The business receives
    $1,500 per fortnight before tax from the JobKeeper Payment which will subsidise the cost of Nick’s
    salary. The business must continue to pay the superannuation guarantee on the
    $1,000 per fortnight of wages that Nick is earning. The business has the option of choosing to pay
    superannuation on the additional $500 (before tax) paid to Nick under the JobKeeper Payment.


Adam can register his initial interest in the scheme from 30 March 2020, followed subsequently by an
application to ATO with details about his eligible employees. In addition, Adam is required to advise his
employees that he has nominated them as eligible employees to receive the payment. Adam will provide
information to the ATO on a monthly basis and receive the payment monthly in arrears.

Employer with employees who have been stood down without pay

Zahrah runs a beauty salon in Melbourne. Ordinarily, she employs three permanent part-time
beauticians, but the government directive that beauty salons can no longer operate has required her to
shut the business. As such she has been forced to stand down her three beauticians without pay.

Zahrah’s turnover will decline by more than 30 per cent, so she is eligible to apply for the JobKeeper
Payment for each employee, and pass on $1,500 per fortnight before tax to each of her three beauticians
for up to six months. Zahrah will maintain the connection to her employees, and be in a position to
quickly resume her operations.

Zahrah is required to advise her employees that she has nominated them as eligible employees to
receive the payment. It is up to Zahrah whether she wants to pay superannuation on the additional
income paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.

If Zahrah’s employees have already started receiving income support payments like the JobSeeker
Payment when they receive the JobKeeper Payment, they will need to advise Services Australia of their new income.

JobKeeper Payment – Information for employers

JOBKEEPER PAYMENT — INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYEES

EMPLOYEE OBLIGATIONS

Employees will receive a notification from their employer that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
The majority of employees will need to do nothing further.

Employees in the following circumstances will have additional obligations.

  • Employees that have multiple employers must notify the employer that is their primary employer.
  • Employees that are not Australian citizens must notify their employer of their visa status, to allow
    their employer to determine if they are an eligible employee.
  • Employees that are currently in receipt of an income support payment must notify Services Australia
    of their new income.

BACKGROUND ON JOBKEEPER PAYMENT FOR EMPLOYEES

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a wage
subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim
a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of 6 months.

Eligible employees will receive a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. It will be up to the employer
if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of JobKeeper Payments.

Eligible employees include Australian citizens, 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.

Full time and part-time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible for the JobKeeper
Payment. Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they
will also be eligible for the Payment.

Employees will be able to receive this payment in a number of different ways.

  • If you ordinarily receive $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, you will continue to
    receive your regular income according to the prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper
    Payments will subsidise part or all of your income.
  • If you ordinarily receive less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, your employer must pay
    you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
  • If you have been stood down, your employer must pay you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
  • If you were employed on 1 March 2020, subsequently ceased employment and then were re-engaged
    by the same eligible employer, you will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

Your employer will notify you if they are claiming the JobKeeper Payment on your behalf.

Employee who has been stood down and applied for income support

Phoebe works in administration services of a large retail company as a permanent full-time employee,
but she has been stood down under the Fair Work Act without pay. Phoebe had registered an intent to
claim with Services Australia for access to the JobSeeker Payment and the Coronavirus Supplement.
Phoebe is single, with no children and in total, she would be eligible to receive $1,124.50 before tax
per fortnight from Services Australia.
Phoebe’s employer has decided to apply for the JobKeeper Payment for all its eligible employees for up
to six months. This would entitle Phoebe to $1,500 per fortnight before tax. Phoebe’s employer is
required to advise her that she has been nominated as an eligible employee to receive the payment.
If Phoebe elects to receive income support though Services Australia, she will need to report her income
from the JobKeeper Payment to Services Australia. Phoebe may no longer be eligible for income support
from Services Australia as a result of receiving the JobKeeper Payment.

JobKeeper Payment – Information for employees

How to Protect Your Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Protect Your Business During the Coronavirus OutbreakThe world continues to fight Coronavirus (Covid-19) and stop it from spreading four months since the first case was discovered in November. With over 700,000 cases recorded worldwide and approximately 3,900 cases in the country, SMEs and enterprises struggle to keep their businesses afloat.

Have you been affected by the Covid-19 Shutdown? Here are some tips to help you cope with our current situation.

Working From Home

If your business can continue its operations remotely, think about creating a set of work-from-home guidelines to support your team. This is especially important if it’s the first time that you will be implementing a work-from-home set-up.

Which positions or employees are eligible to work from home? Please keep in mind that not everyone is suited to work from home. For instance, if the job requires a high degree of supervision and you won’t be able to provide that, it might not be a good idea to have that position on a work-from-home set-up. Additionally, if the position requires equipment and resources that your employees don’t have at home, and you can’t offer, a work-from-home set-up might not be applicable.

To help your team transition to a work-from-home set-up, consider following the same schedule that you have in the office. If you have regular meetings at 10 am, think about doing virtual meetings at the same time. The key is to create a routine that is as close to what you have in your office as possible.

Other key considerations for working from home are as follows:

  • Work hours and breaks
  • Environment, such as noise, lighting, and home safety
  • Workstation set-up, including computers, printers, and a reliable Internet connection

Scaling Down Operations

Scaling down your operations could help limit your business expenses while still providing essential services to your clients. This way, you won’t have to shut down your operations entirely, and you’re still able to provide your employees with financial support.

Since the shutdown, many businesses have chosen to lessen their employee hours. Another thing you could do is to reduce supplementary labour. Whenever you can, delegate the crucial tasks you usually outsource to contractors or labour hire workers to your employees.

If your business is in the position to provide extended service leave at half-pay, it might be a great idea to do that to scale down your operations.

Getting Financial Support

The government is prepared to help SMEs during these trying times. Through the Economical Survival Packages, you could get financial support for business-related payments, wage subsidies, and short-term loans.

Do you need help managing your business and making sure things are in order? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You could send an email to enquiries@glanceconsultants.com.au or call us at 03 9885 9793.

 

Summary of the Government’s $84 billion coronavirus stimulus package

A. SME Tax & Cashflow measures

Cash flow assistance for businesses

  • Small and medium-sized business entities and not-for-profits with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million turnover that employs workers will be eligible for these tax-free payments. Payments will now be a minimum of $20,000 up to $100,000 and extended to eligible not-for-profits (including charities).
  • The enhanced scheme will be delivered in two phases: Firstly, with employers set to receive a first tax-free payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld, up to a maximum of $50,000, when businesses lodge their activity statements for the 28 April and 28 July quarterly due dates.
    Secondly, an additional payment equal to the first payment will be made after businesses lodge their BAS by the 28 July and 28 October quarterly due dates.
    Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $10,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax.
  • Monthly BAS lodgers will receive the first payment for the March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 lodgements, with a 300 per cent calculation in the March activity statement to provide the same treatment as quarterly lodgers.
  • The second payment for monthly BAS lodgers will be released once they lodge their June 2020, July 2020, August 2020 and September 2020 lodgements.

 

Tax Incentives

  • From Thursday 12 March 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million) to $150,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million) until 30 June 2020.
  • A time-limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) which will operate to accelerate certain depreciation deductions. 

This measure will also be available to businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million, which will be able to immediately deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.
As announced, this measure will only apply to new depreciating assets first used, or installed ready for use, by 30 June 2021.

  • Wage subsidies to support the retention of apprentices and trainees – Employers with less than 20 full-time employees may be entitled to apply for Government-funded wage subsidies amounting to 50% of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. 

The maximum subsidy for each apprentice/trainee is $21,000. Importantly, where an employer is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice. It is proposed that employers will be able to register for the subsidy from early-April 2020.

 

B. Access to superannuation

  • Employees who have been made redundant, or eligible to receive jobseeker payment, youth allowance parenting payments, special benefit or farm household allowance, or those who have their working hours reduced by 20 per cent or more, or sole traders whose businesses have been suspended or see a reduction in turnover by 20 per cent or more (where this has happened on or after 1 January 2020) will also now be allowed to access up to $20,000 of their superannuation.
  • Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020, and be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for approximately three months. The amounts released will not be taxable and will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
  • The government will also reduce the minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 income years.
  • Deeming rates for pensioners will be reduced by another 0.25 of a percentage point.

 

C. Support to workers and households

  • 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 for the next 6 months. This applies to permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment, sole traders, the self-employed, casual workers and contract workers will be able to access the new coronavirus supplement under expanded access to the JobSeeker Payment, formerly known as Newstart. The payments are set to commence from 27 April 2020. 
  • Tax-free payments of $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders. It is estimated that around half of those who will benefit will be pensioners. These payments will commence being automatically made from 31 March 2020.
  • In addition to the previous $750 payment announced, there will be a further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders except for those who are receiving an income support payment that is eligible to receive the Coronavirus supplement. This second payment will be made automatically from 13 July 2020. 
  • The Government has set aside $1 billion to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID19, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.

 

D.ATO administrative relief

On 12 March 2020, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced a series of administrative concessions to assist businesses impacted by COVID19, which include:

  • deferring by up to 4 months the payment of tax amounts due through the BAS (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, FBT assessments and excise by affected businesses;
  • allowing affected businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting to get quicker access to any GST refunds;
  • allowing affected businesses to vary PAYG instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters;
  • remitting any interest and penalties, incurred by affected businesses on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities; and
  • allowing affected businesses to enter into low-interest payment plans for their existing and ongoing tax liabilities.

The ATO assistance is not automatic, taxpayers must first contact the ATO to request assistance, and if eligible, the ATO will ‘tailor the assistance package for the relevant taxpayer.

 

E. Payroll tax refund & Land Tax Deferral

  • Businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived. This will support 24,000 businesses and up to 400,000 workers.
  • The State Revenue Office will directly contact eligible businesses to reimburse them for payroll tax already paid in the financial year.
  • Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to make further payments for this financial year.
  • These businesses can also defer paying payroll tax for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year.
  • Landowners that have at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million have the option of deferring their 2020 land tax payment until after 31 December 2020.
  • The State Revenue Office will contact all taxpayers who are eligible for this deferral.

 

F. Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

  • Temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against an individual
  • Increasing the time companies and individuals have to respond to statutory demands they receive
  • Temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide targeted relief from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus health virus.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you wish to discuss how this could affect you.

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