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As part of the Queensland Governments response to COVID-19, a $1 billion loan scheme was delivered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) between March and September 2020. Now closed, the scheme has assisted 7,000 Queensland businesses and supported 86,000 local jobs.
If you now have a COVID-19 Loan with QRIDA you can find important information regarding the ongoing management of your loan on the QRIDA COVID-19 Jobs Support Loan page. A wide range of other government assistance remains available for Queensland businesses impacted by COVID-19, please visit www.business.qld.gov.au for more information.
This page was originally published on March 26th 2020 and has been updated on 11th January 2021
Last Updated: 5.30 p.m. 3oth March 2020
The Federal Government has announced a number of measures in recent days to support businesses through the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19. Here we provide a summary of the key measures implemented both at a state and federal level.
If you are at all uncertain of the current position for your business and what you may be entitled to, we encourage you to contact the team at MGI South Queensland who will be happy to discuss your individual circumstances.
A JobKeeper wage subsidy gives businesses $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee to keep people working, for the next 6 months.
This is applicable to all businesses and not-for-profits including soles traders, provided that their turnover has been reduced by 30% or more (if the business turnover’ was over $1 billion, the reduction needs to be 50% or more).
Eligible employees are the following who are over 16 years of age and were on the payroll as at 1 March 2020:
Each eligible employee must receive 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.
For most businesses, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll data to pre-populate the employee details for the business.
Payments will be made starting the first week of May and backdated to 30 March 2020.
Applications are to be made with the Australian Taxation Office. Click on the link below for any updates from the Australian Taxation Office. The Australian Taxation Office will notify each registered business when and how to apply.
Eligible Businesses and Not-for-Profits with an annual turnover of less than $50 million that employ workers between 1 January 2020 and 30 September 2020 may be eligible to receive a cash flow boost of up to $100,000. This will be split into two payments as follows:
In relation to Payment 2, if you are a monthly lodger you will receive an automatic credit of 25% of payment 1 total upon lodgement of your June 2020, July 2020, August 2020 and September 2020 Activity statements.
If you are a quarterly lodger the payment will be made as an automatic credit of 50% of payment 1 total when you lodge the June 2020 activity statement and the remaining 50% when you lodge the September Activity Statement.
If you usually pay dividends as opposed to wages you may consider changing the treatment of your payment.
The credit will be applied to any existing ATO debt first.
Monthly PAYG Withholding
An employer has PAYG Withholding of $10,000 on their March 2020 Business Activity Statement and $8,000 on each of their April, May and June 2020 statements. They will receive the following credits (refundable if no outstanding liabilities):
21/7/20 $4,000 (MAXIMUM $50,000)
Quarterly PAYG Withholding
An employer has PAYG Withholding of $30,000 on their March 2020 Business Activity Statement and $24,000 on their June 2020 Activity Statement. They will receive the following credits (refundable if no outstanding liabilities):
28/7/20 $20,000 (MAXIMUM $50,000)
The Federal Government has increased the instant asset write off threshold to $150,000 from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. Businesses with annual turnover of less than $500 million will have access to this concession.
For eligible businesses other assets (costing more than $150,000) purchased and installed prior to 30 June 2021 will be able to be depreciated on an accelerated basis with 50% of the asset cost deductible in the year of installation.
The Federal Government is offering to guarantee unsecured loans of up to $250,000 for a term of up to three years, for loans taken out by small businesses in the 6 months starting from April 1. Talk to your bank manager about your freezing existing loans repayments and the possibility of applying for more finance given this.
Small businesses employing fewer than 20 full-time employees who retain an apprentice or trainee can apply for a wage subsidy on their apprentices/trainees.
This subsidy will come in the form of $21,000 over three quarters ($7,000/quarter) between 1 January 2020 and 30 September 2020.
To be eligible, the apprentice or trainee must have been in training as at 1 March 2020.
If you are having trouble meeting your tax obligations as a result of COVID-19 please don’t hesitate to let us know as we can contact the ATO and request the following concessions:
You still need to pay superannuation for your employees on time.
Employees, who have been made redundant, 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 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. We can also assist with the application.
The minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products will decrease by 50 per cent for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 income years.
An employee who has been stood down without pay, or lost their job will be eligible to apply for the JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance benefits.
On 22 March 2020, the Government announced it will provide a temporary Coronavirus Supplement of $550 a fortnight to new and existing income support recipients from 27 April 2020 for six months. People will receive their usual payment plus $550 each fortnight for the six month period.
The Coronavirus Supplement will be provided to people receiving:
From 27 April 2020, the Government has also put expanded eligibility and qualification criteria in place for six months. Eligibility for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance for jobseekers will also be expanded to assist:
The Government will temporarily waive, for certain payments:
Also from 27 April 2020, access to payments will become easier with a temporary removal of the requirement for an Employment Separation Certificate, proof of rental arrangements and verification of relationship status.
Two separate payments of $750 will be made to people receiving various social security concessions such as the age pension, family tax benefit, Austudy and veterans. The first payment will be available to people who are eligible payment recipients and concession cardholders at any time from 12 March 2020 to 13 April 2020. The second payment will be available to people who are eligible payment recipients and concession card holders on 10 July 2020 as long as they do not receive the Coronavirus Supplement with their payment.
If you are an employer (or part of a group of employers) who pays $6.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages, you may receive an email about a:
You can also apply for a deferral of payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year. (If you have already applied for a deferral, you do not need not re-apply – it will be extended.)
If you do not receive an email, or you are unsure about your eligibility, complete the refund/holiday application form.
If you are an employer (or part of a group of employers) who pays more than $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages and have been negatively affected (directly or indirectly) by coronavirus, you can apply for a:
A business is directly or indirectly affected by coronavirus if their current turnover, profit, customers, bookings, retail sales, supply contracts or other factors are negatively affected compared with normal operating conditions.
You need to register to obtain these concessions. See the “How to apply” section on the linked web page below.
Eligible Businesses and Not-for-Profits will be able to apply for an interest-free loan of up to $250,000 from 20 March 2020. The total amount of loans available is capped at $500 million therefore funding will not be guaranteed to all applicants. The first 12 months will be interest-free and the repayment period over 10 months.
There is currently minimal information released in relation to these loans. More information will be available during the week starting 23 March 2020 and can be found on the webpage below.
Payroll tax waiver available for businesses in the hospitality, tourism and seafood industries and will apply for the last four months of the 2020 financial year.
Other businesses with payrolls of up to $5mil will also be able to apply for a waiver, dependant on how significantly the virus has affected business.
The Australian Taxation Office has put out a statement which says if a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) owns real property and gives the tenant who is a related party a reduction in rent because of the financial impacts of COVID-19, then charging a related party tenant a rent that is less than the market value is usually a contravention of the SMSF provisions. However, given the impact of COVID-19 the ATO will take no action.
They have confirmed that they will take no compliance action for non-compliance of the SMSF provisions where funds provide rent assistance for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 financial years with respect to the related party transaction.
We have resources including appropriate letters from the business and trustee to ensure SIS compliance with the above. Please contact us should you require any assistance.
This post was last updated on March 30th at 5.30 p.m.
We have also created a pdf version of this Summary of Government Stimulus Packages announced to date.
The health and wellbeing of our clients, community and our staff is our number one concern. With regard to COVID-19, we are taking protectionary measures to ensure we respect others, whilst delivering our services in a sensible and productive manner. We aim to take a balanced approach that cares about people, is flexible, and manages potential operational disruptions, that continues to support your ongoing accounting and audit needs.
MGI is in a good position to work remotely if required, via our business continuity plan. If we activate this plan, or if the way our clients do their work does change, we will engage with you on an individual basis to confirm how we will best work together.
The protectionary measures we currently have in place are as follows.
We are without a doubt operating in challenging times, but we wish to reassure you that we will navigate this journey with you.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your MGI representative.
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