Australian Federal Government Stimulus Packages as of 31/03/2020

JobKeeper Payment

Businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to help to continue paying their employees. The subsidy will help businesses keep people in their jobs and re-start when the crisis is over. For employees it means they can keep their job and earn an income even if their hours have been cut. This payment will also be available for the self-employed. The Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months commencing on 30 March 2020. To be eligible the business turnover must be less than $1 billion and their turnover will have be reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago.

Boosting cash flow

SME’s with a turnover under $50 million who employ staff will be eligible for up to $100K in credits against their activity statements. Employers will receive a credit on their activity statements up to 100% of the salary and wages withheld up to a maximum payment of $50K from 21 April 2020 for monthly activity lodgers or 28 April 2020 for quarterly activity lodgers. Further, for SME’s that continue to operate there will be an additional payment in the July to October period whereby eligible employers will receive a credit equal to the amount already received. This additional credit continues the cash flow support over a longer period. The cash flow boost is tax free and is automatically calculated by the ATO.

Temporary relief for financially stressed businesses

The Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond. The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001. The ATO will tailor solutions for owners or directors of business that are currently struggling due to the Coronavirus, including temporary reduction of payments or deferrals, or withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notices and wind-ups.

Increasing the asset write-off

Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million, the instant asset write-off threshold will increase form $30K to $150K up until 30 June 2020.

Backing business investment

Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost. This investment incentive will run for 15 months through to 30 June 2021.

Supporting apprentices and trainees

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter per eligible apprentice or trainee with an overall maximum subsidy of $21,000.

Support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities

The Government will set aside $1 billion to support regions most significantly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. The funds will be available to assist during the outbreak and the recovery.

Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit

A Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit has been established to engage with business on a regular basis and provide updates to government on crucial issues.

Victorian State Government Stimulus Packages as of 27/03/2020

Payroll Tax Refund

Businesses with a payroll of less than $3 million, will be eligible to have their payroll tax paid for 2019/2020 refunded in full. These payments are expected to flow from next week. You will still be required to lodge future returns but won’t be required to make any payments for the financial year. You will also be able to defer payroll tax for the first 3 months of 2020/2021.

Government tenants rent relief

Commercial tenants in Government buildings can apply for rent relief.

Land tax deferral

Land tax payments for 2020 will be deferred for eligible small businesses.

Government supplier payments

The Government will pay all outstanding supplier invoices within 5 business days

Liquor licensing fees waived

Liquor licensing fees for 2020 will be waived for affected venues and small business

Business Support Fund

A Business Support Fund of $500 million is being established to support the hardest hit sectors including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment and retail. If you are in these sectors, it is worth investigating the Business Support Fund to see what you may be eligible for.

Working for Victoria Fund & Job Matching

The Working for Victoria Fund will help workers who have lost their job find new opportunities. The Government will also facilitate job matching to help Victorians find short term or casual work. If you had to let staff go, you could make them aware of these initiatives to assist them in finding work

Helpline for businesses affected by COVID-19

From today, the Morrison Government’s business hotline will give more support to small and medium businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Operations at the 13 28 46 Contact Centre will increase from five days per week to seven days per week, and provide additional hours of support outside standard operating hours for the first month, answering calls from 7am to 11pm AEST. Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said the operations of the Government’s business 13 28 46 contact centre, are being expanded to provide specialist advisers and extended support hours. “The Government is rolling out comprehensive, targeted assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and we want businesses who are looking for information to be supported,” she said.

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