Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support Packages
In light of the continued uncertainty and rapidly changing events, we wanted to highlight some important information regarding the Stimulus Relief Packages available for individuals and businesses. Please read below for further information and if you have any questions at all, please let us know.
The following websites also contain up to date information on how the Coronavirus will affect the Global and Australian economies as well as the latest Coronavirus news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia.
STIMULUS RELIEF PACKAGES
Temporary early access to Superannuation benefits
From mid-April, the Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Please note you must apply through myGov. For full details and eligibility, please see this Fact Sheet.
Support for Retirees
The Government is helping retirees to manage the impact of volatility in financial markets on their retirement savings by temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements. Furthermore, the Government is reducing social security deeming rates in recognition of the impact of the low interest rates on savings. For full details, please see this Fact Sheet.
The Government’s JobKeeper Payment will help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact of the coronavirus. Fact Sheet
On 21 July 2020, the Government announced it is extending the JobKeeper Payment until 28 March 2021 and is targeting support to those employers who continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus. Fact Sheet
- The existing JobKeeper Payment will remain in place until 27 September 2020. Information about the operation of the JobKeeper Payment until 27 September 2020 is available on the ATO website.
- From 28 September 2020, the JobKeeper Payment will be targeted to employers that have been most significantly impacted, the payment rates will be stepped-down and two tiers of payment will be introduced. Non-employing businesses will no longer be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from this date.
If you currently receive JobKeeper Payment it remains unchanged and available until 27 September 2020. From 28 September 2020, employers seeking to claim JobKeeper Payments will be required to reassess their eligibility for the JobKeeper extension with reference to their actual turnover. The JobKeeper extension will be available to qualifying businesses from 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021.
The ATO is administering the JobKeeper Payment and detailed information and guidance on JobKeeper is available on the ATO website.
Income support for individuals
The Government has temporarily expanded eligibility for income support payments – including JobSeeker Payment. In addition, the Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight is available until 24 September 2020. Beyond this date, the Coronavirus Supplement will be available at $250 per fortnight until 31 December 2020. For full details, please see this Fact Sheet.
Payments to support households
The Government is providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 and the second payment will be made from 13 July 2020. Around half of those that benefit are pensioners. This payment will help to support confidence and domestic demand in the economy. The second payment will not be made to those eligible for the Coronavirus supplement. Fact Sheet
Some of Australia’s major banks will be allowing home loan customers to defer their home loan repayments for up to six months. Please contact your Mortgage Lender for more information.
Australian states and territories will put a six-month moratorium on evictions for both residential and commercial tenants during the coronavirus pandemic. Landlords and renters are encouraged to talk about short term agreements.
HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. HomeBuilder will assist the residential construction market by encouraging the commencement of new home builds and renovations. Fact Sheet
Supporting Businesses to retain jobs – JobKeeper Payment
If your business has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus you will be able to access a wages subsidy to continue paying your employees. Under the JobKeeper program, you will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of six months. This assistance will help you keep staff and will help you restart when the crisis is over. For full details, please see this Fact Sheet for Employers or information for Sole Traders Fact Sheet.
Boosting cash flow for employers
The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not for-profits (NFPs) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000. For full details, please see this Fact Sheet.
Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
The economic impacts of the Coronavirus and health measures to prevent its spread could see many otherwise profitable and viable businesses temporarily face financial distress. It is important that these businesses have a safety net to make sure that when the crisis has passed they can resume normal business operations. One element of that safety net is to lessen the threat of actions that could unnecessarily push them into insolvency and force the winding up of the business. For full details, please see this Fact Sheet.
Quick and efficient access to credit for small business
The Government is cutting red tape by providing a temporary exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers. . For full details, please see this Fact Sheet.
Increasing the instant asset write-off
The Government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020.
Available from March 2020 for new or second-hand assets first used or installed ready for use by 30 June 2020.
On 9 June 2020, the Government announced a six month extension to the Instant Asset Write-Off to 31 December 2020.
Backing business investment
The Government is introducing a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost. For full details, please see this Fact Sheet.
Supporting apprentices and trainees
Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter). For full details, please see this Fact Sheet.
Timing of Assistance
|Immediately, with deductions to be included in 2019-20 tax returns||Increased instant asset write off|
|Immediately||Temporarily reduced minimum drawdown rates for superannuation|
|Immediately, with deductions to be included in 2019-20 tax returns||Backing business investment — accelerated depreciation|
|As soon as practicable||Support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities|
|From 30 March 2020||Register interest for JobKeeper Payment|
|From 31 March 2020||First round of $750 payments to support households|
|Applications from early-April||Assistance for existing apprentices and trainees|
|Applications from mid-April 2020||Temporary early release of superannuation|
|From 27 April 2020||Income support and a Coronavirus supplement|
|From 28 April 2020||First phase of Boosting Cash Flow for Employers|
|From 1 May 2020||Increased transfer payments from reduced deeming rates|
|First week of May||Initial JobKeeper Payments received by employers|
|From 13 July 2020||Second round of $750 payments to support households|
|From 21 July 2020||Second phase of Boosting Cash Flow for Employers|