Summary of COVID-19 Measures

23 March 2020

Please find below the summary of Coronavirus measures announced so far:                          

Announced 12 March 2020

  • Increase in instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 until 30/6/2020.
  • Provision of a new investment incentive by providing an extra 50% depreciation deduction for purchase of equipment through to 30/6/2021 (this is effectively only for a value > $150,000).
  • A 50% wage subsidy of up to $21,000 ($7,000 per quarter) for apprentices and trainee wages for the nine months from January to September 2020.
  • A $1 billion fund to support those sectors of the economy disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, such as tourism, education, hospitality, and entertainment. Further details to be advised. If you feel you have been adversely affected please contact us.
  • Up to a $25,000 rebate to small businesses, this has been increased to up to $100,000 (as announced on 22 March 2020, see below).
  • One-off payment of $750 to Centrelink recipients (excluding those receiving Job Seeker Allowance and the like, see below). Ninety percent of payments are expected to be made by mid-April 2020.
  • The ATO will defer current or upcoming tax obligations for up to 4 months.
  • PAYG Instalments – If you are a quarterly pay as you go (PAYG) instalments payer, you can vary your PAYG instalments on your activity statement for the March 2020 quarter. You can do this by lodging a revised activity statement before your instalment is due and before your tax return for the year. Taxpayers that vary their PAYG instalment rate or amount can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters. Where you choose to vary your PAYG instalments the ATO will not apply penalties or charge interest to varied instalments for the 2019-20 financial year.

Announced 22 March 2020

  • Income support payments to be increased by $550 per fortnight for the next 6 months for existing and new recipients of:
    • Job Seeker Payment
    • Youth Allowance Jobseeker
    • Parenting Payment
    • Farm Household Allowance
    • Special Benefit
  • A further $750 to be paid on 13 July 2020 to those Centrelink recipients who will be receiving the first payment in April 2020.
  • Individuals in financial distress can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020 and a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for another three months. These payments will be tax-free. Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through MyGov. From 1 January 2020, you need to be unemployed, or eligible to receive JobSeeker, or have had your working hours reduced by 20% or more, or if you are a sole-trader and your business has ceased or had a reduction in turnover of 20% or more.
  • A reduction in the minimum drawdown requirements for account based pensions by 50% for 2019-20 and 2020-21. Unfortunately, if you have already drawn more than the new minimum amount for 2019-20 you will not be able to put that money back into super unless you qualify for the contribution rules.
  • Cash flow for employers (up to $100,000). A minimum of $10,000 and maximum of $50,000 is available from 28 April 2020. It is equal to 100% of your PAYG withholding obligation. These payments are tax-free. An additional payment will be made from 28 July 2020 for the same amount. You must be a registered employer as of 12 March 2020. We will be helping clients make sure they receive these amounts, the timing of which depends whether you are a monthly or quarterly remitter.

Other measures             

  • Banks will defer loan repayments for six months for small businesses.
  • The Government will guarantee up to 50% of new loans issued by lenders to small businesses.  Loans can be up to 3 years for a maximum amount of $250,000. There will be an initial six-month repayment holiday. You will need to contact your bank to apply. This may be a good thing to get you through while waiting for other Government benefits to flow.
  • NSW OSR have offered a payroll tax waiver for the three months ended 30 June 2020. They have also brought forward the increase in the payroll tax threshold from $850,000 to $1 million for 2020-21.
  • We suggest you contact your landlord as soon as possible to enter into more suitable rental terms, as the coronavirus burden will need to be shared by all.

For more detailed information please use this link: https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business                  

In this Issue:

Announced 12 March 2020

Announced 22 March 2020

Other measures