Government Stimulus Measures For Businesses


Actions you can take to preserve cash and manage your business


There are a number of financial support measures available to businesses as part of the Government Stimulus Package. We’ve summarised them below for you:


Cash flow assistance for eligible small and medium-sized businesses

Businesses with an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million that employ staff will now receive a payment equal to 100% of PAYG withholding, with a minimum payment of $20,000 and maximum payment of $100,000, for payments from January to March 2020, April to June 2020 and July to September 2020.

The tax-free payments will be delivered by the ATO as a credit to the business upon lodgement of their Activity Statements. Therefore, continue to lodge your Activity Statements as normal and this payment will be processed by the ATO.

For more information, see the Treasury website’s Fact Sheet on Cash Flow Assistance for Businesses.


JobKeeper Payment

The Federal Government has introduced a wage subsidy program to help businesses affected by the Coronavirus to cover the costs of their employees’ wages, so that more employees can retain their job and continue to earn an income.

The JobKeeper Payment will provide $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight per eligible employee for up to 6 months to eligible employers.

Employers will be eligible if:

Employees will be eligible if:

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

All eligible employees will need to complete the JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice to agree to be included in the JobKeeper payment scheme and send the form back to you, their employer, for your records.

All eligible employees must be included. An employer cannot pick and choose who is to be included. However, an eligible employee can nominate another employer, and therefore may elect to tick ‘No’ in Section C of your Job Keeper Employee Nomination Notice.

What to do from 20 April 2020:
  1. You can register online from 20 April 2020 using the ATO Business Portal which must be done by 26 April 2020 in order to claim April payments.
  2. Specify the estimated number of employees who will be eligible for the first JobKeeper fortnight (30 March – 12 April), second JobKeeper fortnight (13 April – 26 April).
  3. The form allows for notification of business participationwhich relates to sole traders, trusts, partnerships, directors/shareholders with no wages.
  4. Provide your bank details in the online form in order to receive payment by mid-May.
What do to from 4 May 2020:
  1. Apply to claim the JobKeeper payment on the ATO Business Portal for each JobKeeper fortnight thereafter.
  2. Continue to pay eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 (pre-tax) per JobKeeper fortnight.
  3. Report eligible wages: 
    • Single Touch Payroll Software – identify your eligible employees and select their pre-filled information from your Single Touch Payroll reports.
    • No Single Touch Payroll Software – manually enter employee details on the ATO Business Portal.
  4. Submit report and wait to receive confirmation via email or SMS.
  5. Payment will be received within 14 days of the end of the month.
  6. Completion of a Monthly JobKeeper Declaration report will be required in order to continue receiving payments. If any employee’s circumstances change you will need to notify the ATO in the Monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.

For more information, see the ATO Website and the Treasury’s website on Supporting Businesses to retain jobs.


Victorian Business Support Fund

Eligible businesses can apply for a $10,000 funding grant from the Victorian Government.

Businesses are eligible to apply for the grant if they:

The funding grant might be used to meet costs to continue to run the business, develop the business or seek advice to support business continuity planning.

For more information or to apply for the grant, see the Business Victoria website.


Payroll Tax Relief

Victorian

Victorian payroll tax for the 2020 financial year will be waived for businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million. You must continue to lodge returns but will not be required to make any further payments for the 2020 financial year.

The State Revenue Office will be reimbursing payments that have already been made by eligible businesses who request a reimbursement.

New South Wales

For businesses with wages of no more than $10 million will have their NSW payroll tax waived for 3 months.

There has also been an increase to the tax-free threshold for the 2021 financial year from $900,000 to $1 million.

For more information, see NSW Payroll Tax.

Queensland

Eligible businesses who pay $6.5 million or less in wages will:

To access the QLD payroll tax relief, complete the refund/holiday application form.

For more information, see Business Queensland.


Supporting Business Investment

Increasing the instant asset write-off threshold to $150,000 (up from $30,000) per asset.

The threshold applies to businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) for new and second-hand assets. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct eligible assets on installation as follows:

For more information, see the Treasury website’s Fact Sheet on Support for Business Investment.


Loans

The government will guarantee 50% of new lending to small and medium businesses.  With the support of banks, unsecured loans of up to $250,000 with a three-year term are being offered with no repayments required for 6 months. However, interest will be capitalized on these arrangements. Please contact us to discuss this option if it is something you are considering.




Solvency

The government has temporarily increased the threshold at which creditors can pursue insolvency proceedings from $2,000 to $20,000. The 21-day response requirement has now been extended to six months, providing distressed businesses with relief from creditors.




Supporting Apprentices and Trainees

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid 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. Employers will be reimbursed up to $21,000 ($7,000 per quarter) per eligible apprentice or trainee. For further information on eligibility and applying for the subsidy, contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider.

For more information, see the page 5 of the Treasury website’s Fact Sheet on Cash Flow Assistance for Businesses.


Assistance for severely-affected regions and sectors

The Government will provide support for regions, communities and industries that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The funds will be available for distribution through existing or new mechanisms as soon as practicable. More detail will be provided by the Government once it comes to hand.

For more information, see the Treasury website’s Fact Sheet on Support for Coronavirus-affected regions, communities and industries.