Government incentives you need to know about
Government incentives you need to know about
In response to the unfolding coronavirus crisis, the government has announced a range of measures to help support individuals and businesses who have been affected.
Am I eligible?
The measures announced so far by the government fall into different categories:
- Support for businesses (with employees)
- Instant asset write-off for businesses looking to purchase equipment
- Support for individuals who have been financially impacted by COVID-19
Eligibility for each support is different, but we have outlined the key aspects of each below.
Support for businesses with employees
Boosting Cash Flow for Employers
The Government will provide two payments of between $10,000 and $50,000 (meaning total payments could be between $20,000 and $100,000) through the Activity Statements system, to eligible small and medium sized businesses. The amount is based on how much tax you withhold on your employees salary and wages. It’s designed to help businesses maintain jobs for their staff.
If you are a production company with employees, you should discuss this with your tax accountant. These supports will be delivered in two payments from April 28 2020.
These payments exist to help businesses (and self-employed people) to continue to pay their teams.
From March 30 2020, eligible employers will be able to claim $1,500 per fortnight, per eligible employee. The subsidy will be available in arrears (so the payment applies to eligible people employed in the month prior to the payment) and is designed to ensure that the employee receives at least $1500 gross (that is, before tax) per fortnight.
Self-employed people will need an ABN, an individual TFN, and will need to provide a declaration of recent activity.
Businesses with a turnover of under $1 billion, will have to show that their revenue has decreased by at least 30% compared to the same time last year. Eligible employees may be full-time or part-time employees, or a long-term casual (employerd for at least 12 months before 1 March 2020).
Enrolment is now open for the JobKeeper payment. You can enrol for the JobKeeper payment through the ATO’s Business Portal, in ATO online services using myGov if you are a sole trader, or through a registered tax or BAS agent. You can read more about eligibility criteria, and how to prepare for enrolment on the ATO website. The ATO now also provides high-level guides to the scheme for sole traders, employers reporting through STP, and employers not reporting through STP. These guides are available here.
Instant asset write-off for businesses looking to purchase equipment
From 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold will change to $150,000 (up from $30,000).
If you have the funds available, now might be the time to buy:
- New cameras
- New computers
- Vans or vehicles
There are a range of other supports available to businesses, that you can read about on the ATOs page on COVID-19 support available.
Support for individuals who have been financially impacted by COVID-19
Income or household support
Some people will be able to access income support payments and / or household support payments.
Income support will be available for people affected by COVID-19. This includes a temporary fortnightly $550 coronavirus supplement from 27 April 2020 for people who are already receiving an eligible payment from Centrelink. The eligibility criteria and application process has also changed for some people who can show that there has been a direct impact on their income or the operation of their business.
Household support payments are two additional payments of $750 that will be paid to people who are already receiving an eligible payment.
Early release of superannuation
People who are financially impacted will be able to apply online, via MyGov, to get early access to up to $10,000 from their superannuation before July 1, 2020. There will be a second opportunity to access another $10,000 later in the year.
Remember, that when you access your superannuation early this will have an impact on your retirement. We encourage you to speak with a financial planner before making any decisions about your superannuation.
We know there is a lot of information right now and that it is difficult to process.
If you would like any support knowing what options to consider and what advice might be best for you, please get in touch.
A note on this article
Information provided by the Above the Line Accounting on this website is general in nature and does not take into consideration your personal financial situation. It is for educational purposes only and does not constitute formal financial advice.
This information is correct as of April 22nd 2020. For the latest updates, please visit the ATO website.