Please see below for the latest updates in relation to COVID-19 

New NSW support measures

 

Businesses in NSW can now expect new support payments and larger grants, while individuals are set to receive increased disaster payments as the state battens down the hatches in the face of an extended lockdown. 

Here's a list of key measures announced as at 13 July 2021:

 

New business support payments:

  • A new direct payment to be made available to entities with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million who can demonstrate a 30 per cent decline in turnover compared with an equivalent two-week period in 2019.
  • Eligible entities will be required to maintain their full-time, part-time and long-term casual staffing level as of 13 July.
  • Eligible entities, which include not-for-profits, will receive payments of between $1,500 and $10,000 per week based on the level of their payroll.
  • For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will be set at $1,000 per week.
  • The payments will be administered by Service NSW, with registrations of interest to open on Wednesday, 14 July.

Expanded business grants, payroll support, tax relief:

  • Eligible businesses with wages below $10 million can claim grants between $7,500 and $15,000 to cover the first three weeks of restrictions.
  • A new $1,500 per fortnight payment for micro-businesses with a turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 which experience a decline in turnover of 30 per cent.
  • Payroll tax waivers of 25 per cent for businesses with wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30 per cent decline in turnover.
  • A capped grant of up to $1,500 for residential landlords who are not liable to pay land tax who reduce rent for tenants estimated at $210 million.
  • Land tax relief equal to the value of rent reductions provided by commercial, retail and residential landlords to financially distressed tenants, up to 100 per cent of the 2021 land tax year liability.
  • A short-term eviction moratorium for rental arrears where a residential tenant suffers loss of income of 25 per cent due to COVID-19 and meets a range of criteria.

Individuals:

  • From 18 July, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will increase from $500 to $600 each week if a person has lost 20 hours or more of work a week, or $325 to $375 each week if a person has lost between 8 and 20 hours of work.
  • The payment will be made available to NSW individuals outside Commonwealth- declared hotspots in Sydney if they have lost hours and satisfy the eligibility criteria.
  • The payment will be a recurring payment for approved recipients for as long as the Commonwealth-declared hotspot and lockdown restrictions remain in place. This will remove the need for recipients to re-claim for each seven-day period of a lockdown.
    The full eligibility criteria for both the business and individual support measures are currently being developed by Service NSW and Services Australia, with the information provided above current as of 13 July.

 

Scott Morrison announces expansion of COVID-19 payment for third week of lockdowns, liquid asset test waived

The Prime Minister has announced that the $10,000 liquid asset test is being waived in respect of the COVID-19 Disaster Payment from Services Australia.

To get the payment, you must be eligible for under both the General Eligibility Rules and the NSW Eligibility Rules:

General Eligibility Rules:
To get the COVID-19 Disaster Payment you must meet all of the following:
  • you're an Australian resident or hold an eligible working visa
  • you're 17 years or older
  • you don't get an income support payment, the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state or territory pandemic payment or a state small business payment for the same period
  • you live or work in a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot
  • you had paid employment and because of a COVID-19 lockdown, hotspot or period of restricted movement you can't attend work on or after day 8
  • you've lost income on or after day 8 and don't have any appropriate paid leave entitlements
NSW eligibility rules:

If you live or work in NSW, you need to meet some specific eligibility rules to get the COVID- 19 Disaster Payment. You'll also need to meet all the general rules. You may get this payment if you lost income or work due to COVID-19 and you meet all the eligibility rules above. These are the general eligibility rules as well as any rules for the recognised event in NSW that affected you. Recognised events are COVID-19 lockdowns, hotspots or periods of restricted movement that last longer than 7 days.

Recognised NSW COVID-19 events:

Parts of Sydney locked down from 23 June 2021
  • City of Sydney
  • Waverley
  • Woollahra
  • Bayside
  • Canada Bay
  • Inner West
  • Randwick

Greater Sydney Local Government Areas from 26 June 2021

  • Blacktown
  • Blue Mountains
  • Burwood
  • Camden
  • Campbelltown
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Central Coast
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield
  • Georges River
  • Hawkesbury
  • Hornsby
  • Hunters Hill
  • Ku-ring-gai
  • Lane Cove
  • Liverpool
  • Mosman
  • North Sydney
  • Northern Beaches
  • Parramatta
  • Penrith
  • Ryde
  • Shellharbour
  • Strathfield
  • Sutherland
  • The Hills
  • Willoughby
  • Wollondilly
  • Wollongong

How much are the payments:

If you lost less than 20 hours work, you'll get $325 for each recognised event, if you're eligible.

If you lost 20 hours or more of work, you'll get $500 for each recognised event, if you're eligible.

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a taxable payment. This means you'll need to include it in your income tax return.

How do you apply for the payment:

To apply, you need to use your myGov account to which you can link a Centrelink online account (if you have not already).

Once you log into Centrelink, you will need to answer a series of questions to determine your eligibility to claim the payment.

If eligible, your claim will be submitted and you will receive a notification via text or email that your claim has been successfully submitted.

Payments are being rapidly paid on the same day as the claim.

You will need to reapply weekly for the $500 or $325 claim through Centrelink.

 

We understand that this is an incredibly stressful time. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

NSW Small Business Grant

NSW Small Business, Hospitality & Tourism Support Grants

The following is a summary of the key aspects announced by the NSW Premier 29 June 2021 in response to small business, hospitality & tourism support grants which are to become available later in July 2021.

The NSW government is offering small businesses support grants to help alleviate cash flow constraints while trading is restricted, with expanded criteria to assist most hospitality and tourism operators.

Three different grant amounts will be available for small businesses depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions: $10,000 for a 70 per cent decline, $7,000 for a 50 per cent decline and $5,000 for a 30 per cent decline.

Businesses will be able to apply for the grants through Service NSW from later in July and will need to show a decline in turnover across a minimum two-week period after the commencement of major restrictions on 26 June. We understand this decline in turnover will be determined over any two week period in July 2021 compared with the same two week period in July 2019.

How do the grants work?

The grants will be divided into two streams:

1. Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant.

Available to businesses and sole traders with a turnover of more than $75,000 per annum but below the NSW government 2020–21 payroll tax threshold of $1,200,000 as at 1 July 2020. 

These businesses must have fewer than 20 full-time equivalent employees and an Australian business number (ABN) registered in New South Wales or be able to demonstrate they are physically located and primarily operating in New South Wales.


2. Hospitality and Tourism COVID-19 Support Grant.

Available to tourism or hospitality businesses that have a turnover of more than $75,000 and an annual Australian wages bill of below $10 million, as at 1 July 2020. These businesses must have an Australian business number (ABN) registered in New South Wales or be able to demonstrate they are physically located and primarily operating in New South Wales.

Please note that businesses will need to provide Service NSW an accountant statement that confirms a loss in revenue for the time period compared to the same time in July 2019.

Payroll tax deferrals would be available to all businesses. 

Full criteria will be available in coming days on the Service NSW website and we will provide you further updates when further information comes to hand.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

JobKeeper Extension Update

JobKeeper Extension Update

The Government announced that the JobKeeper Payment would be extended until 28 March 2021 (i.e., for a further six months beyond its original end date of 27 September 2020).

As a result, JobKeeper Payments would now be made over two separate extension periods; JobKeeper Extension 1 and JobKeeper Extension 2.

Please read this update and action before 28 September 2020.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

JobKeeper 2.0 Details

The existing JobKeeper Payment will continue as planned until 27 September 2020. The Government has announced yesterday that the payments will be extended to eligible businesses until 28 March 2021. However, there are significant changes to the regime:

  • Businesses must meet new and additional decline in turnover tests (based on actual GST turnover) to access payments in two new extension periods (28 September 2020 – 3 January 2021 and 4 January – 28 March 2021);
  • A tiered system of payments will apply from 27 September 2020, where the amount paid will be based on an employee's average hours worked per week before 1 March 2020. Those working on average 20 hours per week or more would be entitled to the higher tier payments and other eligible employees entitled to the lower tier payments; and
  • A staged reduction in the amount of payments – from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 the higher tier payment will be $1,200 per fortnight, reducing to $1,000 per fortnight for 4 January to 28 March 2021, and the lower tier payment will be $750 per fortnight and $650 per fortnight for the same periods.

We highly recommend careful reading of this update in order to plan whether your business and employees may be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0. 

We will post more information in relation to eligibility, enrolment and application once the details come to hand from the Treasury.

read more

If you require any assistance in relation to JobKeeper 2.0 eligibility please do not hesitate to contact us.

JobKeeper 2.0

JobKeeper 2.0 Announced

JobKeeper payments will drop to between $750 and $1,200 per fortnight beyond September, with eligibility tightened, the government has revealed. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have announced that the current $1,500 per fortnight JobKeeper payment will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September, and $750 per fortnight for employees working less than 20 hours a week.

From 4 January, the rate will again fall to $1,000 per fortnight, and $650 for people working less than 20 hours a week. The program will run to 28 March 2021, at a further cost of $16 billion, taking the entire JobKeeper program to $86 billion.

The announcement comes after up to one in four of the 3.5 million workers currently covered under the program were earning $550 more than they would ordinarily.

New eligibility tests

Treasury had also argued for a fresh eligibility test for businesses looking to remain on JobKeeper beyond September. Businesses will still be required to demonstrate the required reduction in turnover- 30 per cent for businesses with turnovers of $1 billion or less, 50 per cent for those with turnover of more than $1 billion, and 15 per cent for ACNC-registered charities.

Read more

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

COVID-19 Early Release of Super

Please see below the ATO's release on the COVID-19 Early Release on Superannuation

ATO COVID-19 Early Release on Superannuation

If you require any taxation advice in relation to COVID-19 Early Release on Superannuation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

JobKeeper Payment Scheme Update

In response to the JobKeeper Payment Scheme release from the ATO, please see below the following documents:

MLCo JobKeeper Payment Scheme Summary

ATO JobKeeper Payment Scheme Release

ATO JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice

 These documents should be reviewed carefully in conjunction with each other as are technical and complex. 

If you require any assistance in relation to JobKeeper eligibility or enrollment, please do not hesitate to contact us.

ATO announces short cut method for claiming home office running costs

The Australian Taxation Office ('ATO') has announced a temporary simplified short cut method to make it easier for individual taxpayers to claim deductions for additional running expenses incurred (e.g., additional heating, cooling and lighting costs), as a result of working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Based on the announcement, the ATO will allow individuals to claim a deduction for all running expenses incurred during the period 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020, based on a rate of 80 cents for each hour an individual carries out genuine work duties from home. This is an alternative method to claiming home running expenses under existing arrangements, which generally require an analysis of specific running expenses incurred and more onerous record-keeping.

ATO's 80 cents per hour method covers all running costs

The 80 cents per hour method is designed to cover all deductible running expenses associated with working from home and incurred from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020, including the following:

  • Electricity expenses associated with heating, cooling and lighting the area at home which is being used for work.
  • Cleaning costs for a dedicated work area. 
  • Phone and internet expenses.
  • Computer consumables (e.g., printer paper and ink) and stationery
  • Depreciation of home office furniture and furnishings (e.g., an office desk and a chair).
  • Depreciation of home office equipment (e.g., a computer and a printer). 

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