The Government has announced its economic response to the Coronavirus in the form of a $17.6 billion economic stimulus package. The package has been marketed as a measure to protect the economy by maintaining confidence, supporting investment and keeping people in their jobs.
The Key Tax Measures include:
- Increased instant asset write-off threshold increase from $30,000 ($50 million aggregated turnover) to $150,000 ($500 million aggregated turnover)
- A time-limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) which will operate to accelerate certain depreciation deductions.
- Tax-free payments of up to $25,000 for eligible small and medium businesses (i.e., with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff) based on their PAYG withholding obligations.
- Tax-free payments of $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. It is estimated that around half of those who will benefit will be pensioners.
- Administrative relief from the ATO for some tax obligations for people affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, on a case-by-case basis.
Additional Economic Stimulus Measures Include:
- Wage subsidies to support the retention of apprentices and trainees – Employers with less than 20 full-time employees may be entitled to apply for Government funded wage subsidies amounting to 50% of an apprentice's or trainee's wage for up to nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. The maximum subsidy for each apprentice/trainee is $21,000. Importantly, where an employer is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice.
- Assistance to severely affected regions – The Government has also committed to set aside $1 billion to support regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.
Employers will still need to meet their ongoing super guarantee obligations for their employees.
If you have any queries in relation to these tax incentives or require any assistance during these uncertain times, please do not hesitate to contact our office.