On Monday 30th March 2020, the Prime Minister and Treasurer announced a new program, the JobKeeper Payment, to support businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This $130 billion job support plan, comes on the back of two previous economic packages worth almost $70 billion, and is designed to help businesses keep Australians in jobs.
The key points of the JobKeeper Payment include:
If your business has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus you will be able to access a wages subsidy to continue paying your employees.
The Government will pay employers $1500 per fortnight per employee to subsidise wage costs if the employer can demonstrate their business has suffered a reduction in turnover by at least 30 per cent (50 per cent if annual turnover is greater than $100 million).
The first payments will be made in the first week of May for the period commencing 1 March 2020. Payments will be made by the ATO based on Single-Touch Payroll Reporting data, in arrears for the previous month.
The payment will capture full-time, part-time, and casual employees who have been employed for at least 12 months.
Eligible businesses include companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders, not-for-profits, and charities.
Employers can register their interest to apply for the payment on the ATO website:
Please note, Parliament will now be recalled to pass legislation for the JobKeeper Payment. Once the legislation is enacted, we will have more details.
Article posted on Tuesday 31st March, 2020
BANKS EXTEND LOAN DEFERRALS & SUPPORT COMMERCIAL LANDLORDS
On Monday 30th March 2020, it was announced that Australia’s 4 big banks will extend the deferral of business loans to six months.
Businesses with total business loan facilities of up to $10 million will now be able to defer repayments for loans attached to their business for six months.
For commercial property landlords, you will need to provide an undertaking to the bank that for the period of the deferral, you will not terminate leases or evict current tenants for rent arrears as a result of COVID19. Further, the tenant must have advised you that its business is affected by COVID-19. Please note, the interest will be capitalised so either the term of the loan will be extended or repayments will be increased after the deferral period.
To take advantage of this deferral, and for more details, you will need to contact your bank.
Article posted on Tuesday 31st March, 2020
COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL LEASES
On Sunday 29th March 2020 the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Scott Morrison, announced a six month moratorium on evictions of tenants.
“State and Territories will be moving to put a moratorium on evictions of persons as a result of financial distress if they are unable to meet their commitments,” he said. “And so there would be a moratorium on evictions for the next six months under those rental arrangements.”
Mr Morrison said there would be more details to come regarding decisions made on commercial and residential tenancies.
Mr. Morrison added, “My message to tenants, particularly commercial tenants, and commercial landlords, is a very straightforward one - we need you to sit down, talk to each other and work this out … ”.
The Prime Minister and State and Territory leaders will discuss introducing new measures to help commercial and residential tenants under financial distress in their national cabinet meeting on Friday.
We will get across to you more information on this, once it is released. In the meantime, if you require clarification on how this impacts you and your lease, we advise you to seek legal advice.
Article posted on Tuesday 31st March,2020
Are banks freezing mortgages?
The big four banks have all announced that their customers will be able to pause mortgage payments.
Some banks explicitly state only customers affected by coronavirus will be eligible to pause their repayments. But whether you need to provide proof (such as a doctor's note or severance form) to verify you have been affected by coronavirus depends on which bank you're with.
If you're with Commonwealth
You will be able to defer home loan repayments for up to six months
Interest will be capitalised
Interest and charges will be added to your loan balance
Your loan balance will be recalculated at the end of the support period
Your loan term will be extended so repayments stay the same as they were before you started the deferral
If you're with Westpac
You will be able to defer repayments for three months
A three-month extension is available after review
This option is for people who have lost their job or income as a result of coronavirus
Deferred interest will be capitalised, so your repayments will increase for the remainder of your loan term
If you're with ANZ
You may be able to put your repayments on hold for six months
Interest will be capitalised
The bank will check in with you after three months
If you're with NAB
You will be able to defer your repayments for up to six months
There will be a three-month checkpoint with the bank
You are eligible if you are a home loan customer aﬀected by coronavirus
This applies for owner-occupiers, investors or those on a principal and interest or interest only repayment schedule
You will still be able to redraw during the repayment pause
We strongly urge to you to contact your bank if you have any queries.
Article posted Thursday 26th March, 2020
Source: ABC News
Payroll Tax waived
The State Revenue Office of Victoria has announced that businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived.
Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to make further payments for this financial year.
The State Revenue Office will directly contact eligible businesses in relation to reimbursement for payroll tax already paid in the financial year.
These businesses can also defer paying payroll tax for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year.
More information about the administration of these relief measures will be sent directly to eligible businesses.
Article posted on Wednesday 25th March, 2020
2nd ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE
The Federal Government yesterday, 22nd March 2020, announced a second stage economic stimulus package. The “safety net” measures build on the first economic stimulus package they announced on the 12th March 2020.
Please note, the announcements are proposals at this stage, and Parliament is convening today to make the proposals law.
The legislation will provide more details about the measures.
Outlined below is a summary of some of the key measures announced:
SMALL & MEDIUM SIZED BUSINESS
The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not-for-profit organisations (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000.
On 12 March 2020, the Government announced they would provide up to $25,000 to business, with a minimum payment of $2,000 for eligible businesses. Small and medium sized business entities with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers are eligible.
The Government yesterday enhanced this measure as part of the second economic response package. Not-for-profit entities (NFPs), including charities, with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers will now also be eligible. Now, employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld (up from 50 per cent), with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000. In addition, the minimum payment is being increased from $2,000 to $10,000.
An additional payment is also being introduced in the July – October 2020 period. Eligible entities will receive an additional payment equal to the amount they have received from the above. This means that eligible entities will receive at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000 under both payments.
Quarterly lodgers will be eligible to receive the credit from 28 April 2020 upon the lodgement of their March quarter BAS. The second payment will be after the lodgement of their June quarter BAS.
Australian banks will provide support to eligible businesses by deferring loan payments for up to six months.
Further, the banks in early April will look at providing loans to businesses. There will be no requirement to make loan repayments for the first six months. The Commonwealth is offering to guarantee these unsecured loans of up to $250,000 for up to three years.
Two cash payments of $750 each will be paid to eligible social security income support recipients and concession card holders. The first tax free payment, announced in the first stimulus package, is expected to be made from 31 March 2020. The second payment will be available to those who are not eligible for the Coronavirus supplement (see below) and will be paid from 13 July 2020.
The Government will temporarily double the Jobseeker Payment, previously called Newstart, providing people with an additional $550 a fortnight . This Coronavirus supplement payment will be available to sole traders and casual workers, provided they meet income tests. Sole traders and casual workers who are currently making less than$1,075 a fortnight will be eligible to receive the full supplement. The Government will waive asset tests and waiting periods to access the Jobseeker Payment.
The Government will allow eligible people to access up to $10,000 from their superannuation this financial year and in 2020-21.
To be eligible, you must meet one of the following conditions:
you’re eligible to receive Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment, Special Benefit of Farm Household Allowance.
on or after 1 January 2020, you were made redundant, your hours of work reduced by at least 20%, or if you’re a sole trader, your business was suspended or your turnover reduced by at least 20%.
People will not pay tax on the money they access, and withdrawals will not affect Centrelink or veterans' payments.
There will also be a temporary 50-per-cent reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
Article posted on Monday 23rd March, 2020
1st ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE
The Federal Government yesterday, 12th March 2020, announced an economic stimulus package to assist in supporting the economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This includes:
Instant asset write-off threshold increased from $30,000 to $150,000 for businesses with aggregated turnover of less than $500M for the year ending 30 June 2020;
15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support businesses investing in asset installation (50% deduction);
Between $2,000 and $25,000 in cash flow assistance to support retaining staff for small businesses by reducing PAYG withholding obligations to 50% for the six months ending 30 June 2020; and
50% wage subsidies for businesses with trainees/apprentices for up to nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.
One off $750 payment to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders.
Once this announcement is enacted into law, and we have all the details, we will contact you with more information.
Article posted on Friday 13th March, 2020
TORQUING NUMBERS PTY LTD - POLICY
We are taking a number of precautionary measures at Torquing Numbers, including improving hygiene procedures in our offices.
Team members, clients and others visiting Torquing Numbers offices are encouraged to sterilise their hands at reception and be vigilant about the potential for transmission.
If you develop any of the identified symptoms, you are to seek immediate medical attention. You may not return to work until you have a medical certificate clearing you for work;
If you have contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19, you must immediately isolate yourself. You will not be permitted to come back to work until you are declared medically fit and have provided a medical clearance certifying you are free of COVID-19;
If you, or any of your immediate family or household members, have recently travelled overseas, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from your, or their date of return. You may return to work if at the end of 14 days of self-isolation you are showing no symptoms.
In any of these situations, you may not attend our offices, those of our clients or any other business locations.
All client “face to face” meetings will be vetted to ensure any persons scheduled to participate in those meetings must declare their recent travels. The above procedures will be followed as a matter of policy. Where possible, meetings will be held via video conference or phone until further notice.
If clients have travelled or are experiencing any symptoms, we ask that they not attend our offices.
The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.
We are complying with the social distancing guidelines that state one person per 4 square metres and maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres from one another.
We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely.
Our approach will be to manage the situation by responding in an informed and considered manner, which takes into account the health and well-being of our team members, clients and greater community.