COVID-19 Government Assistance Measures

April 7, 2020

We have put together a list of links for you if you have been affected by the Coronavirus so you can have a central place to find the information relevant to you and your business.

JobKeeper Payment

One of the measures announced is the $1,500 JobKeeper Payment.  Eligible employers will be able to access a subsidy from the Government so that they can keep paying their staff wages and therefore keep them employed so they can still be connected to your business.  Even if you don’t have employees you can still be eligible.  Please look over the frequently asked questions document here: JobKeeper FAQ on page 10 to see how soletraders, partnerships, trusts and companies with no employees are able to access this payment.  It is backdated to the 30 March 2020 and is paid for a maximum period of 6 months dependent on meeting eligibility criteria along the way. At this stage you just need to register your interest on the ATO website: ATO JobKeeper – Register your Interest

Full details can be found at JobKeeper Payment and the Treasury Website.

Boosting Cash Flow For Employers

This measure will provide up to $100,000 back with a minimum payment of $20,000 for eligible small and medium business entities that are active eligible employers established prior to the 12 March 2020. The first payment will be dependent on the PAYG withheld from employees for the January to March 2020 quarter.  Nothing needs to be applied for, it will be automatically processed once you lodge the BAS and the processing date starts from the 28 April 2020. Payments will be credited against any BAS amounts payable and will be refunded if a credit balance arises.

Full details of this are explained here: Boosting Cash Flow and the Treasury Website has information available: Cash Flow Assistance Fact Sheet. The ATO also has information that may be useful: ATO Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

Early Access to your Superannuation

If you have been affected by the Coronavirus you could be eligible to access up to $10,000 of your superannuation in the 2020 financial year, and a further$10,000 in the 2021 financial year.  This payment is tax free and also does not affect your Centrelink payments, but it will reduce your future retirement funds so caution must be heeded.  You can apply through the myGov website from mid April 2020 if you meet the criteria.

Full details about this can be found here: Early Access to Super

Instant Asset Write off and Accelerated Depreciation

Any eligible assets valued up to $150,000 that have been acquired from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020 and are ready for use within this period, can be written off immediately.  This applies to businesses with a turnover less than $500 million.  If your asset is not eligible for the instant asset write off, you are able to utilise accelerated depreciation, which means that any assets acquired and ready for use from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2021 are able to be deducted at 50% and then the existing depreciation rules apply to the balance.  Information on both measures can be found here:

Instant Asset Write Off

Accelerated Depreciation

If you Employ Apprentices and/or Trainees

You could be eligible for a wage subsidy or 50% of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.  Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7000 per quarter).  Further details can be found here: Apprentice and Trainee Infomation

JobSeeker Payment with Coronavirus Supplement

Centrelink may provide income support if you have lost your job and have no income coming in.  The maximum payment you can receive is $1,100 a fortnight.  Of this payment$550 relates to a Coronavirus supplement. This supplement will be paid for the next six months providing you remain eligible for the JobSeeker payment. Asset testing will be waived for the period of the Coronavirus Supplement.  Further information can be found at JobSeeker and Services Australia JobSeeker

Payroll Tax Relief

If you pay payroll tax you could be eligible to a range of different measures which can include: Refunds of payroll tax for 2 months, a payroll tax holiday for 3 months and deferral of paying payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year.  Full details can be found here: Payroll Tax Relief

Queensland COVID-19 Jobs Support Loan

Applications are now open for the Queensland Government’s $500 million COVID-19 Jobs Support Loan scheme.  The main purpose is to retain employees and maintain their business operations.  Low interest loans of up to $250,000 are available for a repayment period of up to 10 years with the first year being repayment and interest free, followed by 2 years of interest only payments.  The loan scheme runs until September 2020 or until funds run out. Eligible business types include sole traders, partnerships, private and public companies and trusts.  The amount you can borrow is based on an average of wages/drawings for the 2018 and 2019 financial years.  Further information can be found here: COVID-19 Loan Scheme

ATO Support

The ATO will not apply some relief options unless you apply to them directly.  Some of the things they will do if you are affected by the Coronavirus are: Payment deferrals, instalment variations and low interest payments plans.  More information about the ATO measures can be found on this link: ATO COVID-19 Information

For more information please visit the following pages:

Support Available for Employers

Support Available for Sole Traders

Support Available for Companies

Rental Support

There has been a hold put on evictions for both commercial and residential tenants in financial distress for up to 6 months. In some cases you will be able to apply for a one off Rental Grant up to a maximum of $2,000.  Full eligibility for this grant is found here: Rental Grant, information on the eviction hold can be found here: Eviction Hold.