From 1 July 2020, parents accessing the Government’s parental leave pay (PPL) scheme will have greater flexibility and options.Targeting the self-employed and small business owners, the changes introduce a new 30 day flexible paid parental leave pay period.Previously, new parents could apply for PPL for a continuous block of up to 18 weeks. The changes split this time period into two:A continuous period of up to 12 weeks, and30 flexible days.Parents can take the 18 weeks in one block or, under the new rules, take the 12 week period and then use the additional 30 days at a period and in a way that suits them but before the child turns 2 years of age. For example, assume that when Jane, who works five days per week, has a child, she initially claims 12 weeks. Jane returns to work part-time for three days per week. In that case, Jane would apply for paid parental leave pay on the two days per week that she is not working.The administration of the PPL will change in some scenarios. For Jane’s case above, the employer would administer the scheme for the first 12 weeks but then the Government would directly pay Jane for her flexible days.If an employee wishes to access flexible parental leave pay, they will need to negotiate time-off work or a part time return to work with their employer. If the employer is unable to accommodate the request, then the employee may take the 18 weeks as one block.The changes to the paid parental leave scheme apply to babies born on or after 1 July 2020. The scheme commences from 1 April 2020 to give parents applying for leave the flexibility to use the new arrangements (but only if their child is born on or after 1 July 2020).
The Government has announced the $2.5bn JobTrainer package to retrain, upskill and open new job opportunities. JobTrainer for job seekers and school leavers An additional 340,700 training places will be created to provide no or low cost courses into sectors with job opportunities. The Government is working with the States and Territories to develop a list of qualifications and skill sets to be covered by the program. JobTrainer for employers The JobTrainer package has expanded the number of businesses that can access the 50% apprentice wage subsidy and extends the subsidy until 31 March 2021 (from 30 September 2020). Originally, only businesses with less than 20 employees or larger employers employing apprentices/trainees let go by a small business were able to access the subsidy (for wages paid to apprentices employed by them as at 1 March 2020). Now, businesses with under 200 employees can access the subsidy for apprentices employed from 1 July 2020.For medium sized businesses: Employ 199 people or fewer, or A medium sized business with 199 people or fewer, using a Group Training Organisation, and the apprentice or trainee was undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship with you on 1 July 2020. Claims open 1 October 2020 for medium sized businesses. You will need to provide evidence of wages paid to the apprentice. If the business subsequently is unable to retain the apprentice, another business can access the incentive if they then employ and pay wages to the apprentice. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 30 June 2021. Employers will be reimbursed 50% of an eligible apprentice’s wage up to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter per apprentice. Employers will be able to access the subsidy after an assessment by the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network. Eligibility For small business: Employ fewer than 20 people, or A small business with fewer than 20 people, using a Group Training Organisation, and the apprentice or trainee was undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship with you on 1 July 2020 for claims after this date. Claims prior to 1 July 2020, will continue to be based on the 1 March 2020 eligibility date. Claims are open now for small business. How does the apprenticeship subsidy and JobKeeper work together? They don’t. It is one or the other. An employer will not be eligible to claim the apprentice wage subsidy for any period where they choose to claim the JobKeeper payment for the same apprentice. An employer or Group Training Organisation will not be eligible for the JobKeeper payment where the employer is in receipt of an Australian Government wage subsidy for the same Australian Apprentice (for example Supporting Apprentices and Trainees and the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy).
Minimum wage increases by 1.75% An increase to the minimum wage of 1.75% will start rolling out for the first full pay period from 1 July 2020.The increase applies to minimum rates in awards in 3 stages:Group 1 Awards – from 1 July 2020Frontline Heath Care & Social Assistance WorkersTeachers and Child CareOther Essential ServicesGroup 2 Awards – from 1 November 2020ConstructionManufacturingA range of other industriesGroup 3 Awards – from 1 February 2021Accommodation and Food ServicesArts and Recreation ServicesAviationRetailTourismYou can find the full list of impacted Awards on thehttps://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/website-news/the-commission-has-announced-a-1-75-increase-to-minimum-wagesFor anyone not covered by an award or an agreement, the new national minimum wage of $753.80 per week or $19.84 per hour, applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2020.The minimum wage increase does not impact on workers receiving above the minimum wage.For employees at or close to the minimum wage, it is essential that employers are aware of the impact and timing of the increase to avoid falling foul of their industrial and superannuation obligations.
We always knew that a Government scheme swiftly distributing cash during a crisis was going to come with equally swift compliance and review measures, particularly when eligibility was self-assessed. Two major Australian Taxation Office (ATO) initiatives are searching out fraud and schemes designed to take advantage of the Government’s Coronavirus Economic Response Package. Tip lines, tax returns and STPThe tip line, tax returns, and single touch payroll are just a few of the data sources the ATO is using to identify “inappropriate behaviour.”The tip line has already delivered its first target with the very public outing in the Australian Financial Review of The Australian Comfort Group, which owns SleepMaker and Dunlop Foams for an alleged scheme to deliberately depress monthly revenue to qualify for up to $11 million in wage subsidies. Internal emails allegedly from an employee who has also lodged a claim under the Fair Work Act against the manufacturer, appear to demonstrate an internal effort to push invoicing to other periods. The Australian Comfort Group have vehemently denied any wrong-doing.Tips from employees about their employer’s efforts to manipulate revenue to meet the JobKeeper eligibility criteria is not hard to find. The ATO’s community forum notes one respondent who states:“My employer is defrauding the ATO and is set to receive close to $1 million in Jobkeeper payments which the company is certainly not eligible for as the company has not had a 30% decline in sales. The company has already received the first payment relating to the month of April in Jobkeeper from the ATO.The director of the company is emailing employees constantly to stop invoicing, change invoice dates, make sure the company shows a 30% fall in sales compared to the same period in 2019, to keep him updated each week on sales to not exceed the 30% fall, how much will the company receive, when the funds are received to shift them into offset accounts immediately. It just goes on and on. I have copies of the emails from the company director giving instructions on how to create this fraud so the company meets the eligibility criteria.”The ATO has noted that it has received intelligence on a number of schemes circulating, one of which is the withdrawal of money from superannuation and re-contributing it to get a tax deduction.ATO Deputy Commissioner Will Day said that, “Not only is this not in the spirit of the measure (which is designed to assist those experiencing hardship), severe penalties can be applied to tax avoidance schemes or those found to be breaking the law. If someone recommends something like this that seems too good to be true, well, it probably is.”The ATO has made its targets clear. For JobKeeper, these include ensuring that:Entities meet the eligibility requirements in relation to business incomeEntities are claiming for eligible employeesEligible business participants are correctly making claimsEntities are not manipulating their turnover in order to satisfy the decline in turnover testFor the early release of superannuation measure, behaviours attracting ATO attention include:Applying when there is no change to your regular salary, wage, or employment informationMaking false statements or fraudulent attempts to meet the eligibility criteriaWithdrawing and re-contributing super for a tax advantage – this could not only trigger anti-avoidance rules but also result in additional taxes and impact your eligibility for a super co-contribution.Where individuals have not met the early access measure’s hardship eligibility criteria, the ATO has stated that fines of up to $12,000 will apply for each false and misleading statement made. In addition, where a scheme has been entered into to obtain a tax benefit, such as claiming a tax deduction for recontributing super withdrawn under the early release measures, Part IVA may apply. That is, the ATO is actively looking for individuals who have utilised the early release measures when they didn’t need it, then recontributing all or part of the super for the purpose of claiming a tax deduction.For the Cash Flow Boost, the ATO is looking for schemes designed to:Artificially restructure businesses to gain access to the cash flow boostArtificially changing the character of payments to salary or wages to maximise the cash flow boostInflating reported withholding amounts to maximise the cash flow boostResurrecting dormant entities or phoenixingMaking false statements or fraudulent attempts to create an entitlement.Genuinely made a mistake? The ATO has stated that if you work with them, and the mistake is genuine, they will give you the support you need, without the worry of accruing a debt, repaying money or getting penalised.3 million individuals in data matching programIn a massive data matching program, the ATO and Services Australia will share the records of approximately 3 million individuals to ensure that those accessing benefits are eligible to receive them.For those who access their superannuation early under the COVID-19 measures, Services Australia will verify their eligibility where they have indicated that they are eligible for the JobSeeker payment, parenting payment, special benefit, youth allowance or the farm household allowance.The program will review the records of those applying for early access between 19 April 2020 to 24 September 2020.The records of 45,000 prisoners in state and territory correctional facilities are also being compared against applications for JobKeeper, temporary early access to superannuation, and the eligibility criteria for cash flow boost to confirm appropriate access. The records gathered will cover the period from 1 March 2020 to 27 September 2020.
Will the Prime Minister’s targeted $250 million package of funding to support cultural and creative projects and initiatives save the industry? The arts funding is aimed at kick starting the sector with funding preferencing commercial initiatives that generate jobs and are expected to have a positive economic impact. That is, this is an economic package as opposed to creative or cultural funding. Outside of the funding package, SupportAct received $10m in funding for COVID-19 crisis relief grants. Crisis funding is accessible to: Musicians, crew and music workers who are unable to access Government benefits due to eligibility or other issues music workers who have been able to access Government benefits but are still facing financial hardship; and to those who are suffering financial hardship as a result of injury, ill-health or a mental health issue that is managed through a current Mental Health plan. Is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or have a valid working visa Can prove they been working in the music industry for three years Can provide names and details of two professional referees Have household expenses greater than household income. Other financial support is available through JobKeeper (including the self-employed) or JobSeeker. Area Total funding Seed Investment to Reactivate Productions and Tours Productions, festivals and events – including theatre, dance, community and arts and culture gatherings. Individuals are able to apply for funding. $75m The competitive grant is administered through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund and provides seed funding to substitute for the capital lost as a result of cancellations and rescheduling of events. Grants range from $75,000 to $2 million. Part of the funding has been earmarked for music recovery – recording and distribution, contemporary music touring, the development of safe venue infrastructure and protocols. Show Starter Loans Businesses able to generate job including through the synergy between arts and entertainment and travel, tourism and hospitality. $90m In a move to free up capital, the Government is providing a 100% guarantee for loans through financial institutions to assist arts and entertainment businesses to fund new productions and events. Lenders will provide facilities that only have to be drawn down if needed. Loan terms will be up to five years, with an initial 12-month repayment deferral. That is, the amount drawn down will need to be paid back, but in the event the loan can’t be repaid, the bank is protected. The loans are part of the Government’s existing Coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme. Sector-Significant Organisations Support significant Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations $35m Funding to support significant Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations facing threats to their viability due to COVID-19.
The Government has announced grants of $25,000 to encourage people to build a new home or substantially renovate their existing home.The HomeBuilder scheme targets the residential construction market by providing tax-free grants of $25,000 to eligible owner-occupiers, including first home buyers, to build a new home or substantially renovate their existing home.The grants will be distributed by the revenue office of the State or Territory where you live or plan to live.There are a few complexities to this grant that both home builders/renovators and the building industry need to be across before jumping in and signing a new contract on the expectation that the grant will apply.EligibilityEligibility criteria apply to the individuals applying for the grant and the building project:Individual eligibilityThe HomeBuilder scheme is available to owner occupiers including first home buyers. It is not accessible to owner builders, developers or investors.To be eligible you need to be:An individual (not a company or trust); and18 years of age or older; andAn Australian citizen.And, you need to meet the income test. To be eligible, you cannot earn more than:Individuals – $125,000 based on your 2018-19 or later tax returnCouples – $200,000 based on both of your 2018-19 or later tax returnsThe building project eligibilityThe building contract must be signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020. And, the construction or renovation must commence within three months of the contract date.The grants are available if you build a new home or renovate a home to live in (your principal place of residence) where:New home*The property value (house and land) does not exceed $750,000Renovation**Substantially renovate your existing home, where:The renovation contract is between $150,000 and $750,000, andThe value of your existing property (house and land) does not exceed $1.5 million* house, apartment, house and land package, off-the-plan, etc.** renovation works must be to improve the accessibility, safety and liveability of the dwelling. It cannot be for additions to the property (such as swimming pools, tennis courts, outdoor spas and saunas, sheds or garages (unconnected to the property)).Own a property (house and land), and knock down the house to rebuild – this will be counted as a substantial renovation, and therefore subject to the renovation price range of $150,000 to $750,000 provided the total value (house and land) of the property does not exceed $1.5 million pre-renovation;Own vacant land before 4 June 2020, and then build, the total value of the land and new build cannot exceed $750,000; orBuy the land after 4 June 2020, and then build, the total value of the land and build cannot exceed $750,000.Integrity measures and pricingBuilding contracts must be at arms-length, that is, the parties cannot be related or connected.Renovations or building work must be undertaken by a registered or licenced building service ‘contractor’(depending on the state or territory you live in) and named as a builder on the building licence or permit.When it comes to price, the terms should be commercially reasonable, and the contract price should not be inflated compared to the fair market price. The rules enable the purchaser to request that the builder demonstrate that the contract price for the new build or substantial renovation is no more than a comparable product (measured by quality, location and size) as at 1 July 2019.Interaction with first home owner grant schemesThe HomeBuilder grant does not exclude first home buyers from accessing other grants and concessions such as the First Home Owner Grant, stamp duty concessions, the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, and First Home Super Saver Scheme.Problem areasAs the building contract is entered into before the grant is approved, it will be important that the grant is not essential to finance the building project, just in case the grant is not approved.In addition, as the builder needs to commence work within three months of the contract date, it will be important to ensure that the contract recognises the commencement dates.The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.
News headlines recently stated that casual workers have won the right to paid leave following a decision in the Federal Court. As usual, the devil is in the detail.At present, there is no global change granting Australian casual workers paid leave. The case however, highlights the long running problem of determining over time, who is a permanent staff member and entitled to paid leave and other benefits, and who is a casual worker entitled to a casual loading.In the WorkPac v Rossato case, WorkPac, a specialist mining and engineering labour hire company, employed Mr Rossato as a casual worker across six consecutive employment contracts for a continuous period of approximately three and a half years. Over that time, Mr Rossato was paid a casual loading of 25% of the minimum rate of pay payable under the Enterprise Agreement, which was in part, paid in lieu of leave.Mr Rossato worked every shift he was rostered for except where he was given approval to take rest and recreation, and when his partner was airlifted to hospital.In its decision, the Federal Court found that Mr Rossato was a permanent full-time employee across each of his contracts and entitled to his accrued leave entitlements and payment for the public holidays where he was rostered off work. WorkPac was unable to reduce the liability owing to Mr Rossato by the casual loading paid to him over the course of his contracts, with the court noting, “There is a superficial attraction to the notion that something given in substitution of an entitlement has an equivalent value to the entitlement itself and is therefore of the same character.”Each of the contracts signed by Mr Rossato contained a declaration headed “Casual or Maximum Term Employee.” However, the court reiterated the observation that, “agreements by which people are engaged to work are typically partly written, partly oral and “partly left to evolve by conduct” as time goes on.” That is, what the employee signs up to does not necessarily define what the employment relationship becomesThe WorkPac v Rossato case does not generally award casual employees paid leave entitlements but it does highlight the problem that can occur over time where the nature of the employment arrangement changes from casual to a more permanent arrangement.Recognition of this pathway from casual to permanent employment is now a part of many Modern Awards. The Fair Work Commission’s updates to Modern Awards rolled out across this year include a Right to request casual conversion clause that enables a long-term casual worker to request permanent employment. The employer can refuse that request but only on “…reasonable grounds and after there has been consultation with the employee.”The pathway also has political impetus with the Prime Minister’s recent ‘Jobmaker’ speech at the National Press Club nominating the issue as one of the five working groups for negotiation.JobKeeper’s impact on employee entitlementsTo be eligible for JobKeeper payments as a casual employee, the individual had to be a long-term casual at 1 March 2020. Casual employees do not qualify unless they meet this condition. For some employers, JobKeeper has ensured that there is now a clear definition of some employees as a long-term casual where JobKeeper payments have been paid.Long term casuals have additional entitlements to casual employees providing for parental leave (and a guarantee of their job or an equivalent on their return from leave), and the right to request flexible arrangements.In brief: types of employment Permanent employees – full-time or part-time. Benefits include paid leave, notification on termination, redundancy where applicable, and on 12 months continuous service, parental leave, right to request flexibility,and access to unfair dismissal.Casuals – has no guaranteed hours of work or commitment of work in advance, does not have to accept work on offer, usually works irregular hours, doesn’t get paid sick or annual leave, can end employment without notice (unless notice is required by a registered agreement, award or employment contract). Is entitled to a casual loading, and unpaid carer’s and family and domestic violence leave.Long-term casuals – a casual employee employed by the business on a regular and systematic basis. There is a commitment to ongoing work (the employer has not made it clear that they should not have an expectation of ongoing work). Long-term casuals have the same entitlements as casual workers except they are also entitled to take parental leave, request flexible working arrangements, and access to unfair dismissal.Shiftworkers – an employee who works shifts and gets an extra payment for working shift hours. Generally, Awards or agreements have a specific definition of what a shiftworker is and the conditions that apply. Refer to the relevant Award for the definition of full time, part time or casual employees.Fixed term contract – same entitlements as permanent employees but the employment relationship is for a fixed period. Where the contract is continually renewed, disputes may arise as to whether the employee is a permanent employee.Independent contractor – Generally, contracted to the business to produce a specific result for the business (as opposed to hours worked).Operates autonomously to the business, is generally financially self-reliant, and chases profit (that is a return on risk) rather than simply a payment for the time, skill and effort provided.
Company tax rate reduces to 26% for base rate entities $150k instant asset write-off scheduled to reduce back to $1,000 for small business entities and will no longer be available for entities with aggregated annual turnover of $10m or more, although accelerated depreciation rules apply to certain entities until 30 June 2021 Cents per km rate for work-related car expenses increase to 72 cents Expected reforms to allow 66 and 67 years olds to make voluntary superannuation contributions without satisfying the work test. This reform is not yet law. Age limit for making superannuation contributions to your spouse increases from 69-74. This reform is not yet law. For those 67 and under, reforms will enable you to use the ‘bring forward rule’ to make up to three years of non-concessional contributions. That is, you can make non-concessional contributions of up to $300,000 from the 2020-21 financial year. 1 July Company Tax Rate ReductionDespite the current economic environment, the company tax rate will reduce to 26% for small and medium businesses from 1 July 2020. 2018-19 and 2019-202020-212021-22Base rate entities*27.5%26%25%Other corporate tax entities30%30%30%*aggregated turnover less than $50m and no more than 80% of the company’s assessable income is base rate entity The 1 July change is part of a larger progressive plan to reduce the company tax rate to 25% from 1 July 2021 and applies to base rate entities (BRE) – companies, corporate unit trusts, and public trading trusts – with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million where 80% or less of the entity’s turnover for the year is classified as base rate entity passive income. Larger companies will continue to pay the 30% rate.The reduction in the company tax rate will also change the maximum franking rate that applies to dividends paid by some base rate entities. The way the rules normally work is that if the company was classified as a base rate entity and was taxed at the lower corporate tax rate in the previous year then a lower maximum franking rate will apply to dividends paid in the current year. For example, a company that was classified as a BRE in the 2019 income year will generally be subject to a maximum franking rate of 27.5% on franked dividends paid in the 2020 income year. However, the maximum franking rate will normally be 26% for dividends paid in the 2021 income year if the company was a BRE in the 2020 income year.Some companies may have franking account balances that have accumulated over time and will reflect prior company tax rates. It is important to consider how these credits can be utilised in an efficient manner. One strategy could be to bring forward the payment of dividends to utilise the current 27.5% franking rate before the company tax rate reduces to 26% if the cashflow of the company allows for it.
The JobKeeper subsidy has progressed beyond the rush for eligibility and entered its second phase: compliance. Late last month, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released guidance highlighting where the regulator will focus its compliance resources. The JobKeeper estimates error Hindsight is a dangerous lens as Treasury discovered last month announcing that the number of employees expected to be covered by the JobKeeper scheme was overstated in the original announcement by approximately 3 million. The overstatement reflects “the level and impact of health restrictions not having been as severe as expected and their imposition not having been maintained for as long as expected at the time,” the Treasury statement says. At the time of the Treasury estimates, not long after the country went into lockdown, we simply did not know what to expect. The first stimulus measures had been announced and long queues formed in front of Centrelink offices. Supermarket shelves were being stripped of essentials. Alarming daily global updates showed the virus spreading unimpeded in many parts of the world. China demonstrated the need for fast, severe and extended lockdowns to remove the possibility of community transmission. For Australia, there was no appetite to wait and see what might happen as other countries with devastating death rates did. We acted swiftly and we have reaped the benefits of that action with a low death rate, albeit at an economic cost. For many businesses, estimating the potential impact of the pandemic, the expectations were the same – fast, severe and extended. Now, with the JobKeeper scheme entering a compliance phase, we need to go back and point to the facts that supported the estimates declared to the ATO. The ATO’s JobKeeper targets The ATO is looking carefully at businesses that appear to have made adjustments to their circumstances to meet the JobKeeper eligibility requirements where, if those adjustments had not been made, the entity would have been ineligible or had lower JobKeeper payments. Or, where adjustments have been made to enable another entity or subcontractor to meet the decline in turnover test. Industries or businesses that have not experienced adverse trading conditions and those that appear to have increased staff numbers are likely to be looked at closely. In its guidance, the ATO sets out a series of examples that are likely to attract their attention: Increase in staff – where the number of staff the business reports have increased beyond levels that were previously required to run the business prior to 1 March 2020. Deferring supplies – in industries unlikely to be adversely impacted by the pandemic, the business agrees with its customers to defer making supplies, resulting in the company’s projected GST turnover declining to the level required to meet the turnover test. Bringing forward supplies – in industries unlikely to be adversely impacted by the pandemic, the business brought forward supplies to be able to meet the decline in turnover test in a following month or quarter. Restructures – the example given by the ATO is a company that leases assets to third parties. The leasing business is generally unaffected by the pandemic. However, the business restructures and transfers the assets of the business to a new company. It then withholds the payment of dividends from the new company to the business resulting in a decline in the turnover of the business. Management fee manipulation – where inter-entity management fees are charged, the timing of the fee is changed to meet the decline in turnover test. Reduction in payments to subcontractors – where a business has reduced or deferred payments to subcontractors to enable them to meet the decline in turnover test. The ATO has stated that they will review the business and the subcontractors. JobKeeper used to reduce cost of supplies to customers – in this scenario, the business and its customers agree to reduce, waive or defer payments to enable the business to meet the decline in turnover test. JobKeeper is then used to fund the reduction in payments. In effect, JobKeeper is paying for the payment reduction. Low risk scenarios If your industry or business has been adversely impacted by the pandemic, regardless of your structure or arrangements, it is unlikely the ATO will review your situation unless there has been an obvious attempt to increase JobKeeper payments. To add certainty, the ATO notes that where a service entity that employs staff for a related entity has reduced management fees, either because the service agreement has been changed to reduce the fee by an amount that is proportional to the reduction in the trading entity’s external turnover, staff have been stood down, or where the related entities cannot afford to pay the fee, and the industry is adversely impacted by the pandemic, the ATO will not generally seek to apply compliance resources. What happens if you got it wrong? If your structure or the way you have accessed JobKeeper is on the ATO target list, this does not mean that there is a problem. Eligibility to JobKeeper is generally based on an estimate of the negative impact of the pandemic on an individual business’s turnover. Some will experience a greater decline than estimated while others will fall short of the required 30%, 50% or 15%. There is no clawback if you got it wrong as long as you can prove the basis for your eligibility going into the scheme. For those that, in hindsight, did not meet the decline in turnover test, you need to ensure you have your paperwork ready to prove your position if the ATO requests it. You will need to show how you calculated the decline in turnover test and how you came to your assessment of your expected decline, for example, a trend of cancelled orders or trade conditions at that time. Manage your JobKeeper compliance Monthly declarations of your current and projected GST turnover are due within fourteen days of the end of each relevant month. It’s important to ensure that you have paid eligible JobKeeper staff at least $1,500 during each JobKeeper fortnight. If you pay employees less frequently than fortnightly, the payment can be allocated between fortnights in a reasonable manner. For example, if you pay your employees on a monthly pay cycle, your employees must have received the monthly equivalent of $1,500 per fortnight. For the first two JobKeeper fortnights (30 March-12 April, 13 April-26 April), employers had an extension until 8 May to make the JobKeeper payments to eligible employees. For the remaining JobKeeper fortnights, employees will need to receive at least $1,500 by the end of each JobKeeper fortnight or the monthly equivalent of $1,500 per fortnight. Depending on your pay cycle, this may require some adjustments each month.
Hang in there We’ve designed this guide as a quick reference to the COVID-19 related tax and financial support that might be available to you.The stimulus and support packages help, but there are gaps and they will not return most adversely impacted businesses or people back to their pre-pandemic position. It will all take time.It’s important to understand the timing of the each of the measures as many are not immediate. You also need to understand who is eligible and how. We are here to help you as much as we can to ensure that you have the right information and can make informed decisions.There are a few peculiarities with the support measures and incentives, and they will not apply equally across the community.When it comes to the cash flow boost of up to $100,000 for business for example, sole traders and partners in a partnership are dealt with differently to those operating a business through a company or trust. While the cash flow boost measure can potentially apply to salary and wages paid to staff, amounts allocated or paid to sole traders or partners cannot really be taken into account.When business owners are operating through a company or trust structure the outcome of the incentives can be significantly different depending on how the funds are being taken from the business. The cash flow boost measure doesn’t take into account dividends or trust distributions paid to business owners, but can take into account salary, wages or directors fees paid to the same individuals. There are also integrity rules preventing artificial or contrived arrangements from being used to access the cash flow boost.12 March 2020 is a crucial date for accessing the cash flow boost. Relatively new business entities that have not lodged any tax returns or activity statements by 12 March 2020 might miss out unless the Commissioner grants discretion around the timing requirements.Also, with the $1,500 wage subsidy, employees eligible for the subsidy had to be employed by the business claiming the subsidy as at 1 March 2020. Some will miss out.It can be confusing and frustrating but we will help you work through it and ensure that you are able to access the support that is available to you.BusinessIndividualsSuperannuation