Business Support Information for Covid-19
With the rapidly changing environment surrounding the Coronavirus COVID-19 and the amount of information being supplied by both Federal and State Governments, there is a wealth of information and support for businesses to digest.
To assist our clients in finding information about financial assistance, eligibility and timing for government support we’ve created a number of summary documents and resources below.
We’ll be updating this page as new information is available.
If you need more tailored advice or have questions in relation to your specific business please ensure that you speak with one of our Directors.
Australian Federal Government Assistance
JobKeeper Extension Starts 28 September
The original JobKeeper Payment scheme ends on 27 September 2020. Those needing further support will need to reassess their eligibility and prove an actual decline in turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Extension.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy protections extended
On 7 September 2020, the Federal Government announced that the temporary changes to the creditors’ statutory demand and insolvent trading laws have been extended to 31 December 2020.
JobKeeper: Nomination Notice Required by 22 August
If you are already enrolled for the JobKeeper payment scheme and you have additional employees that become eligible on or after 3 August 2020 using the 1 July test, you must provide a JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice (1 July employees only) to your new eligible employees by 22 August 2020.
JobKeeper Extension Rules Relaxed
On the 7th August, the Government announced that the tougher eligibility rules that were due to be in place for the second phase of the JobKeeper payment scheme (from 28 September 2020) would be relaxed.
JobKeeper, JobSeeker & Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme Updates
On Tuesday 21 July 2020, the Government announced its plan to extend the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payment schemes. Our latest article covers all the key updates to scheme including payment rates and eligibility requirements.
The Coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme was introduced to encourage lenders to provide support to SMEs suffering from the impacts of the Coronavirus.
JobKeeper Update – Monthly Reporting & Payroll Tax Exemptions
The ATO has released additional monthly reporting requirements to access JobKeeper payments.
QLD Gov has also announced JobKeeper payments will not be liable for QLD payroll tax.
JobKeeper Update – Alternative Tests & Extended Deadline
The ATO announces a number of additional tests to determine an employer’s eligibility for the JobKeeper Scheme, along with extended deadlines for the initial JobKeeper periods.
The new ‘alternative tests’ apply for classes of entities where there is not an appropriate relevant comparison period for determining a decline in GST turnover.
JobKeeper Payment Requirements – What you need to know & do
the Treasurer released the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Rules 2020 which sets out the rules for administrating the JobKeeper scheme. You need to act now, as you must lodge before 26th April 2020 to claim the first two fortnightly payments!
Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Leasing
On Tuesday 7 April 2020 the National Cabinet released a mandatory code of conduct containing “good faith leasing principles”, which will apply to all commercial tenancies. The leasing principles established include a “proportionate reduction” in the rent payable, in the form of waivers and deferrals, in line with the reduction in turnover.
Australia Changes Foreign Investment Review Threshold
The Australian government has temporarily reduced the foreign investment threshold to $nil effective from 30 March 2020. Key take outs:
- All foreign investments regardless of value in Australian assets including businesses and property must make application to FIRB. There is no carve out for treaty countries such as the USA and China
- The review response timeframe has been increased from 30 days to up to 6 months
- A proposal must receive a statement of no objection to proceed
- Urgent foreign investments applications for investments that protect and support Australian business and Australian jobs will be given priority.
New working from home expenses rules for individuals
The Australian Tax Office has announced special arrangements for individuals claiming working from home expenses due to the Coronavirus crisis.
The special new arrangement will allow people to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses, instead of calculating costs for specific running expenses as taxpayers would under normal circumstances. The shortcut method applies to expenses incurred after March 1 2020.
Government Announces New JobKeeper Payment
The Government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper payment to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact caused by the Coronavirus.
Temporary amendments to Australian Insolvency and Corporations Law
The Coronavirus Economic Package Omnibus Act 2020 (Cth) took effect on 25 March 2020. It makes temporary amendments to Australian Insolvency and Corporations Law that are intended to provide a safety net to otherwise profitable and viable businesses which face financial distress as a result of the economic impact of coronavirus and health measures to prevent its spread.
Second Stimulus Package:
On 22 March 2020, the Federal Government announced its second stimulus package to protect the Australian economy from the economic impact of the Coronavirus.
1. Boosting cash flow for employers
2. Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
3. Support for immediate cash flow needs for SMEs
4. Income support for individuals
5. Payments to support households
6. Temporary early release of superannuation
7. Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates
8. Reducing social security deeming rates
First Stimulus Package Announcement
In this article we summarise the key points from the Federal Government’s first stimulus package announcement:
1. Instant asset write off extension & accelerated depreciation
2. Cash payments for small businesses
3. Apprentice & trainee support
4. Welfare extensions
5. Healthcare boost
Queensland Government Support
The Qld Government has announced further relief for affected property owners dealing with the impacts of Coronavirus.
Eligible Queensland property owners may be able to receive the following land tax relief:
- a land tax rebate reducing land tax liabilities by 25% for eligible properties for the 2019-20 assessment year;
- a waiver of the 2% land tax foreign surcharge for foreign entities for the 2019-20 assessment year;
- a 3-month deferral of land tax liabilities for the 2020-21 assessment year.
QLD COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans – APPLICATIONS CLOSED
Queensland Government Payroll Tax Relief – Second Announcement
Employers who pay $6.5 million or less in taxable wages may be eligible for the following payroll tax relief measures:
- Refunds of payroll tax for 2 months
- A payroll tax holiday for 3 months
- Deferral of paying payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year
Victorian Government Support
Third round of Business Support Fund Grants
The Victorian Government has pledged an additional $3 billion economic stimulus in cash grants and tax relief to support Victorian businesses as they navigate through hard lockdown and on to COVID Normal business conditions for sometime after 23 November 2020.
Binding Orders on Rent Relief coming for Victorian Landlords
The Victorian Government has released the COVID-19 Commercial and Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (extension) Bill 2020. The Bill introduces greater powers for regulations to be made to deal with rent relief disputes.
Land tax relief for Victorian landlords
Landlords of residential and commercial properties who provide a 50% or more outright rent waiver of at least 3 months’ rent to eligible tenants can claim a 50% waiver of the property’s 2020 land tax and defer payment of the remaining tax to 31 March 2021.
Owner-occupiers of commercial properties can obtain a 25% waiver of the property’s 2020 land tax and payment of the remaining tax can be deferred to 31 March 2021.
Support Package for Victorian businesses
Further detail on the packages outlined 10 July is now available. We cover the Regional Tourism Business Grant, CBD Small Hospitality Business Grant and Hospitality Business Grant in our edited July Business Update. Please note businesses that have received funding under the Victorian Live Music Venues Program and/or the Business Support Fund – Expansion program are not eligible for funding through this program.
New Economic Restrictions on Victorian businesses
Stage 4 restrictions are in place in Victoria. With these restrictions come a series of directions on the operation of businesses in certain industries until mid-September unless advised otherwise by the Victorian government. The Business Support Fund will be expanded in recognition of spending longer under restrictions:
- Businesses in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire may apply for support up to $10,000.
- Businesses in regional Victoria may apply for a $5,000 grant.
Previous eligibility criteria applies.
Victorian Government announces a further $534M business support package
On 10 July 2020, the Victorian Government announced a further $534 million Business Support Package for businesses impacted by the coronavirus lockdown.
Below is a summary of the $534 million Business Support Package for clients operating in Victoria. If you are a usiness operating in Victoria, you should review these measures and contact your local Hall Chadwick advisor if you require assistance with applying for support.
Victorian Government responds to second Covid19 outbreak
The Premier of Victoria has issued a statement advising a return to Stage 3 lockdown protocols for ten Melbourne postcodes affecting 36 suburbs. These postcodes will remain at Stage 3 Restrictions at least until 29 July. Local businesses in these postcodes who were previously eligible for a Business Support Fund grant or a payroll tax refund will receive $5,000 from the Victorian Government.
The Victorian Government has established an economic survival package to support Victorian businesses and workers through the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The package includes:
- Payroll tax relief & relief for those who don’t normally pay payroll tax
- Liquour licence fees waived
- Land tax deferral
- Commercial tenants in government buildings
- Business Support Fund
New South Wales Government Support
NSW Land Tax Relief
The NSW government has introduced measures to provide relief to commercial and residential landowners, who provide a reduction in rent to a tenant who is experiencing financial distress as a result of COVID-19.
The New South Wales Government has established an economic survival package to support businesses impacted by COVID-19. The package includes:
- Relief Grants for NSW Small Business
- Payment for current government suppliers in advance
- Payroll tax relief
- Waiver of fees and charges
- Deferral of rents on government-owned properties
Australian Capital Territory Government Support
The ACT Government is delivering an economic survival package to support the ACT community through the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Payroll Tax Relief
- Rideshare & taxi vehicle licence fees
- Electricity rebates
- Licencing fees for hospitality industry
- Commercial general rates rebate
- Household benefits rate rebate
Western Australia Government Support
Support for businesses in WA include:
- Payroll tax relief
- Relief on utilities for small business
- Rent relief for small businesses and not-for-profits
- Duties, fees & licence relief
South Australia Government Support
To help drive the economy, secure jobs and support industry through COVID-19, the South Australian Government’s stimulus package will inject a total of $1 billion into the economy.
The stimulus package aims to save South Australian jobs, safeguard the state’s economy and minimise the economic impacts of the COVID-19 global crisis.
- Fast tracking infrastructure projects
- Payroll tax relief
- Land tax
- Job accelerator grants
Northern Territory Government Support
The Territory administration will deliver a $65 million Jobs Rescue & Recovery Plan to protect employers and their workers from the deep economic impacts of the coronavirus.
Tasmanian Government Support
The Tasmanian Government is providing a substantial stimulus package to support Tasmania as we tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Key highlights are:
- Payroll tax relief
- Liquor licencing fees discount
- Interest free loans for hospitality, tourism, seafood and export sectors.
- Apprentice or trainee incentives.
- Fisheries fee waiver
- Household benefit relief payment
What happens when the taps are turned off?
2020 has certainly been a challenging year for many businesses, but along the way we have been thrown many lifelines from the Government. Our latest newsletter looks to explain what businesses should be considering as we start to see some of these economic support initiatives scale back.
In Focus – Holding DOCA
Given the uncertainties associated with the economic implications of the coronavirus outbreak, the mechanism of a “holding” deed of company arrangement “(DOCA)” may be an appropriate vehicle for certain companies which are insolvent or likely to become insolvent and have entered voluntary administration.
In Focus – Informal Workouts Safe Harbour
If action is taken early, an informal workout may be able to be effected, without the stigma of a formal appointment, which could reduce the value of the assets of a company or lead to the loss of confidence of investors and/or customers. Furthermore, generally a formal appointment will involve additional costs, adverse publicity and result in an independent practitioner controlling the company’s business, property and affairs.
Financial Solutions for Restructuring a Business
Many businesses are facing challenges that were inconceivable a month ago. The many options available to a business in the area of reconstruction can be overwhelming for people, particularly those that have had no exposure to it before. We have developed a simple guide outlining the restructuring options available, both formal and informal.
Real Estate Industry Bodies