Below we have provided a briefing of the stimulus package which the government announced last week in response to the difficult times which are affecting all of us

As a business owner or employee of a business, you may/will confront the possibility of yourself or members of your team being isolated from the work environment, supply issues as well as a decrease in the demand for the services/goods over the coming 3-9 months.

Tax incentives for business investment

Increase in Instant asset write-off

From 12 March until 30 June 2020, for new or second-hand assets first used or installed ready for use, the instant asset write-off threshold will be increased from $30,000 to $150,000 for businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from the current $50 million threshold).The threshold applies on a per asset basis, so eligible businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets. The threshold will revert to $1,000 for small businesses (turnover less than $10 million) from 1 July 2020, however businesses not entitled to the instant asset write off from 1 July 2020 may be entitled to the 50% investment incentive as below.

Backing business investment incentive

The Government is introducing a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.
Businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million per annum will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset upon installation, provided it was acquired after 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021.

There is no asset value threshold for this 50% investment incentive. Existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.

Cash flow assistance for businesses

Increasing cash flow for employers

Up to a $25,000 tax-free payment to small and medium-sized businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million that employ workers, between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020.
These eligible businesses will receive a payment equal to 50% of their PAYG withheld, delivered as a credit in their BAS from March to June 2020, with a minimum $2,000 payment and up to a cap of $25,000.

Keeping apprentices and trainees employed

Eligible small business employers will be able to apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice’s or trainee’s (in training as at 1 March 2020) wage for up to 9 months from 1 January to 30 September 2020, up to $21,000 per apprentice. Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020 with final claims for payment due by 31 December 2020.

Non-tax measures

Stimulus payments

Social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders including pensioners will receive a one-off $750 payment will be available from 31 March 2020.
There will be one payment per eligible recipient.

Assistance for severely affected regions

The Government has set aside $1 billion to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.

ATO relief measures

On 12 March 2020, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced a series of administrative concessions to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19, which include:
• up to 4 months the payment deferral of tax amounts due through the BAS (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, FBT assessments and excise by affected businesses;
• allowing affected businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting to get quicker access to any GST refunds;
• allowing affected businesses to vary PAYG instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters;
• remitting any interest and penalties, incurred by affected businesses on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities; and
• allowing affected businesses to enter into low-interest payment plans for their existing and ongoing tax liabilities.
The ATO assistance is not automatic, taxpayers must first contact the ATO to request assistance, and if eligible, the ATO will ‘tailor the assistance package for the relevant taxpayer.

To know more about the application of these measures, please get in contact with us at support@smbaccounting.com.au or

P 1300 854 159.

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