Qualifying for JobKeeper

The JobKeeper legislation has now been passed, and the detailed rules set out in that legislation make some of the previously published information obsolete. Read more…

JobKeeper Payment

This morning we have been inundated with enquiries from clients with regards to whether their business will qualify for the JobKeeper payment, released as part of the Third Stimulus package. Read more…

Temporary Insolvency Relief

Directors will now be temporarily relived of their duty to prevent insolvent trading with respect to any debts incurred in the ordinary course of the company's business, with the measure set to run for six months.

According to Treasury, egregious cases of dishonesty and fraud will still be subject to criminal penalties.  Any debts incurred by the company will still be payable by the company.

Further, the government will increased the current minimum threshold for creditors issuing a statutory demands on a company under the Corporations Act 2001 from $2,000 to $20,000 for six months.

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A key feature of the 2015/16 Federal Budget (and subsequent Federal Budgets since) was the $20,000 Instant Asset Write Off scheme for small businesses – a scheme which has proven to be very popular with Small Business Owners. The $20,000 Instant Asset Write Off scheme allows business owners to immediately write off depreciable assets that cost the business less than $20,000.

Due to the recent coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Government is expected to bring forward decision to bring forward the instant asset write-off and increase it from $30,000 to $150,000.

The Morrison Government confirmed on Thursday that the write-off threshold would be lifted to $150,000 and extended to businesses with a turnover of up to $500 million, from $50 million.

The cut-off date to take advantage of the increased limit is June 30. New equipment, computer hardware, office fit-outs, furniture and vehicles are amongst the potential assets, that can be written off.

This new measure is expected to decrease taxes paid by Australian businesses by $2.5billion over the next two years.

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The Government will be temporarily reducing the superannuation minimum drawdown amounts for account-based pensions and similar products by 50% for the 2020 and 2021 income years. This basically means that the total minimum annual pension amount that a superannuation fund is otherwise required to pay to a member receiving a pension from the fund (e.g., an account-based pension) will be reduced by half for these two income years.

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Personal Checklist

While it's important that your business can get through these tough times, it's essential that you are personally in a position to weather any storms and protect your family in these uncertain times.

This is our Checklist to work through:

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Broadly, the depreciating asset instant asset write-off threshold will be increased from $30,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million) to $150,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million) until 30 June 2020.

The measure applies to both new and second-hand assets first used or installed ready for use in the period beginning on 12 March 2020 (i.e., the date on which this measure was announced) and ending on 30 June 2020.

More specifically, the above measure will apply to apply to Small Business Entities and Medium Business Entities, as follows: 

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Income Support for Individuals

From 27 April 2020, the Government will introduce a Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight (payable to individuals currently receiving certain eligible income support payments) and will also temporarily expand access to certain income support payments, over a six-month period.

The Government will also provide two separate $750 tax-free payments to certain social security, veteran and other income support recipients, and to eligible concession card holders.

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Early Access to Superannuation Benefits

Under the existing 'compassionate grounds' conditions of release, an individual can access their preserved superannuation benefits (as a lump sum), subject to any cashing restrictions, on a number of different (specific) grounds where certain conditions are satisfied. For example, an individual who satisfies certain conditions could access their superannuation entitlements under this condition of release in order to pay for certain medical treatment, or to enable the individual to make a repayment on a home loan in order to prevent the mortgagee selling their home.

The Government will introduce a new compassionate ground of release that will allow individuals to access their superannuation entitlements where those benefits are required to assist them to deal with the adverse economic effects of the Coronavirus, but only where one or more of the following requirements are satisfied:

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BAS and Cash Flow Assistance

Small and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit entities that employ people, with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million (usually based on their prior year's turnover), may be eligible to receive a total payment of up to $100,000 (with a minimum total payment of $20,000), based on their PAYG withholding obligations, in the following two stages:

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