2021 COVID-19 Relief Package Update – As Of 3rd August 2021

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In response to the economic repercussions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, the NSW and Commonwealth Governments have introduced a series of relief measures. These measures have changed to adapt to the ongoing Sydney lockdown. The table below summarises the support programmes available to individuals and businesses, including assistance from accountants in Sydney.

What relief is available?Who is eligible?How do you claim?
A COVID-19 Disaster Payment of $450 or $750 per week is available for eligible people who lost work and income due to a NSW COVID-19 public health order.  These payment rates apply from 2 August 2021, while lower rates applied before that date. The disaster payment is recurring for as long as lockdown restrictions remain.A person at least 17 yo who has lost between 8 and 20 hours per week will be eligible for $450 per week, and those who have lost 20 hours or more will be eligible for $750 per week. 
More information on the Disaster Payment can be found on the Services Australia website.

The payment is claimed through your myGov account.  Further details are here.
The COVID-19 Business Grant provides between $7,500 and $15,000 to cover the first three weeks of restrictions (from 1 July to 17 July 2021).  The grants can be used for business expenses like rent, utilities and wages.
This programme closes on 13 September 2021.
Businesses with Australian wages below $10 million per year and an aggregated turnover of $75,000 to $50 million for the year ended 30 June 2020. 
Employing businesses must maintain employee headcount on 13 July 2021 while receiving payments from the grant.  “Maintain their employee headcount” means the employer will not take active steps to end the employment relationship.  Employees who have been stood down due to COVID-19 restrictions or who take leave without pay are considered employees for the purposes of headcount.  Businesses remain eligible if their headcount declines for reasons outside of their control (e.g. voluntary resignation) 
Non-employing businesses may be eligible if the business is its owners’ primary source of income. Non-employing businesses are not eligible for the grant if individuals associated with and deriving income from the business received a COVID-19 disaster payment between 26 June and 17 July 2021.
Certain entities listed here are ineligible.
The amount of the grant depends on your decline in turnover during the restrictions as follows:
· $7,500 for a decline of 30% or more
· $10,500 for a decline of 50% or more
· $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more
The decline in turnover is determined by comparing a 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 with the same period in June and/or July 2019.
Suppose your business does not meet all the eligibility criteria (e.g. your business commenced after July 2019). In that case, you may apply for the grant if you can provide evidence to support the alternative circumstances outlined in the guidelines.
The complete guidelines for the grant can be found here.

You can apply online here
Contact us if your business is not on the highly impacted industries list so that we can provide you with the appropriate letter to evidence your claim.
The JobSaver programme commenced on 18 July 2021 to support small and medium businesses’ payments.   An eligible business will pay 40% of the NSW payroll.  The minimum payment will be $1,500 per week, with a maximum of $100,000 per week. 

This programme closes on 18 October 2021.
Employing and non-employing businesses in NSW with an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $250 million may be eligible.
Businesses will be eligible if their turnover from 26 June to 30 July 2021 (likely to be extended) is 30% lower than an equivalent two-week period in 2019. 
An alternative comparison period may be used after a discussion with Service NSW (e.g. for new businesses commenced after July 2019).
To receive the payment, businesses must maintain their 13 July 2021 headcount (as described with the Business Grant). 
For non-employing businesses, the payment will be set at $1,000 per week.
Suppose your business does not meet all the eligibility criteria (e.g. your business commenced after July 2019). In that case, you may apply for the grant if you can provide evidence to support the alternative circumstances outlined in the guidelines.

You can apply online here
Contact us if your business is not on the highly impacted industries list so we can provide you with the appropriate letter to prove your claim.
Grants of $1,500 per fortnight during restrictions.
This programme closes on 18 October 2021.
Micro businesses with a turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 experience a decline in turnover of 30%, as described above.
Employing businesses must maintain their 13 July 2021 headcount.
For non-employing businesses, the business must be the primary income source for a person associated with the business.
If your micro-business does not meet all the eligibility criteria, you may still be eligible to apply for the grant.  See the alternative circumstances outlined here.
You can apply online here
Payroll tax waivers of 25% and deferrals.Businesses with Australian wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million have experienced a 30% decline in turnover, as well as payroll tax deferrals and interest-free repayment plans. 
Further details can be found here.
More information on claiming the 25% reduction is expected by the end of August 2021.
The 2020/21 annual reconciliation due date has been extended to 7 October 2021, after which you can enter a Stimulus Payment Arrangement.
Capped grants of up to $1,500Residential landlords are not liable to pay land tax to reduce tenant rent.No information is available yet on how this is to be claimed.  Monitor this page for updates.
Land tax relief equals the value of rent reductions up to a maximum of the 2021 land tax year liability.Commercial, retail and residential landlords who provide rent reductions to financially distressed tenants.  Full eligibility criteria can be found on the Revenue NSW website.You will apply via Service NSW. However, applications are not yet available.  You can monitor this page for updates.
Eviction moratorium until 11 September 2021Residential tenants who have suffered a loss of income of 25% due to COVID-19 and meet a range of criteria.  We expect more information on this measure will be available in the coming days on this page.
No recovery of security bonds, lockouts or evictions before mediation.COVID-19 impacted retail and commercial tenants.
Deferral of gaming tax assessments.  Details are here.For clubs – deferred until 21 December 2021; For hotels – deferred until 21 January 2022
$75 million support package to help eligible organisations and live music venues to continue paying staff and performers and provide support for loss of box office income.  Further information can be found here.Performing arts sector. Support will be administered by Create NSW. Support applications opened on 23 July 2021.  Details of the application process can be found here.

The Prime Minister has previously announced that COVID-19 Disaster Payments and the NSW business grants will be exempt from income tax. However, the ATO website states that this is subject to the passage of legislation.

The above measures have been implemented hastily to provide relief as quickly as possible, so it can be difficult to assess your eligibility.  Feel free to contact your client manager to discuss your personal circumstances.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with your client manager.

Kreston Stanley Williamson Team

*Correct as of 3rd August 2021

Disclaimer – Kreston Stanley Williamson has produced this article to serve its clients and associates. The information contained in the article is of general comment only and is not intended to be advice on any particular matter. Before acting on any areas in this article, you must seek advice about your circumstances. Liability is limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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