Special Edition March 2020 | VOLUME 142
KSW Newsletter for our clients and associates
Coronavirus Stimulus Package – what can you get?
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the government has announced a stimulus package. The initial package is costed at $17.6 billion, but more may be announced if needed.
The package comprises four elements targeted at different areas of the economy.
Assistance for Employers
Businesses with turnover of up to $50 million per year will receive up to $25,000 to assist with the cost of salaries and wages. The payment will be delivered as a credit through the activity statement system commencing on lodgement of the March 2020 activity statement. The credit will be 50% of the amount of PAYG withheld, capped at a total of $25,000. There’s a minimum payment of $2,000 for employers even if they aren’t required to withhold tax.
Additionally, a wage subsidy of 50% of apprentice and trainee wages, up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee. The subsidy will be paid to eligible employers for up to nine months from 1 January to 30 September 2020.
Detailed information on both of the above proposals can be found on the Treasury website.
Support for Business Investment
The instant asset write-off threshold will be lifted to $150,000 (from the current amount of $30,000), and access extended to businesses with turnover of up to $500 million (from the current $50 million). Like the existing rules, the threshold applies on a per asset basis, meaning that businesses can immediately write off multiple assets provided each cost $150,000 or less. It is proposed that these thresholds will apply until 30 June 2020, and from 1 July 2020 will revert to an instant write off of up to only $1,000 for businesses with turnover less than $10 million.
A further investment incentive is also proposed to apply to eligible assets that are first used or installed by 30 June 2021. This proposal will accelerate depreciation deductions for assets acquired by businesses with aggregated turnover below $500 million. Acquisitions that meet the criteria will qualify for a deduction of 50% of cost in the year of installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.
Detailed information and examples can be found here.
Around 6.5 million lower income people will get a one-off $750 payment, intended to stimulate domestic demand in the economy. The payments will be made to social security benefit recipients, as well as families receiving family tax benefits. The payment is tax free and doesn’t count as income for income testing purposes.
The payments will start to be paid automatically from 31 March 2020, and the government has indicated that over 90% of payments will be made by mid-April 2020.
More information, including complete eligibility criteria, can be found here.
Assistance for Severely Affected Regions
$1 billion will be used to support regions that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak, such as those that rely on tourism, agriculture and education. Measures introduced will include waiving certain fees and charges, assisting with identification of alternative export markets and supply chains, and promotion of domestic tourism. The ATO will also provide administrative relief for certain tax obligations for taxpayers affected by the coronavirus outbreak on a case-by-case basis.
Further details on this area, though quite limited, can be found
Legislation to enact the stimulus package is being drafted, and is expected to be introduced to parliament when it reconvenes on 23 March.
Stanley & Williamson’s Plan
Due to the serious impact of the coronovirus on the health of our community, as well as the wellbeing of our team, we have put together a plan as to how Stanley & Williamson will contribute to the management of the crisis.
As we are being directed by the health authorities to practice social distancing, and as we want to do our part to prevent the spread of the disease, we have offered and developed plans for some of our staff to work remotely where possible. This will be effective from today and we will review the remote working arrangement over the coming weeks and update you accordingly should the status change.
Consequently your client manager and/or partner may not actually be situated in the office at Kirribilli for the near future. We have, however, put significant resources into ensuring all of our team are set up at home to be able to attend to all work responsibilities in exactly the same way as if they were in the office. We anticipate no disruption to our clients’ work and as far as we are concerned it is business as usual. Our office remains open and will have minimal staff during business hours.
If you are trying to get hold of a team member please continue to phone the office on 9923 2666 and, if the team member is not physically in the office, the message will be conveyed onto the team member immediately. Alternatively, if you have our team member’s mobile phone number feel free to contact them on that.
In relation to face to face meetings in upcoming weeks, we encourage you to consider the options of either a telephone conference or video/virtual meeting (including Microsoft Teams and Zoom). To avoid the possible spread of the virus we are trying to limit the amount of physical contact being made. Your client manager will be able to help you organise a virtual meeting if need be.
Where there is work currently being conducted onsite, by one of our team, at your office premises, we will be in contact with you this week to discuss how we can make alternative plans or arrangements for the near future.
We believe that by taking these precautions and implementing a proactive plan now, we can help all concerned by minimising face-to-face contact thus ensuring the safety of our team, our clients, as well as their staff.
We hope you understand the reason for the plan and support us in our strategy to limit the effect of the coronavirus. At a time like this the safety of our team, their families, our clients and their staff and families, is paramount.
Should you have any questions or concerns in relation to this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Correct as of March 2020.
This newsletter has been produced by Kreston Stanley Williamson as a service to its clients and associates. The information contained in the newsletter is of general comment only and is not intended to be advice on any particular matter. Before acting on any areas contained in this newsletter, it is imperative you seek specific advice relating to your particular circumstances. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.