PAYG Credits – Cash Rebate
Small and medium-sized businesses and not-forprofit entities, with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million (usually based on their prior year’s turnover) that employ people, may be eligible to receive a total payment (in the form of a refundable credit) of up to $100,000 (with a minimum total payment of $20,000), based on their PAYG withholding obligations in two stages:
Commencing with the lodgment of activity statements from 28 April 2020, eligible employers that withhold PAYG tax on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a tax-free payment equal to 100% of the amount withheld, up to a maximum of $50,000.
Eligible employers that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum (tax-free) payment of $10,000, even if they are not required to withhold PAYG tax.
The tax-free payment will broadly be calculated and paid by the ATO as an automatic credit to an employer, upon the lodgment of activity statements from 28 April 2020, with any resulting refund being paid to the employer. This means that:
· quarterly lodgers will be eligible to receive the payment for the quarters ending March 2020 and June 2020; and
· monthly lodgers will be eligible to receive the payment for the March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 lodgments.
Note that, the minimum payment of $10,000 will be applied to an entity’s first activity statement lodgment (whether for the month of March or the March quarter) from 28 April 2020.
“Small and medium-sized businesses and not-forprofit entities, with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million (usually based on their prior year’s turnover) that employ people, may be eligible to receive a total payment (in the form of a refundable credit) of up to $100,000 (with a minimum total payment of $20,000), based on their PAYG withholding obligations”
For employers that continue to be active, an additional (tax-free) payment will be available in respect of the June to October 2020 period, basically as follows:
· Quarterly lodgers will be eligible to receive the additional payment for the quarters ending June 2020 and September 2020, with each payment being equal to 50% of their total initial (or Stage 1) payment (up to a maximum of $50,000).
· Monthly lodgers will be eligible to receive the additional payment for the June 2020, July 2020, August 2020 and September 2020 activity statement lodgements, with each additional payment being equal to a quarter of their total initial (or Stage 1) payment (up to a maximum of $50,000).
Again, the ATO will automatically calculate and pay the additional (tax-free) payment as a credit to an employer upon the lodgment of their activity statements from July 2020, with any resulting refund being paid to the employer. Specific integrity measures apply.
Wage Subsidies for Apprentices and Trainees
Employers with less than 20 full-time employees, who retain an apprentice or trainee (who was in training with the employer as at 1 March 2020) may be entitled to Government funded wage subsidies.
These will be equal to 50% of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.
The maximum wage subsidy over the nine-month period will be $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee. Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020.
Instant Asset Write-Off Threshold Increased
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 March 2020 – Coronavirus Special Update date on which this measure was announced) and ending on 30 June 2020.
“Broadly, the depreciating asset instant asset writeoff 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”
SBE – businesses with aggregated turnover less than $10 million
SBEs will be able to claim an immediate deduction for depreciating assets that cost less than $150,000, provided the relevant asset is first acquired at or after 7.30 pm on 12 May 2015, by legal time in the ACT, and first used or installed ready for use on or after 12 March 2020, but before 1 July 2020.
Additionally, SBEs will also be able to claim an immediate deduction for the following:
· An amount included in the second element of the cost of (i.e., an improvement to) a depreciating asset that was first used or installed ready for use in a previous income year. The amount of the second element cost must be less than $150,000 and the cost must be incurred on or after 12 March 2020, but before 1 July 2020.
· If the balance of an entity’s general small business pool (excluding current year depreciation) is less than $150,000 at the end of the 2020 income year, a deduction can be claimed for this balance.
MBE – businesses with aggregated turnover of between $10 million to $500 million
MBEs can immediately deduct the cost of an asset in an income year if the asset has a cost of less than $150,000 and it was first acquired in the period beginning at 7:30pm, by legal time in the ACT, on 2 April 2019 and ending on 30 June 2020, and the taxpayer starts to use or have the asset installed ready for use for a taxable purpose in the period beginning on 12 March 2020 and ending on 30 June 2020.
Additionally, MBEs can also claim a deduction for certain amounts included in the second element of the cost of a depreciating asset, where the amount of the second element cost is less than $150,000, and is incurred on or after 12 March 2020 but before 1 July 2020.
The threshold will generally be applied to the GST-exclusive cost of an eligible asset (i.e., assuming the relevant business is entitled to an input tax credit for any GST included in the acquisition cost).
Importantly, this increased threshold also continues to operate on a ‘per asset’ basis, which means that eligible businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets (as long as each of the assets individually satisfy the relevant eligibility criteria).
Currently, the instant asset write-off threshold is due to revert to $1,000 for small businesses (i.e., those with an aggregated turnover of less than $10 million) from 1 July 2020.
Accelerated depreciation deductions for new assets
Broadly, a new time-limited 15-month investment incentive (available for eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 up until 30 June 2021) will also be introduced to accelerate certain depreciation deductions for businesses with an aggregated turnover below $500 million.
The amount that an eligible entity can deduct in the income year in which an eligible depreciating asset is first used or installed ready for use is:
· 50% of the cost (or adjustable value where applicable) of the asset; and
· the amount of the usual depreciation deduction that would otherwise apply (if it were calculated on the remaining cost of the asset).
Different rules will apply where an SBE is using the general small business pool (i.e., for assets not qualifying for the instant asset write-off). In this case, an SBE may deduct an amount equal to 57.5% (rather than 15%) of the business-use portion of the cost of an eligible depreciating asset in the year is it allocated to the pool.
Unless specifically excluded, an eligible asset is a new asset that can be depreciated under Division 40 of the ITAA 1997 (i.e., plant and equipment and specified intangible assets, such as patents), where the asset satisfies all of the following conditions:
· The asset is new and has not previously been held (and used or installed ready for use) by another entity (other than as trading stock or for testing and trialling purposes).
· No entity has claimed depreciation deductions (including under the instant asset write-off) in respect of the asset.
· The asset is first held, and first used or installed ready for use, for a taxable purpose, between 12 March 2020 and 30 June 2021 (inclusive).
Payment Deferrals and Interest Payments
If you or your business has been affected by COVID-19, the ATO can work with you to defer some payments and vary instalments you have due. These include your income tax, activity statement, pay as you go (PAYG) instalments, FBT and excise payments by up to six months.
If your business is affected by COVID-19, the ATO will consider remitting interest and penalties incurred after 23 January 2020.
If your business has been affected by COVID-19 and you need help to pay your existing and ongoing tax liabilities, the ATO is open to discussing entering into a low interest payment plan.
SME Guarantee Scheme for Loans
Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to SME lenders to support new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs. The Scheme will guarantee up to $40 billion of new lending. This will provide businesses with funding to meet cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit. This will assist otherwise viable businesses across the economy who are facing significant challenges due to disrupted cash flow to meet existing obligations.
Lenders are also deferring loan repayments for 6 months on these loans in addition to existing business and equipment loans.
Not Sure HOW to Access These Concessions?
I believe that it is in the difficult times, that true leaders are born. It takes courage to lead an organization that is being negatively impacted, and it certainly takes courage to lead and empower people during these trying times.
“It is in difficult times, that true leaders are born”
Pushing through this difficult times however, can reap incredible benefits both financially and mentally, as it prepares you to be able to take on any other challenges life may throw at you.
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