Jobkeeper Payment

Government Economic Stimulus Package

The Government is introducing a wage subsidy program to support employees and businesses. The JobKeeper Payment is designed to help businesses affected by the Coronavirus to cover the costs of their employees’ wages, so that more employees can retain their job and continue to earn an income.

Keeping Australians in work and businesses in business will lay the foundations for a stronger economic recovery once the Coronavirus crisis passes.

Summary

The economic impacts of the Coronavirus pose significant challenges for many businesses — many of which are struggling to retain their employees.

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses and not-for-profits significantly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak will be able to access a wage subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. This assistance will help businesses to keep people in their jobs and re-start when the crisis is over. For employees, this means they can keep their job and earn an income.

The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses impacted by the Coronavirus. The JobKeeper Payment will also be available to the self-employed.

The Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months.

The JobKeeper Payment will support employers to maintain their connection to their employees.

These connections will enable business to reactivate their operations quickly — without having to rehire staff — when the crisis is over.

Eligibility

Employers (including not-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if, at the time of applying:

  • their business has an annual turnover of less than $1 billion and they estimate their turnover has fallen or will likely fall by 30 per cent or more; or
  • their business has an annual turnover of $1 billion or more (or is part of a consolidated group for income tax purposes with turnover of $1 billion or more) and they estimate their turnover has fallen or will likely fall by 50 per cent or more; and
  • their business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Self-employed individuals will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment where they meet the relevant turnover test outlined above.

For charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission (ACNC), they will be eligible for the subsidy if they estimate their turnover has or will likely fall by 15 per cent or more relative to a comparable period.

for more details

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Government’s Stimulus Package in response to the Coronavirus

Income support for individuals

Various measures have been introduced so as to provide a 'safety net' for individuals who are financially impacted by the Coronavirus.

The new Coronavirus supplement

A new six-month 'Coronavirus supplement' of $550 per fortnight will be paid to individuals who are currently eligible for certain income support payments, including the:

  • Jobseeker Payment;
  • Youth Allowance; and
  • Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single).

Furthermore, it appears that this new (additional) supplement will be paid to eligible individuals as part of their existing income support payments (e.g., Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance).

Expanding access (and eligibility) to certain income support payments

For the period that the Coronavirus supplement is paid, the Government will also expand access to certain income support payments (e.g., the Jobseeker Payment, the Youth Allowance Jobseeker and the Parenting Payment) for eligible individuals.

Tax-free payments of $750 to eligible recipients

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

Early access to superannuation benefits

The Government will introduceanew 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:

  • The individual is unemployed.
  • The individual is eligible to receive the Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance for jobseekers, Parenting Payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), Special Benefit or Farm Household Allowance.
  • On or after 1 January 2020 either:
    • the individual was made redundant; or
    • the individual’s working hours were reduced by at least 20%; or
    • if the individual is a sole trader – their business was suspended or there was a reduction in the business’s turnover of at least 20%.

Reducing the minimum drawdown amounts for superannuation pensions

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.

Reducing social security deeming rates

From 1 May 2020, the Government will be reducing both the upper and lower social security deeming rates by a further 0.25 percentage points. This is in addition to the recent 0.5 percentage point reduction, resulting in an overall reduction to the social security deeming rates of 0.75 percentage points.

On this basis, as of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be reduced from 3% to 2.25%, and the lower deeming rate will be reduced from 1% to 0.25%.

Cash flow assistance for businesses

The Government is also providing cash flow assistance for eligible businesses in the form of two separate measures.

Boosting cash flow for employers

Small and medium-sized businesses and not-for- profit 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.

Wages 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.

Increasing the instant write-off threshold for business assets

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.

Small Business Entities (‘SBEs’)

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.

Medium Business Entities (‘MBEs’)

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.

Accelerating 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).

for more details

DOWNLOAD Coronavirus Special Update

* Disclaimer: This newsletter is of a general nature and for general information only. Do not act on this information before getting specific advice. Other factors or individual circumstances may influence the result.

 

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