As at 22 April 2020
BUSINESS SUPPORT CONTACTS
- The WA COVID-19 hotline is open 7am to 7pm on 132 68 43. For information for business, industry and family support packages, press 8.
- The Small Business Development Corporation has created a COVID-19 assistance centre to provide dedicated, timely guidance on available support options, including:
– information on available stimulus packages and eligibility requirements
– advice on preparing businesses to manage impacts other resources.
– To access the service, contact 133 140 (8:30am to 4:30pm weekdays) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
JOBKEEPER (WAGE SUBSIDY)
Please visit the ATO for further detail and clarification on any matters in this section: https://www.ato.gov.au/general/JobKeeper-Payment/
- The JobKeeper Payment is a subsidy to businesses, which will keep more Australians in jobs through the course of the coronavirus outbreak.
- The payment will be paid to employers, for up to six months, for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and is retained or continues to be engaged by that employer.
- Where a business has stood down employees since 1 March, the payment will help them maintain connection with their employees.
- Employers will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee. Every eligible employee must receive at least $1,500 per fortnight from this business, before tax.
- The program will commence from 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by eligible businesses in the first week of May as monthly arrears from the Australian Taxation Office. Eligible businesses can begin distributing the JobKeeper payment immediately and will be reimbursed from the first week of May.
- Eligible employers will be those with annual turnover of less than $1 billion who self-assess that they have experienced a reduction in revenue of 30 per cent or more, since 1 March 2020 over a minimum one-month period.
- Employers with an annual turnover of $1 billion or more would be required to demonstrate a reduction in revenue of 50 per cent or more to be eligible. Businesses subject to the Major Bank Levy will not be eligible.
- Some ACNC registered charities will be eligible for the subsidy with a reduction of income measured at a minimum of 15%.
- Eligible employers include businesses structured through companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders. Not-for-profit entities; including charities, will also be eligible.
- Full-time and part-time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment. Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they will also be eligible for the Payment. An employee will only be eligible to receive this payment from one employer.
- Eligible employees include Australian residents, New Zealand citizens in Australia who hold a subclass 444 special category visa, and migrants who are eligible for JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance (Other).
- Self-employed individuals are also eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment.
- Eligible businesses can apply for the payment online and are able to register their interest via the ATO.
Please visit WA Consumer Protection for further detail and clarification on any matters in this section: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/commercial-tenancies-covid-19-response
- A new mandatory code of conduct has been introduced for landlords and tenants.
- The Code will introduce principles for landlords and tenants to act in good faith.
- This will cover commercial tenancies covering Retail, Commercial and Industrial Leases.
- Legislation is currently before the State Parliament and this will introduce:
– a 6 month moratorium on evictions due to non-payment of rent;
– a freeze on rent increases;
– restrictions on penalties for tenants who do not trade, or who have reduced their trading hours;
– prohibitions on charging interest on rent arrears;
– the introduction of a dispute resolution process; and
– an ability for government to prescribe a code of conduct.
- Further information will be released shortly and for further details or specific issues you are encouraged to contact the WA Department of Consumer Protection on 1300 304 054 or email@example.com
- Commercial tenants, landlords and financial institutions are encouraged to sit down together to find a way through to ensure that businesses can survive and be there on the other side. As part of this, National Cabinet agreed to a common set of principles, endorsed by Treasurers, to underpin and govern intervention to aid commercial tenancies as follows:
– a short term, temporary moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent to be applied across commercial tenancies impacted by severe rental distress due to coronavirus;
– tenants and landlords are encouraged to agree on rent relief or temporary amendments to the lease;
– the reduction or waiver of rental payment for a defined period for impacted tenants;
– the ability for tenants to terminate leases and/or seek mediation or conciliation on the grounds of financial distress;
– commercial property owners should ensure that any benefits received in respect of their properties should also benefit their tenants in proportion to the economic impact caused by coronavirus;
– landlords and tenants not significantly affected by coronavirus are expected to honour their lease and rental agreements.
BUSINESS AND SOLE TRADERS
Please visit the Federal Business Hub for further detail and clarification on any matters in this section: https://business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business
- Small and medium business entities or not-for-profits of equivalent size (that is, an entity with aggregated annual turnover less than $50 million) may be eligible to receive between $20,000 to $100,000 in cash flow boost amounts by lodging their activity statements up to the month or quarter of September 2020. The cash flow boosts will be delivered as credits in the activity statement system, and will generally be equivalent to the amount withheld from wages paid to employees for each monthly or quarterly period from March to June 2020. In practice, this means you keep the amounts you have withheld from payments for these periods, however, there are some exceptions. Further information can be found here
- The instant asset write-off threshold has been lifted from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020.
- 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.
- Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter).
- You can request a deferral of due dates for tax payments that were due after 23 January 2020. Also see questions about interest and penalties on the ATO website.
State Government Measures
Please visit the Small Business Development Corporation for further detail and clarification on any matters in this section: https://www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/blog/wa-coronavirus-relief-package
- Small and medium businesses whose annual Australian Taxable Wages are between $1 million and $4 million will receive a one-off grant of $17,500 to assist them to manage the impacts of COVID-19. Eligible businesses will receive this money automatically. Please ensure your postal address is accurate here
- The payroll tax threshold will be increased to $1 million from 1 July 2020, six months earlier than planned.
- Small and medium sized businesses affected by COVID-19 can apply to defer payment of their 2019-20 payroll tax until 21 July 2020. The deferral is available to employers who pay $7.5 million or less in Australian Taxable Wages and have been directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19, compared to normal operating conditions.
- Small Business Support Service. To access the service, contact 133 140 (8.30am-4.30pm weekdays) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Electricity bills for some small businesses will be reduced, with a one-off $2,500 credit available for Synergy and Horizon Power customers that consume less than 50 megawatt hours (MWh) per annum. The credit is available for current customers (as of March 31, 2020) and will be allocated from May 1, 2020 to reduce current and future electricity bills. The measure will provide some $236.8 million in relief to businesses such as cafes, delis, restaurants, beauticians and small retail stores that have been heavily impacted by recent trading restrictions to contain COVID-19.
Payroll tax will be waived for a four-month period between March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 for small-to-medium sized businesses with Australia-wide annual wages of less than $7.5 million in 2019-20. This will deliver around $165 million in relief to around 10,700 businesses that will not be required to pay payroll tax for this period.
- $100.4 million has been allocated to waive a wide range of licence fees for small and medium sized businesses in COVID-19 impacted industries for the next 12 months. This includes licences for building services, plumbers and electricians; tourism businesses operating in national and marine parks; boat registration and mooring fees for tourism operators and commercial fishers; commercial fisheries licences; taxi booking service authorisation fees; settlement agent licence fees; and other statutory planning fees. Liquor licence renewal fees for 2020 will be waived and refunds provided for businesses that have already paid.
- Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can also apply for an interest-free payment arrangement and for late payment penalties to be waived for payroll tax, transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax.
- No small businesses facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 will face power or water disconnections due to late payments. In addition, no interest will be charged on deferred bill payments. For electricity, this will apply to Synergy and Horizon Power customers who consume 50MWh or less.
- On 30 March the State Government established a $159 million COVID-19 relief fund to provide support to organisations that are helping people experiencing hardship. Further detail can be found here
- An initial $59 million will be available for crisis and emergency relief support for eligible not for-profit and community organisations to assist with costs related to increased demand for food, clothing, shelter and other critical needs.
- This funding will also provide urgent financial relief for not-for-profit sports, arts and community organisations experiencing hardship as a result of cancelled events. It will compensate for cancellation costs, lost revenue and incurred or committed operational costs associated with the cancelled event. Often these events were crucial to the ongoing operations of important community organisations.
- Lotterywest will now allocate all profits previously assigned to the grants budget (apart from statutory grants), anticipated to be about $100 million, directly into the newly created fund to assist the Western Australian community to recover.
- Eligible not-for-profit organisations and community groups can apply immediately for grant support by visiting http://www.lotterywest.wa.gov.au/grants or by calling 133 777.
Please visit Services Australia for further detail and clarification on any matters in this section: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/job-seekers
- If you have lost your job or business, or had work hours reduced check your eligibility for the JobSeeker Payment. Income limits apply, but waiting times and assets limits have been waived.
- If your partner is still working the maximum annual income threshold has been increased to $79,000.
- For six months from 27 April, a $550 fortnightly CORONAVIRUS SUPPLEMENT will be paid to JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Austudy, Abstudy, Parenting Payment, and Special Benefit recipients
$750 payments will be given to pensioners, veterans, and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders from 31 March. Welfare recipients who do not receive the CORONAVIRUS SUPPLEMENT will receive a second $750 payment on or around 13 July.
- Eligible individuals and sole traders can access up to $10,000 of superannuation tax free in 2019-20, and the same again in 2020-2021.
- Mutual obligations e.g applying for jobs has been waived until 22 May.
- If you are successful in applying for Jobkeeper then you will not be able to access Jobseeker.