We know this may be a stressful time for businesses. The Australian Government has announced measures to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Please see below support offered and how to access this support.
As you would be aware, we are facing a unique situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are continuing to monitor the situation with the new information released daily.
With the current situation, we cannot guarantee that our office will remain open to the public or our clients. Measures are being put in place to make it possible for our accountants to work from home during this time. If you have any concerns, please contact our office to discuss.
SUPPORT OFFERED AS AT 19 MARCH 2020
• On Tuesday, 17 March the Queensland Government announced a new $500 million loan facility, interest free for the first 12 months, to support Queensland businesses impacted by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) retain employees and maintain their operations.
• The $500 million concessional loan facility will include low interest loans of up to $250,000 over 10 years. They are intended for the purpose of carry on finance and will include an initial 12-month interest free period.
• The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) is responsible for the administration of these loans and is currently taking expressions of interest in the lead up to delivering these loans as soon as possible.
• The ATO is offering a range of support including deferrals, remitting interest and penalties incurred after 23 January 2020, changing GST reporting cycles to monthly to get quicker access to GST funds, varying PAYG instalments to zero for April 2020, and entering a low-interest payment plan.
• The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million. This change applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second‑hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe.
• Provides a 15 month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset cost.
• Provides eligible businesses between $2,000 and $25,000 to small and medium-sized businesses to help cover the costs of your employee's wages. The payment will be tax free and will provide cash flow support to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million.
• If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50% of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020.
• $1 billion has been set aside to support regions and communities most significantly affected by the Coronavirus. These funds will be available to assist during the next few months and over the year ahead to ensure these communities are well placed to recover.
• Tax-free payments of $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. These payments will commence to be automatically made from 31 March 2020.
HOW TO ACCESS SUPPORT
Register interest in Queensland COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans:
• Call 1800 623 946.
To assist businesses experiencing financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19 the ATO are implementing a series of relief options. These relief options will not be automatically applied, so you will need to contact the ATO to discuss them.
• If you or your business are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19, phone the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218.
• If you are unable to work because you become sick or need to self-isolate, or your income has been impacted by the coronavirus, you may be eligible for income support payments. Information on income support is available on the Services Australia website or by phone on 180 22 66.
Business Queensland is offering a support line for small business impacted by the international outbreak of COVID-19. Their local teams are ready to discuss the support and services on offer.
• Contact 1300 654 687 to find out more.