We're here to help you get organised.

 

But getting organised is easier said than done with all the different COVID-19 updates, fact sheets and articles coming at you from all directions.

 

That's why we've created this page to act as summary of all the various government support initiatives and stimulus packages for businesses and individuals in one single location.

We will be updating this page daily with all the Federal and State Government announcements, and providing our own advice and insight into what the measures mean, how you can apply for them, and other things you can do to manage and protect you and your business.

 

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Action Checklists

Our COVID-19 Action Checklists outline immediate action items you can take now and practical considerations you should be thinking about to manage the potential impacts on your personal and business finances.

The biggest mistake you could make right now is inaction. Be proactive, get started today on the lists and execute as much as possible this week.

checklist+2 checklist+

 

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JobKeeper Payments

UPDATED: 23 APRIL 2020

JobKeeper Wage Subsidies

Businesses, Sole Traders, Businesses Without Employees, Not for Profits and Charities who have experienced a loss of at least 30 per cent of their turnover relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month) will receive a wage subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight from 30 March 2020 for all employees that were employed as of 1 March 2020.

Payments will be made from the first week of May backdated to 30 March and will continue for a maximum of 6 months.

Businesses will be required to prove that they are using the funds to subside wage payments to their employees and have a legal obligation to retain the employee.

The JobKeeper payment is now open.

The deadline for the first two fortnights of the JobKeeper payment has been extended from 30 April to 31 May 2020.

You need to ensure, however, that you have made your JobKeeper payments to employees by the end of April 2020 to receive the reimbursements in May.

UPDATED: 23 APRIL 2020

 

Alternative Eligibility Tests

If your business failed to pass the basic turnover test for JobKeeper, you may be eligible for the alternative tests released on 23 April 2020. The new tests are designed to be used to support cases where there may not be an appropriate relevant comparison period. 

There are seven scenarios where the JobKeeper alternative tests apply:

  • Start-ups: Your business started before before 1 March 2020, and you don't have financials to compare against for the same period in 2019
    • You can either use your average monthly current GST turnover or your 3 months current GST turnover if you started before 1 December 2019
  • Business acquisition or disposal: If your business restructured, or had an acquisition or disposal that took place between this time last year and now which affected your turnover
    • You can use your current GST turnover for a month
  • High growth business: If your business grew significantly by 50% over the last 12 months, or 25% over the last 6 months, or 12.5% over the last 3 months
    • You can use your 3 months current GST turnover
  • Affected by drought or natural disaster: If you conducted business in a declared drought or natural disaster zone, which affected your turnover
    • You can use your turnover for the same period a year earlier
  • Irregular turnover: If your turnover in your lowest quarter in the last 12 months is 50% or less of your best quarter in the last 12 months, and your business isn't cyclical in nature
    • You can use your average monthly current GST Turnover
  • Sole trader or small partnership affected by sickness, injury or leave: If you are a sole trader or partnership and have no employees, and you or at least one of the partners couldn't work during a relevant period and this affected your turnover
    • You can use your current GST turnover for a month

 

APPLY FOR THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT BY 26 APRIL 2020
  1. Contact your Kelly+Partners Director
  2. Lodge the Application for eligible employees by Sunday, 31 May 2020 on the ATO website
  3. Ensure your Kelly+Partners team manages the process monthly for the 6-month duration of the program

Kelly+Partners can help you to:

  1. Demonstrate that your business has or will experience the applicable 30% turnover decline
  2. Provide the ATO with information on eligible employees to receive the payment as of 1 March 2020 (including those stood down or rehired), and continue providing this information on a monthly basis
  3. Ensure that each eligible employee is paid at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax).
  4. Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.

   

GET IN TOUCH TO LEARN MORE

 

 

Employee Considerations

 

JobKeeper Wage Subsidies

It's important to get an accurate view of which of your team members are working from home from a productivity and reporting standpoint, but also for insurance reasons.

Check the Work Health and Safety Checklist from the Australian Government to identify any risks associated with working from home and make sure your people are covered.

 

Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws

Continuity of business is a significant issue for employers and their employees during this unprecedented and difficult time.

Find out more about the options available to businesses and the implications for employees for arranging flexible work, using paid and/or unpaid leave, standing down employees, ending employment, and business bankruptcy and insolvency at the Fairwork website.

 

Apprentice Relief

Small businesses with apprentices and trainees are eligible to receive a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their apprentice's wages, up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee, for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020.

     

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Tax Support


ATO Relief - Tax Payment Deferral Options

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will provide relief for certain tax obligations for businesses affected by the Coronavirus on a case-by-case basis.

  1. Payment deferral: Deferring by up to 4 months the payment date for BAS amounts due (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, FBT assessments and excise duty.
  2. Monthly GST credits: Businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle may elect to change their GST reporting and payment to monthly, to get quicker access to GST refunds you are entitled to. You can only change from the start of a quarter, so a change now will take effect from 1 April 2020.
  3. Interest and penalty remission: The ATO will consider remitting interest and penalties applied to tax liabilities incurred after 23 January 2020.
  4. Low-interest payment plans: For business that need help to paying their existing and ongoing tax liabilities, you can contact the ATO to discuss entering a low payment plan.

 

APPLY FOR TAX PAYMENT DEFERRALS

The ATO assistance will not be automatically implemented. Your Kelly+Partners Director can request assistance for you from the ATO, and if eligible, the ATO will tailor their support arrangements for you.

If you are not a current client, you can also call the ATO Emergency Support Infoline at 1800 806 218 to discuss relief options based on your needs and circumstances.

Other ways of contacting the ATO can be found on the ATO Contact page.

 

 

Payroll Tax

NSW
  • Payroll tax changes
    • Tax-free threshold increase from $900,000 to $1 million.
    • Deferral of payroll tax for business with payrolls over $10 million for 6 months.
    • An additional 3-month deferral for businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less who received a 3-month waiver on payroll tax in the first package (March, April, May 2020).

  • Deferral of gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, and lotteries tax for 6 months: Conditional on these funds being used to retain staff.

  • Deferral of the parking space levy for 6 months.

  • Deferral of rents for 6 months for commercial tenants with less than 20 employees in all Government-owned properties.

Contact the NSW Business Concierge Service on 13 77 88 or visit the COVID-19 help for small businesses page.

VIC
  • Payroll Tax Refund: Businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived.
    • The State Revenue Office will directly contact eligible businesses to reimburse them for payroll tax already paid in the financial year.
    • Businesses can also defer paying payroll tax for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year.
    • Apply for the refund at the State Revenue Office page.

  • Liquor licence fees waived: Renewable liquor licence fees for 2020 will be waived. Businesses that have already paid will be reimbursed. 

  • Business Support Fund: $10,000 per business to support hardest hit industries, hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail.
    • Businesses with a payroll of less than $650,000 and turnover of more than $75,000 are eligible.
    • Find out more and apply here.

  • Land tax deferral: Landowners with at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million can defer their 2020 land tax payment until after 31 December 2020.
    • The State Revenue Office will contact all taxpayers who are eligible.

  • Rent relief for commercial tenants in government buildings: The Government will work directly with tenants who can apply for rent relief.

Contact the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 for more information, or access the Coronvirus business support page.

QLD
  • Payroll tax refund: All businesses impacted by Coronavirus will be refunded two months' worth of payroll tax
    • Businesses who have a payroll of less than $6.5 million are eligible for a payroll tax holiday for 3 months

  • Payroll tax deferral: All businesses impacted can defer all payroll tax refunds for the 2020 calendar year.
    • Apply for deferral here
    • Apply for refund/holiday here (application deadline is 31 May 2020).
    • Continue lodging returns without paying them.

  • Low-interest loans of up to $250,000 with initial 12-month interest free for businesses to retain staff.

  • $500 rebate on power bill for sole traders and small and medium businesses: Any business consuming less than 100,000 kilowatt hours will receive the rebate, which will be automatically applied on business electricity bills.

Contact the Small Business Hotline on 1300 654 687 for more information, or visit the Business Queensland page.

ACT
  • Payroll tax deferral for the hospitality, creative arts and entertainment industries

  • Deferral of 2020-21 payroll tax for all businesses with annual payroll of up to $10 million, interest-free until 1 July 2020.

  • Food business registration, outdoor dining and liquor licensing fee waiver: Licensed venues and off licence venues with a gross liquor purchase value of below $3 million will receive a 12-month waiver of these fees from 1 April 2020.
    • Outdoor dining fees for 2020-2021 will also be waived.
    • In cases where food business registration has been prepaid for more than one year in advance, an additional 12 months will be added to the license.
    • This will be applied automatically as part of the normal annual fee licencing process.
  • Increased subsidies for apprenticeships and traineeships: Subsidies provided directly to Registered Training Organisation. No application is required.

  • $750 rebate for small business owners with electricity usage below 100 megawatts per year: Automatically applied to next electricity bill in or around June or July 2020.

  • Rental relief to tenants of ACT Government owned properties: Commercial tenants that can demonstrate they have been significantly affected may receive rental relief for up to 6 months from 1 April 2020.

Contact the ACT Business Liaison Team at 6205 0900, or visit the Local business and industry support page.

WA
  • $17,500 grant for businesses with payroll tax between $1 million and $4 million
    • These will be automatically be paid by cheque to eligible businesses, however you should log in to Revenue Online to ensure your postal address is up to date.
    • There may be delays for those whose tax status changed in 2018-19 or liability for payroll tax changed in 2018-19 or 2019-20.

  • $1 million payroll tax threshold will be brought forward by 6 months to 1 July 2020: Smaller businesses will potentially be excluded from the payroll tax regime sooner than before.

  • Payroll tax waived for small businesses with annual wages under $7.5 million

  • Rental payments waived for small businesses and not-for profit tenants of State Government-owned buildings for 6 months

  • One-off $2,500 credit on electricity bills for small businesses that consume less than 50MWh per annum.

  • Interest-free payment arrangements and late payment penalties waived for a range of taxes and duties, including payroll tax, transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax.

  • Business licence fees waived: Including liquor licence renewal fees for 2020. Refunds will be given to businesses that have already paid liquor licence fees.

Contact the COVID-19 assistance centre on 133 140. Read more about the support measures at the Western Australia Business and industry advice page. 

SA
  • 6-month payroll tax waiver: Business groups with annual payroll tax of up to $4 million will receive a 6 month payroll tax waiver for the months of April to September 2020.
    • No application will be required. RevenueSA will notify these businesses through Revenue SA Online. 
    • Business groups with annual payroll tax above $4 million that can demonstrate they have been significantly impacted will be able to apply 

  • Land tax deferral: Businesses and individuals paying land tax quarterly in 2019-20 will be able to defer payment of their remaining 2019-20 land tax payments for 6 months.
    • Previously announced land tax reform transitional relief fund will be increased from 50% to 100% of the increase in an eligible taxpayer's 2020-21 land assessment.

  • Job Accelerator Grants: Relaxed criteria requiring an employer to have maintained their overall employment levels to be eligible for their second JAG payment.
    • Applications for the second JAG payment from 1 February to 30 June 2020 will be assessed on staffing levels as at 31 January 2020 rather than the relevant anniversary date.
  • Liquor licensing fees waiver: Waiver of annual licencing fees for 2020-21 for the On-Premises, Residential, Restaurant & Catering, Club, Liquor Production & Sales and Small Venue categories.

Contact South Australia Business at 1300 142 820, or visit the COVID-19 business information and support page to read more.

TAS
  • Small Business Emergency Support Grant: $2,500 grant for small businesses in severely impacted industries
    • Read the guidelines to determine your eligibility and apply here

  • Loans from $20,000 to $250,000 to assist businesses
    • Read the guidelines to determine your eligibility and apply here

  • Business continuity grant: One-off grants of up to $750 available for small businesses
    • Read the guidelines to determine your eligibility and apply here

  • Cultural and Creative Industries stimulus package: Funding of $1.5 million.
    • Read the guidelines to determine your eligibility and apply here

  • Small Business Hardship Grant: $15,000 grant for small businesses experiencing severe financial hardship.
Read more on Business Tasmania's COVID-19 Business Support, Grants and Loans page.
NT
  • Home Improvement Scheme: Businesses will receive $20,000 if they spend $10,000 on business upgrades

 

GET IN TOUCH TO LEARN MORE

 

Bank Support


Small Business Relief Package

Australian banks are deferring loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months.  If your business has loan facilities of up to $10 million, you may be eligible for the deferral of principal and interest for all term loans and retail loans.

They are also offering loans, including overdrafts, with no repayments for the first six months, at very low interest rates, supported by the Government, through an SME Loan guarantee.

Other assistance can include:

  1. A deferral of scheduled loan repayments
  2. Waiving fees and charges
  3. Interest-free periods of no interest rate increases
  4. Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.

Find out more on The Australian Banking Association page

Read more about how your bank can assist you by clicking on their link below:

 

GET IN TOUCH TO LEARN MORE

 

 

Cash Flow Support

 

100% Cashback on PAYG Withholding, up to $100,000

Small and medium businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff will receive two sets of cash flow boosts delivered from 28 April 2020 to support employers to retain employees. The tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 will be delivered through credits in the activity statement system, when eligible businesses lodge their activity statements.

  1. The cash flow boosts are based on the amount of your PAYG withholding.

  2. 100% of PAYG withheld in the January - June 2020 period will be credited for the six month period, up to a maximum of $50,000, and minimum of $10,000.

  3. The additional cash flow boost will be based on the value of initial cash flow boosts you received in the July - October 2020 period, up to $50,000.

  4. PAYGW credits will apply on a per entity, ABN basis. If you have two entities conducting business in your group structure, each entity is eligible for PAYG BAS credits of up to $50,000 each, provided each entity has paid $50,000 in PAYGW during the period 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.

  5. The maximum total refund per entity is $100,000.

APPLY FOR THE PAYG CASHBACK

You do not need to apply for the cash flow boosts. Upon lodgement of your March 2020 quarter BAS, the ATO will automatically apply a credit to the entities' Running Balance Account in the amount of the PAYG tax withheld reduction from 28 April 2020.

  1. The ATO has advised that where these credits result in an entity having a net refundable amount, refunds will be paid within 14 days to the entity’s nominated bank account.

  2. For employers with monthly Activity Statement lodgements, the March 2020 credit will be calculated at three times the rate, to cover for the January and February months.

 


Unsecured loans of up to $250,000 for SMEs

The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs. The guarantee will apply to eligible unsecured loans of up to $250,000 per borrower (plus interest) and will apply to both principal and interest.

Loans must be approved by 30 September 2020 in order to be covered by the guarantee.

The Government will provide eligible lenders with a guarantee for loans with the following terms:

  1. SMEs, including sole traders, with a turnover of up to $50 million.
  2. Maximum total size of loans of $250,000 per borrower.
  3. Loans will be up to 3 years, with an initial 6 month repayment holiday.
  4. Unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan.

 

APPLY FOR THE SCHEME

Contact James Russell, Finance Director to discuss the options available to you via email at james.russell@kellypartnersfinance.com.au.

 

GET IN TOUCH TO LEARN MORE

 

 


NSW $10,000 Small business grant

Thousands of small businesses across NSW struggling to cope with the COVID-19 shutdown will receive grants of up to $10,000 under a new $750 million Small Business Support Fund.

The grants are designed to get cash into small businesses fast and the application process will be made easy to ensure businesses can receive cash-flow as soon as possible. 

Eligibility

To be eligible, businesses will need to:

  1. Have between 1-19 employees and a turnover of more than $75,000;
  2. A payroll below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000;
  3. Have an Australian Business Number as at 1 March 2020, be based in NSW and employ staff as at 1 March 2020;
  4. Be highly impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 issued on 30 March 2020;
  5. Use the funding for unavoidable business costs such as utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice;
  6. Provide appropriate documentation upon application.
APPLY FOR THE $10,000 GRANT

Applications will be available through Service NSW within a fortnight and remain open until 1 June 2020.

 

GET IN TOUCH TO LEARN MORE

 

 

Business Investment

 

Instant asset write-offs

Businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million can access the instant asset write-off until 30 June 2020.

  1. You can claim a deduction for multiple assets as the threshold applies on a per asset basis.

  2. The threshold amount has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 until 30 June 2020.
    • The threshold will revert to $1,000 for small businesses (turnover less than $10 million) from 1 July 2020.

  3. The asset must be used, or installed ready for use, between 12 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.

 

APPLY FOR THE INSTANT ASSET WRITE-OFF

If you're a business owner, you can work with your Kelly+Partners Client Director to see if you can expect a refund from the 2020 income tax return. If you are, then you should lodge your tax returns as soon as you can to receive the cash refund.

 

 

50% Investment incentive

Businesses will be able to deduct 50 per cent of an asset's cost in the year of purchase via a time-limited 15-month investment incentive.

  1. The asset must be a depreciating asset purchased between 12 March 2020 and 30 June 2021.

  2. There is no asset value threshold for this incentive. The existing depreciation rules will continue to apply to the remaining balance of the asset's cost over its effective life.

  3. The incentive does not apply if:
    • You are using the instant asset write-off for the asset.
    • You entered into a contract to purchase, started constructing the asset, or started to hold it before 12 March 2020.
    • The asset is second-hand, capital words, or outside Australia.

 

APPLY FOR THE INCENTIVE

This credit will be processed on the preparation and lodgement of your 2020 income tax return.

 

GET IN TOUCH TO LEARN MORE

 

 

Relief for commercial tenants

The Government has announced a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenants to support small and medium-sized businesses affected by the Coronavirus.

The Code of Conduct outlines a set of good faith leasing principles for commercial tenancies including retail, office and industrial between owners, operators, other landlords and tenants.

 

This code applies to tenants that are:

  • A small-medium sized business with an annual turnover of up to $50 million
  • Eligible for the JobKeeper Payment

 

The key points for business owners:

  • Rent reductions will be based on the tenant’s decline in turnover to ensure that the burden is shared between landlords and tenants
  • Rent waivers must account for at least 50% of the rent reduction
  • Deferrals must be spread over the remaining time on a lease, or a minimum 24-month period

Under the code, landlords will not be able to:

  • increase rent
  • terminate leases due to non-payment of rent during the pandemic period
  • enforce penalties on tenants who stop trading or reduce opening hours
  • charge interest on unpaid rent and legislative and administrative hurdles to lease extensions will be removed.

The Code and its principles will be implemented and regulated by your relevant state or territory.

The policy will include a mutual obligation requirement on the small and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit tenants to continue to engage their employees through the JobKeeper Payment where eligible, and if applicable, provide rent relief to their subtenants.

Australian and foreign banks, along with other financial institutions operating in Australia, are expected to support landlords and tenants with appropriate flexibility as they work to implement the mandatory Code.

The Government is also waiving rents for all its small and medium enterprises and not-for-profit tenants within its owned and leased property across Australia.

 

GET IN TOUCH TO LEARN MORE

 

 

Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

 

Insolvency Laws

The Government has announced temporary changes to insolvency laws to give businesses time to asses their solvency, implement restructuring plans where needed, and take advantage of safe harbour provisions under the Corporations Act 2001.

The most notable changes are:

  1. A temporary increase in the statutory demand threshold to $20,000;
  2. An increase in the time to comply with a statutory demand from 21 days to 6 months;
  3. A temporary increase in the size of the debt required to issue a creditor's petition to $20,000;
  4. An increase in the time to comply with a bankruptcy notice from 21 days to 6 months;
  5. The moratorium on action against a debtor following the presentation of a declaration of intent to present a debtor's petition is increase to 6 months; and
  6. A 6-month moratorium on directors' insolvent trading liability, for debts incurred in the ordinary course of business.

The ATO will also tailor solutions for owners and directors whose businesses have been impacted by the Coronavirus. The assistance they are offering includes a temporary reduction of payments or deferrals of tax liabilities, or withholding enforcement of liabilities by not proceeding with actions such as Director Penalty Notices and the wind-up of a business.

 

APPLY FOR ATO ASSISTANCE

The ATO assistance will not be automatically implemented. Your Kelly+Partners Director can request assistance for you from the ATO, and if eligible, the ATO will tailor their support arrangements for you.

If you are not a current client, you can also call the ATO Emergency Support Infoline at 1800 806 218 to discuss relief options based on your needs and circumstances.

Other ways of contacting the ATO can be found on the ATO Contact page.

 

GET IN TOUCH TO LEARN MORE

 

 

 

Income Support for Individuals

 

Payments to support households

The Government is providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders.

The payment will be exempt from taxation and will not count as income for the purposes of Social Security, Farm Household Allowance and veteran payments.

  1. The first payment will be paid automatically from 31 March 2020
  2. The second payment will be paid automatically from 13 July 2020.

 

Increased and accelerated income support

On top of the $750 payments, the Government is also temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.

This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next 6 months.

The Coronavirus Supplement and expanded access for payments will start from 27 April 2020.

Eligibility

The eligible income support payment categories are:

  1. JobSeeker Payment (and all payments progressively transitioning to JobSeeker Payment; those currently receiving Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Wife Pension)
  2. Youth Allowance
  3. Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single)
  4. Austudy
  5. ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)
  6. Farm Household Allowance
  7. Special Benefit recipients

 

Expanded access

For the period of the Coronavirus supplement, the expanded access to the income support payments applies to:

  1. a permanent employee who has been stood down or lost your job
  2. a sole trader, self-employed, a casual or contract worker whose income has reduced
  3. caring for someone who’s affected by Coronavirus.

To ensure timely access to payments, new applicants are encouraged to claim online.

 

GET IN TOUCH TO LEARN MORE

 

 

Superannuation access

 

Early access to super

Individuals affected by the Coronavirus can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020.

To apply for early release you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:

  • you are unemployed
  • you are eligible to receive a JobSeeker payment e.g. Youth Allowance, parenting payment (including the single and partnered payments), special benefit or Farm Household allowance
  • on or after 1 January 2020
    • you were made redundant
    • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more
    • if you're a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more
APPLY FOR THE EARLY RELEASE

You will be able to apply online through myGov for early release of your superannuation from 20 April 2020. You'll need to certify that you meet the above eligibility criteria.

After the ATO has processed your application, they'll issue you with a determination. The ATO will also provide a copy of this determination to your superannuation fund. This will advise them to release your superannuation payment. Your fund will then make the payment to you, without you needing to apply to them directly.

 


Early release of superannuation for SMSFs

If you have a SMSF and you are dealing with adverse economic effects of Coronavirus, you may be able to access your super on compassionate grounds in certain circumstances.

From mid-April, eligible members can apply for a release of up to $10,000 of their super before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020.

The minimum annual payment you need to make to your members for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years has been reduced by 50 per cent.

  • you are unemployed
  • you are eligible to receive a JobSeeker payment e.g. Youth Allowance, parenting payment (including the single and partnered payments), special benefit or Farm Household allowance
  • on or after 1 January 2020
    • you were made redundant
    • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more
    • if you're a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more

 

APPLY FOR THE EARLY RELEASE

You will be able to apply online through myGov for early release of your superannuation from 20 April 2020. The ATO will then inform you if you are eligible.

 


Providing rental relief for tenants of SMSF properties

If your SMSF has a property and a tenant in financial distress, you may be able to provide your tenant with rental relief under an agreed commercial arrangement. This may even be the case when the tenant is a related party or yourself.

Ordinarily, charging a tenant a price that is less than market value in an SMSF is usually a breach of superannuation laws. However, the ATO has provided guidance which allows SMSF landlords to provide for a reduction in or waiver of rent because of the financial impacts of the COVID-19.

For the 2019–20 and 2020–21 financial years, the ATO will not take action where an SMSF gives a tenant – who may also be a related party – a temporary rent reduction during this period.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

There are some important things you should ensure are in place when you are providing a rent reduction to a tenant, especially when this is a related party.

  • Ensure the relief only applies to rent: Any relief offered to a tenant can only relate to the rent component of the lease agreement. The ATO concession does not extend to other lease incentives.
  • Ensure that the reduction in rent is only temporary: You should have an agreed period of time or agreed date where the rent is reviewed in light of the economic circumstances.
  • The financial difficulty faced by the tenant is linked to the financial impacts of COVID-19: Any negotiated rent relief will need to be measured against the COVID-19 financial impact suffered by your tenant.
  • Clear arrangements which detail the amount of discount, waiver or deferral of the rent
  • Ensure you have proper documentation that the temporary relief satisfies all of the above for your independent auditor.
    • This can be a signed minute, renewed lease agreement or anything deemed appropriate to amend the terms of the lease temporarily.
    • Even if you are both the tenant and landlord, the above should all be documented.

If you need assistance providing rental relief, or deciding whether this is the right action for you and your specific circumstances, get in touch with our SMSF Specialist Advisors Ada Poon and Kim Meredith to discuss in more detail.

 


Reducing the minimum drawdown rates

To assist retirees, the Government has reduced the minimum annual payment required for account-based pensions and annuities, allocated pensions and annuities and market-linked pensions and annuities.

The minimum annual payment you need to make to your members for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years has been reduced by 50 per cent.

What would you like to know more about? How can we help you?

If you have any specific questions about anything on this page, or if you'd like assistance with applying for any of the support measures, contact us and one of our Client Directors will give you a call back.