COVID-19 economic stimulus package announced
Updated: Mar 20, 2020
As you will be aware COVID-19 has been announced as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This will be presenting many challenges for businesses and a serious impact on our economy.
The Government has released an economic stimulus package to support the economy and to support businesses experiencing financial difficulty. The following measures have been proposed and will apply either from now or retrospectively from 1 January 2020: 1. Instant asset write-off threshold increase to $150,000 The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 from 12 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. Access has also been expanded to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million.
2. Accelerated depreciation deduction 3. Tax-free payments up to $25,000 for employers Tax-free in-direct cash payments totalling between $2,000 and $25,000 will become available to employers with a turnover of less than $50 million. It will apply to businesses who employ staff between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020.
This will be issued as a credit equal to 50% of the PAYG amounts withheld from salary and wages paid to employees and will be triggered once an activity statement has been lodged. 4. Wage subsidy up to 50% of an apprentice or trainee wage If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be able to apply for a subsidy of 50% of their wage paid between 1 January 2020 and 30 September 2020.
5. Targeted support for affected regions, communities and industries Sectors and regions that have been severely affected by the COVID-19 will receive specific support and assistance. This will specifically apply to tourism, agriculture and education sectors. 6. Household stimulus payments to social welfare recipients
A on-off cash payment of $750 will be made to pensioners, social security, veteran and other income support recipients.
7. Payroll Tax Relief
8. Deferral on loan re-payments
A six month deferral on all loan re-payments will be provided to all small businesses effected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
There are also specific measures that you can employ within your business to help reduce your risk of physical and economic exposure to COVID-19. We recommend creating and sharing an action-plan with your employees and clients to help restore confidence within your organisation. These measures may include:
Exercise social distancing Reduce your number of non-essential meetings and where possible prepare and implement systems to allow your staff to work from home effectively.
Exercise mandatory self-quarantine procedures Communicate with your staff and advise them that any overseas or interstate travel will require that they self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work. This should also be extended to staff members who show signs of a cold or flu.
Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic Surfaces (desk, tables, kitchen benches etc) and objects (telephones, computers, equipment, EFTPOS machines etc) need to be wiped and disinfected regularly. Actively promote hand washing by staff, contractors and customers.
The current COVID-19 situation is un-precedented and constantly evolving. We recommend having an action-plan in place to promote trust and confidence within your business. We are available to assist with any queries you may have on the current government stimulus package or how you can further safe-guard your business.