The Australian Government has announced an economic response totalling $17.6 billion to protect the economy by maintaining confidence, supporting investment and keeping people in jobs. Additional household income and business support will flow through to strengthen the wider economy.
We have put together a summary of the four key areas that the Government’s economic response is targeting, and we will be working with you to ensure that you obtain the best advantage from these measures.
Please do not hesitate contacting our office to discuss your particular circumstances.
• Delivering support for business investment
• Cash flow assistance for employers
• Stimulus payments to households to support growth
• Assistance for severely affected regions
Delivering support for business investment
The Government is backing businesses to invest to help the economy withstand and recover from the economic impact of the Coronavirus. The two business investment measures in this package are designed to assist Australian businesses and economic growth in the short term, and encourage a stronger economic recovery following the Coronavirus outbreak.
Increasing the instant asset write-off
The Government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold 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.
Backing business investment
The Government is introducing a time limited 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.
Cash flow assistance for businesses
This assistance will support businesses to manage cash flow challenges resulting from the economic impacts of the Coronavirus and help businesses retain their employees. These two measures are designed to support employing small and medium enterprises and to improve business confidence.
Boosting cash flow for employers
The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure will provide up to $25,000 back to small and medium-sized businesses, with a minimum payment of $2,000 for eligible businesses. The payment will provide cash flow support to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff. The payment will be tax free.
The measure will be applied for a limited number of activity statement lodgments. The ATO will deliver the payment as a credit to the business upon lodgment of their activity statements. Where this places the business in a refund position, the ATO will deliver the refund within 14 days.
Supporting apprentices and trainees
The Government is supporting small business to retain their apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to 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.
Stimulus payments to households to support growth
This measure will assist around 6.5 million lower income Australians, which will support confidence and domestic demand in the economy.
The Government will provide a one-off $750 payment to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Around half of those that will benefit are pensioners.
There will be one payment per eligible recipient. For example, if a person qualifies for the one-off payment in multiple ways, they will only receive one payment.
The payment will be tax free and will not count as income for Social Security, Farm Household Allowance and Veteran payments.
Assistance for severely affected regions
This measure provides $1 billion to support regions most significantly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities
The Government has set aside $1 billion to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.
This will include the waiver of fees and charges for tourism businesses that operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the waiver of entry fees for Commonwealth National Parks. It will also include additional assistance to help businesses identify alternative export markets or supply chains. Targeted measures will also be developed to further promote domestic tourism.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is also providing administrative relief for some tax obligations for people affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. The ATO will set up a temporary shop front in Cairns within the next few weeks with dedicated staff specialising in assisting small business. In addition, it will consider ways to enhance its presence in other significantly affected regions, making it easier for people to apply for relief. The ATO is considering further temporary shop fronts and face-to-face options.
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