Weekly Digest – 22 April 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the country and around the globe, leaving nearly no one completely untouched. But among the tragic stories are also stories of incredible resourcefulness. 

Here are some recent updates and helpful resources we’ve found lately to help you through this.

JobKeeper now open

Enrolment is now open for the government’s JobKeeper payment scheme. The payment is open to eligible employers, sole traders and some other entities, allowing them to keep paying eligible employee’s salary or wages of $1500 per fortnight (before tax). 

Employers need to pay all eligible employees a minimum of $1500 per fortnight in order to claim the JobKeeper payment. For many business owners, those funds are hard to come by right now. You can get in touch with us to discuss your cashflow.

Our advisors can help you with your JobKeeper application

While you can complete the JobKeeper application yourself through the myGov portal, we highly recommend you use an experienced advisor. Registered tax or BAS agents can enrol your eligible entity on your behalf. 

Now, more than ever, you need an advisor on your side. Our advisors can step you through this process so you have one less thing to worry about. Plus, you can rest assured that your application will be correct, as well as your GST and fall in turnover tests.

When to expect JobKeeper payments

The first payments to eligible employers will commence in the first week of May 2020. JobKeeper payments can be made for the period beginning 30 March 2020.

In short, there is still some time before you will start seeing these payments flow, so get in touch with us to discuss what you should do in the meantime. 

Single Touch Payroll

If you’re not already, now is the time to get set up and running with Single Touch Payroll (STP). This will make your JobKeeper process easier. Our advisors can help you find the software that suits you best and set this up for you.

A reminder

The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) together with the ATO announced that they will not look favourably on businesses who seek to become eligible for grants, loans, benefits or other assistance that they would not ordinarily be entitled to. Their statement says “any sudden changes to the characterisation of payments may cause us to investigate.”

It’s best to let things happen as they normally would, and seek only the benefits you’re entitled to.

Update on Cash flow Boost (PAYG Cashback)

The government is offering temporary cash flow support for small and medium businesses (as well as not-for-profits) that employ staff and have been impacted by the COVID-19 economic downturn.

Eligible businesses will 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 statements system. The official start date of payments is 28 April 2020, but the ATO has started testing now and some businesses have seen these credits flow already.

What to do: You will need to get your 31 March 2020 BAS lodged as soon as possible in order to access this.

For most businesses, this will be automatically credited to their account when the activity statement is lodged.

Ways to help small businesses

If you want to help small businesses in your community, here are 11 ideas to help out with your time, money and other resources. The article includes good suggestions like buying gift cards, leaving positive reviews online, or ordering takeaway.

This week’s good news

Every week, we like to bring you a good news story. The response of some people to the pandemic has been amazing and none more so than Army veteran Tom Moore, 99, who has raised £23 million for the healthcare workers by doing laps of his garden. His original target was £1000! Like Tom, we are all finding our own ways to make the best of the strange new world we are in.

Here to help

It’s certainly been a tough few weeks but we’re here to help. Thank you for your continued patience as we wade through government announcement and package requirements. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.