Snapshot of the latest announcement…
As Australia reels from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, that is gripping the nation (and the world), the Federal Government has delivered further measures to assist us during these trying economic times – with a $66 billion package to further support workers and business.
This latest package provides relief for retirees, casuals and sole traders – and increases the assistance to employers who want to keep staff. We await the details of these new measures, that will be revealed in the fine print of the legislation – but in the meantime, here is a snapshot of what has been announced.
Boosting Cash Flow for Employers
From 28th April
- Tax free cash refunds of up to $50,000
- Minimum payment increased to $10,000
From 28th July
- Additional payment equal to payments received from 28th April
The PAYG withholding tax refunds has been extended for business with an annual turnover of less than $50 million, that employ staff – building on the from the first stimulus package.
From 28th April, employers will now be able to receive a payment equal to 100% of PAYG withheld from salary and wages (up from 50%), with the maximum payment available now $50,000 – up from $25,000.
And from July 28, all eligible business will receive a series of additional payments – equal to all of the ‘Boosting Cash Flow for Employers’ payments. Providing a total of up to $100,000 in withholding tax refunds.
SME Guarantee Scheme
Government is to guarantee 50% of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs. The CEO of the National Australia Bank has reportedly said that the SME Guarantee Scheme would be ‘critical in helping banks support businesses who need a quick cash flow injection to stay open, and keep people in jobs’.
Temporary Relief for Directors
The government have announced:
- Temporary relief from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, and
- Corporations Act 2001 is to be amended to provide relief for companies dealing with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the coronavirus
Casuals & Sole Traders
Coronavirus Supplement – up to $550 per fortnight:
- Where Casuals and Sole Traders are affected by the economic downturn, they will be able to access a ‘coronavirus supplement’ of $550 a fortnight – for up to six months.
- Supplement is on top of other benefits already being received – such as Jobseeker, parenting payments, and farm household allowances. Ie you can claim both.
- Currently earning less than $1,075 per fortnight? Then you will be eligible to receive the full supplement.
Second $750 stimulus payment
A further $750 stimulus payment will be paid on July 13 to Australians receiving:
- Age pension
- Carers allowance
- Family tax benefit, and
- Commonwealth senior card holders
This is in addition to the $750 payment announced in the first round of stimulus packages.
Access to superannuation – up to $10,000 tax free:
Had your income / hours reduced by 20% or more, as a result of the coronavirus? You may be eligible to access up to $10,000 of your superannuation, tax free – in the 2020 financial year, and again in the 2021 financial year.
Pensioners / Retirees
Reduced deeming rates
In addition to the $750 stimulus payments, (for pensions who are on the age pension, and/or hold commonwealth senior card holders), deeming rates are set to fall further – with the lower deeming rate to be 0.25 per cent, and the upper deeming rate to be 2.25 per cent. This is to take effect from 1 May 2020.
Reduced minimum drawdown
For retirees on account-based pensions, the government is temporarily reducing the minimum drawdown requirements by 50%, for the 2020 financial year, and the 2021 financial year.