Coronavirus – Government Support for the community – what we know now

16th March 2020

As many of you will be aware the Prime Minister announced the Governments Economic Response to the Coronavirus – we have collated some of the information from a variety of valued sources to help answer some of your questions.

The table provided in the link below from treasury.gov.au summarises the situation graphically, for your reference (Page 6).

https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Overview-Economic_Response_to_the_Coronavirus.pdf#page=6

 

Information for Individuals 

• Tax-free payments of $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders.  It is estimated that around half of those who will benefit will be pensioners.  These payments will commence to be automatically made from 31 March 2020.

• Administrative relief from the ATO for some tax obligations for people affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, on a case-by-case basis.  Additionally, the ATO is setting up a temporary shop front in Cairns within the next few weeks with dedicated staff specialising in assisting small business and is currently considering further temporary ‘shop fronts’ and face-to-face options.

 

More detailed information for businesses

Eligibility
Small and medium business entities with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers will be eligible. Eligibility will generally be based on prior year turnover.

• The payment will be delivered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020 up on businesses lodging eligible upcoming activity statements.

• Eligible businesses that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 50 per cent of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $25,000.

• Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $2,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax. This measure will benefit around 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people.

 

Timing
The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers 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.

Quarterly lodgers will be eligible to receive the payment for the quarters ending March 2020 and June 2020.

Monthly lodgers will be eligible to receive the payment for the March 2020 , April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 lodgments. To provide a similar treatment to quarterly lodgers, the payment for monthly lodgers will be calculated at three times the rate (150 per cent) in the March 2020 activity statement.

The minimum payment will be applied to the business’ first lodgment.
​The ATO offers a range of support services to small and medium businesses experiencing hardship —visit ato.gov.au to find out more.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to Coronavirus visit https:/treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.

Businesses can visit https://business.gov.au to find out more about how the Economic Response complements the range of support available to small and medium businesses.

Please remember: The situation is constantly changing, please keep your eye on the recommendations from respected authorities on this matter.