COVID -19 RESOURCES AND ASSISTANCE SUMMARY FOR INDIVIDUALS AND SMALL TO MEDIUM BUSINESSES (Last updated 30/3/2020)

 

The information contained in this article is for general reference only.  For concessions and assistance specific to your business and  for further detail on how to access those concessions, please speak to your LBW account manager or contact our reception on 03 5221 6111 to arrange a time to discuss with one of our professional staff.

We are updating this resource page daily, but due to the frequency of updates coming out from the Federal and State Government, the Australian Taxation Office and relevant businesses, please contact your LBW Business + Wealth Advisors representative to discuss what is available

INDIVIDUALS

Who From

Assistance Description

Accessibility and dates

Action Required

Federal Government 

$1,100 payment per fortnight income support (time limited)

  • Existing and new recipients of Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit can access
  • Paid for 6 months
  • Not subject to assets test
  • temporarily relaxed partner income test
    • personal income test still applies
  • Not tax free
  • Confirmed that Austudy and Abstudy recipients are eligible

Automatic (TBC) for existing recipients of Jobseeker Payment

Refer here for eligibility criteria

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Income Support for Individuals (29/3)

   

Federal Government

Two payments of $750. The first payment from 31 March 2020 and the second from 13 July 2020

  • Social security, Veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders
  • Second Payment not provided to those eligible for the Coronavirus supplement (the $550 payment above)

Automatic (TBC)

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Payments to support households (29/3)

   

Federal Government

Early Release of Superannuation

  • Case by case
  • Release up to $10,000 from superannuation in 2019/2020
  • A further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020
  • Demonstrate financial distress
  • Tax free
  • Will not affect Centrelink or Veterans affairs payments

Upon application. Speak to your advisor.

Refer here for further information on eligibility and application process

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Early Access to Superannuation (28/3)

   

Federal Government

Temporary reduction in minimum drawdown rates by 50% for account based pensions for 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 to reduce the need to sell investments to fund minimum drawdown requirements.

  • All (TBC)

Speak to your advisor

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Providing Support for Retirees (25/3)

   
Federal Government

On top of the deeming rate change in the first package (0.50% reduction) the government as of 1 May 2020 will stipulate the lower deeming rate to be 0.25% and the upper deeming rate to be 2.25% (a further 0.25%)

  • all affected
Automatic but speak to your advisor
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Providing Support for Retirees (25/3)

   

Federal Government

 

PM Release

(detail to come/to confirm)

Job Keeper

Generally a flat $1,500 per fortnight per employee paid to employers. Employer must pay on to employee $1,500 (before tax)

Flat payment infers the same payment to every full time, part time and casual employee regardless of earnings

First payments due first week of May

Designed to stop people going on Job Seeker

(detail to come/to confirm)

  • Applies to full time, part time and casual staff who have been working for more than a year
  • Employee eligible to receive this payment from one employer
  • Casuals to have worked more than a year
  • Self employed individuals also eligible
  • JobKeeper payment is reportable income (affects other centrelink payments)
  • Employer required to advise employees that he has nominated them as eligible employees
  • Employer to speak to the ATO monthly
  • Turnover less than $1 billion
    • Turnover to have decreased by greater than 30% (see the JobKeeper Payment - Employers fact sheet below) 
  • Turnover greater then $1 billion
    • Turnover to have decreased by greater then 50%
  • Turnover decline is measured by referring to a comparable period a year ago (of at least 1 month)
  • Potentially employers expected to "top up" to normal wage (to be confirmed)
  • JobKeeper payment available for 6 months
  • For employees on the books on 1 March and employee is retained or continues to be engaged by the employer
  • If business is non operational because of government directive, employer (and employee) can still receive the payment

Employer to apply for through ATO (www.ato.gov.au)

Program commences 30 March

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JobKeeper Payment (Employers) (1/4)

Jobkeeper Payment (Employees) (1/4)

   

 

BUSINESS

Who From

Assistance Description

Accessibility and dates

Action Required

Federal Government Instant Asset Write off increase from $30,000 to $150,000 (GST Excl)
  • Aggregated turnover less than $500 million
  • Purchases up to 30 June 2020
Speak to your advisor
Weblink Delivering Support for Business Investment    
Federal Government Accelerating Depreciation Deductions by allowing 50% deduction for eligible assets on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to balance of the asset's cost
  • Aggregated turnover less than $500 million
  • Up to 30 June 2021
Speak to your advisor
Weblink Backing Business Investment (page 3 Fact Sheet)    
Federal Government Two Tax Free rebates/credits from between $10,000 and $50,000 each for PAYG withheld for small and medium sized businesses and NFPs (increased from between $2,000 and $25,000)
  • Aggregated turnover less than $50 Million (based on prior financial year turnover)
  • 100% of PAYG Withholding from 1 January to 30 June 2020 (max $50,000, min $10,000)
  • 100% of PAYG Withholding from 1 July to October 2020 (max $50,000, min $10,000)
  • NFPs now eligible as well
  • Available only to active eligible employers established prior to 12 March 2020

Automatic credit on BAS' and IAS' from March 2020 onwards

 

Speak top you advisor about specific timing of payments

Weblink Cashflow Assistance for Business    
Federal Government Eligible employers apply for 50% of apprentices wage for 9 months
  • Aggregated turnover less than $50 Million
  • 9 months (1 Jan 2020 to 30 Sept 2020)
  • Maximum $7,000 per apprentice per quarter
  • Less than 20 full time employees
  • Apprentice in-training or employed  as at 1 March 2020
  • Register from early April 2020, latest December 2020
First contact for subsidy is at AASN but application generally through the entity used to employ the apprentice (eg: MEGT)
Weblink Supporting Apprentices and Trainees (page 5 of factsheet)    
Federal Government

Temporarily Increasing threshhold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand against a company and to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against an individual. Additional time to respond to statutory demands.

Temporary relief from directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent

ATO will tailor solutions for owners or directors of business 

  • all
Speak to your advisor
Federal Government

The government will provide a guarantee for 50% to eligible lenders to support new short term unsecured loans to SMEs

  • $20 billion worth of guarantee on loans (so $40 billion of loans)
  • Starting in early April 2020
  • Include up front 6 month freeze on repayments
  • unsecured loans for working capital only
  • Up to $250,000 over three years
Speak to your advisor
Federal Government

Providing temporary exemption from Responsible Lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers

  • case by case
Speak to you advisor and your lender
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Department of Treasury and Finance

   
Reserve Bank

The Reserve Bank is establishing a $90 billion facility to offer 3 year funding to authorised Deposit Taking Institutions (ADIs) to:

  • reduce interest rates for borrowers
  • to encourage financial support for borrowers
  • mainly small to medium enterprises
Speak to your advisor and your bank 
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Reserve Bank of Australia

   
ATO

Deferral by up to 6 months the payment of amounts due through BAS, income tax assessments, FBT and Excise

  • Case by case but not automatic
Speak to your Advisor
ATO

Businesses can swap from quarterly to monthly in order to get quicker access to GST refunds

  • Case by case but not automatic
Speak to your Advisor
ATO

Businesses to vary PAYG instalments to zero for quarter ended March 2020.  Those that do this can also claim a refund for PAYG instalments made on September 2019 and December 2019 BAS

  • Case by case but not automatic
Speak to your Advisor
ATO

Remitting interest and penalties incurred after 23 January 2020 and that have been applied to tax liabilities 

  • Case by case but not automatic
Speak to your Advisor
ATO Low interest payment plans for existing ATO debt   
  • Case by case but not automatic
Speak to your Advisor
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Australian Taxation Office

   
Vic State Government

Full payroll tax refunds for the 2019/2020 financial year to small and medium business and no further payments for the balance of the 2019/2020 financial year

  • Payroll less than $3 million annual taxable wages (not aggregated)
  • Must continue to lodge Payroll Tax Returns
  • Make sure your bank details are updated on the SRO website

SRO will contact employers directly from 27 March onwards

Speak to your advisor

Vic State Government Defer payments for first 3 months of the 2020/2021 financial year until 1 January 2021
  • Payroll less than $3 million annual (not aggregated)taxable wages

Speak to your advisor

Vic State Government

$10,000 Grant - Money in the bank for Business - grants for business

  • Small business with less than $650,000 annual taxable wages (under the payroll tax threshhold)
  • $10,000 grants available for 30,000 Victorian Businesses
Register your interest here
Vic State Government

Commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief

  • not stated
Speak to your landlord
Vic State Government Land tax payments for 2020 will be deferred
  • Eligible landowners that have at least one taxable non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million
  • Deferred until after January 2021
Automatic (SRO will contact you)
Vic State Government

Government will pay all outstanding invoices by 28th March

  •  all
 Automatic
Vic State Government Waiving all liquor licensing fees for 2020 
  • for affected businesses 
 Automatic
Vic State Government

The Government will facilitate job matching to help Victorians find short term or casual roles

  • all
 N/A
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Victorian State Government

   
Banks

All major banks are currently offering different support packages for business customers, including:

  • pausing loan payments
  • significant rate cuts
  • increased deposit rates

APRA will lower banks capital ratios to allow further lending

Refer to the Australian Banking Industry website (see below) for more information

  • Different offerings from different banks
  • Mostly for small businesses
Register with bank and speak to your LBW advisor
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Australian Banking Industry

   

 

TIPS AND CONSIDERATIONS

Item

Action

Suppliers

  • Understand your supply chains
  • Explore alternative suppliers (where available) if product delivery is interrupted

Customers

  • Is e-commerce an option or "stop gap" to keep business trading
  • Develop different methods of servicing customers
    • video conference/consultation
    • no contact delivery
    • take away rather than eat in
    • survival packs
    • operating hours
    • etc

Reporting

  • Review or develop budgets
  • Convert to cashflow budgets including receipts, payments, BAS/IAS, taxes and any capital expenditure (if any)
  • Don't assume automatic approval of deferring ATO payments as per the concessions outlined above
  • Talk to your LBW advisor about how the other concessions will affect you
  • Stress test the budgets for different levels of income/receipts
  • Identify non core expenses to reduce

Talk to key stakeholders

  • Banks - financial hardship concessions
  • Employees
  • Suppliers (renegotiate terms)
  • Debtors (incentives to pay etc)
  • Rent holidays from Landlords

and so on

Insurance

  • Review business continuity insurance

Staffing

  • Review mix of staff (full time/casual)
  • Cross-skilling where necessary
  • Working from home
  • Review staff entitlements
  • Consider altering employment conditions and awards (specialist advice needed here so as not to breach Fair Work Act)

Solvency

  • Better reporting to ensure not trading whilst insolvent

When time permits...

Once you have dealt with all that you can, managed what you can manage, consolidate what you can consolidate and rationalised what you can rationalise - take a breath and look at what you've done.

Your business will not look the same as it used to be. But unfortunately it doesn't stop there.  You will need to do this frequently over the coming months. To survive it will be necessary to continually shape and reform your business.  For some more than others.

At the end of every change and when you get to the end, and a lot of you will, take another look and see what you can keep out of the changes you have made. Your business will be leaner, stronger, more agile, more efficient.

This pandemic will end at some point and your business hopefully will be there to reap the rewards.

A lot of businesses will come out of the pandemic stronger because of what they have developed to survive. Where possible - lead the curve on this. The business world won't be the same again.

 

 

By now you will have been affected in one way or another by COVID-19. It is one of the most challenging situations the global community has faced in modern history. Protecting the health and wellbeing of our people and their families, our clients and members and the community remains our number one priority. Advice regarding the evolving COVID-19 situation is being regularly updated by the Federal and Victorian Governments and we are using this information to review and adapt to the changing environment and to ensure our decision making is sound and appropriate.

LBW currently have no known cases of COVID-19. The LBW office remains open and our people remain available to support our clients during these difficult times. From the information currently available, we are planning for operations to continue, although this may look different to what it looks like today.

Here's what you need to know:

  • LBW APROACH TO CORONA VIRUS – OUR PEOPLE + OUR CLIENTS
  • STIMUMLUS PACKAGE SUMMARY
  • LBW COMMITMENT TO HELP CLIENTS

LBW APROACH TO CORONA VIRUS – OUR PEOPLE + OUR CLIENTS

Self quarantine
Where one of our people returns from overseas, has had contact with someone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 we are requesting they work from home for a self quarantine period of 14 days. Anyone who is feeling unwell will need to stay away from the office until recovered.

Meetings and events
We are minimising face to face meetings in our office and are instead encouraging our people to connect with each other and our clients in a different way. We are looking at conducting meetings over the phone, conference calls or using video conferencing facilitates. We have also taken the decision to defer any pre-arranged functions to a later date.

Working remotely
We are fortunate to have strong internal systems that support our ability to work remotely and in a flexible manner if required. We are currently trialing some working from home options with our people to ensure the business can continue to operate if we are forced to close down. As a valued LBW client we want you to know that we care about you and your business and we are here to help you during this challenging and unprecedented time. The Australian Government last week released an economic stimulus package to help combat some of the issues businesses will be facing right now. A summary of this package is outlined below: