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JobKeeper Payment: Information for Employers and Employees

Update: 7 April

Further to the announcements made to date on the JobKeeper payment stimulus, Treasury has this morning released a much more comprehensive set of FAQ’s, comprising some 12 pages.

It’s important to note that the JobKeeper arrangements are not yet legislated, and, as such, the details contained in the FAQ’s may change. That said, parliament is scheduled to sit tomorrow (Wednesday 08 April), and Labor has indicated that it will support the measure, which should ensure its passage through both houses of parliament.

FAQ Sheet

In a further announcement yesterday, the Prime Minister and Treasurer announced the detail of the long anticipated “JobKeeper” package.

Information for Employers

To receive the JobKeeper Payment, employers must:

  • Register an intention to apply on the ATO website and assess that they have or will experience the required turnover decline.
  • Provide information to the ATO on eligible employees. This includes information on the number of eligible employees engaged as at 1 March 2020 and those currently employed by the business (including those stood down or rehired). For most businesses, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll data to pre-populate the employee details for the business.
  • Ensure that each eligible employee receives at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). For employees that were already receiving this amount from the employer then their income will not change. For employees that have been receiving less than this amount, the employer will need to top up the payment to the employee up to $1,500, before tax. And for those employees earning more than this amount, the employer is able to provide them with a top-up.
  • Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
  • Continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible employees employed by the business.

Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
  • their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

The employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020, and confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged in order to receive JobKeeper Payments.

Fact Sheet

Information for Employees

Eligible employees are employees who:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
  • were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
  • are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020);
  • are at least 16 years of age;
  • are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

Employees will receive a notification from their employer that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment. The majority of employees will need to do nothing further.

Fact Sheet

If you’d like assistance to register for the initiative, please let us know.

Connole Carlisle Financial Services Pty Ltd (ASIC No. 1245297) (ABN 40613295506) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence 409361, ABN 89 125 557 002

Luke Worth (ASIC No. 1245700) is a Limited Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd

Merit Wealth website | Privacy Statement | FSG (Luke Worth)

2020-04-07T14:35:34+10:00March 31st, 2020|

ATO releases Support Measures for COVID-19

The ATO have, via media release, outlined support measures that they will provide to businesses affected by COVID-19. We can’t envisage any business being unaffected by the virus, such that we expect every business client that we act for will be able to avail of the measures.

At a glance, the support measures are:

  • Deferring by up to six months the payment date of amounts due through the business activity statement (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, fringe benefits tax assessments and excise
  • Allow businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting in order to get quicker access to GST refunds they may be entitled to
  • Allowing businesses to vary Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters
  • Remitting any interest and penalties, incurred on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities
  • Working with affected businesses to help them pay their existing and ongoing tax liabilities by allowing them to enter into low interest payment plans.
Media Release

We are actively encouraging clients to, wherever possible, retain cash within their businesses. The concessions detailed above will clearly assist clients do just that.

Should you wish to discuss these concessions, or have us contact the ATO on your behalf to access them, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Connole Carlisle Financial Services Pty Ltd (ASIC No. 1245297) (ABN 40613295506) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence 409361, ABN 89 125 557 002

Luke Worth (ASIC No. 1245700) is a Limited Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd

Merit Wealth website | Privacy Statement | FSG (Luke Worth)

2020-03-31T11:04:23+10:00March 27th, 2020|

Queensland COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans

Overnight, the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (“QRIDA”) released their long-awaited guidelines for the previously announced “COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans”, to be made available to Queensland businesses to assist them meet ongoing costs such as wages, creditors, loan payments, rent and other business expenses etc.

We are well aware that some of our clients are currently shuttered due either to Government decree, or a lack of custom. We are told by QRIDA that such clients remain eligible to apply as long as they intend to “continue operations after receiving the loan”, whenever that might be.

At a glance:

  • The total loan scheme is $500,000,000,
  • The maximum loan that can be applied for is $250,000, and they have a ten year term,
  • The amount of the loan is determined by reference to 50% of the average of the applicants “annual wage expense” (including superannuation) over the 2018 and 2019 years. Owners salaries and drawings are also included in the “annual wage expense”,
  • The loans are repayment free and interest free in year one,
  • In years two and three, the loans are interest only, at a fixed rate of 2.50%,
  • In years four to ten, the loans are repaid on a principal and interest basis, and
  • Loans up to $100,000 are unsecured, but loans over $100,000 up to the maximum of $250,000 will require a charge to be taken over the business assets of the applicant entity.

Relevant Resources

Detailed Guidelines
Dedicated QRIDA page
Frequently Asked Questions

We are able to assist our clients apply for these very concessional loans. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance if you’d like to discuss the guidelines for the loans, or require assistance in preparing and lodging an application.

Connole Carlisle Financial Services Pty Ltd (ASIC No. 1245297) (ABN 40613295506) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence 409361, ABN 89 125 557 002

Luke Worth (ASIC No. 1245700) is a Limited Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd

Merit Wealth website | Privacy Statement | FSG (Luke Worth)

2020-03-31T11:04:27+10:00March 26th, 2020|

COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package: Round 2

On Sunday, 22 March 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced a further raft of stimulus.

In this article, we will break down the key aspects of the package and explain how you may benefit from them. We note that these are complex issues and, as such, we recommend that you contact us to discuss how we can assist you in accessing these various stimuli.

Boosting cash flow for employers

  • SMEs with aggregated annual turnovers of under $50m will now receive two payments equal to 100 per cent of their PAYG withheld on salary and wages with each maximum payment increased from $25,000 (under the first package) to $50,000, for a total maximum payment of $100,000. The first payment (capped at $50,000) will be made after 28th April and the second payment (also capped at $50,000) after 28 July 2020. Per the factsheet, these credits will automatically apply, however, we suggest that you lodge your activity statements as soon as practicable, where this results in a refund, we can contact the ATO and request that this be refunded to you as soon as possible.
  • Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages but are not required to withhold tax will receive a minimum payment of $20,000, up from $2000 in the first package. The payment will be available from 28 April 2020 and, as stated in the previous stimulus update, will be paid as a credit to the business upon lodgement of their activity statements. Notwithstanding the stated availability date of the payment being announced as 28 April 2020, we recommend that clients prepare and electronically lodge their relevant BAS/IAS as soon as possible from 01 April 2020. In the event that the lodgement places your business in a “credit” situation with the ATO, we can attempt to obtain a credit for you for that refunded amount, as soon as the credit appears in your ATO account. Whilst it’s a complete unknown whether such an application will see you obtain your credit any earlier than 28 April 2020, we consider it worth a try under the circumstances.
  • The payments are tax free, there will be no new forms and payments will flow automatically through the ATO.
Fact Sheet

Supporting the flow of credit

  • The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will provide support to small businesses. Under this Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to SME lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital.
  • The loans will be unsecured but used only for working capital purposes and will apply to loans granted within six months from April 1, 2020. New and existing bank customers will be able to apply for loans up to $250,000 over three years.
  • Starting in early April, this will apply to eligible loans for businesses with annual turnovers of up to $50 million and will include an upfront six month freeze on repayments.
Fact Sheet

Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

  • Temporary increase to the threshold at which a creditor can take action to initiate insolvency or bankruptcy (from $2,000 to $20,000)
  • Giving companies and individuals six months instead of 21 days to respond to a statutory demand.
  • Relief for directors for personal liability when the company is trading while insolvent.
  • The Corporations Act 2001 will be amended to provide temporary and targeted relief for companies to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the coronavirus.
  • This relief will be provided over the next six months.
  • ASIC has also released guidance on AGMs and reporting for listed entities.
Fact Sheet

Payments for households

  • A further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders, except for those who are receiving an income support payment that is eligible to receive the coronavirus supplement. This second payment will be made automatically from 13 July 2020.
Fact Sheet

Increased income support

  • Temporary eligibility expansion to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.
  • The Coronavirus supplement will be paid for the next 6 months. Eligible income support recipients will receive the full amount of the $550 Coronavirus supplement on top of their payment each fortnight.
Fact Sheet

Early release of superannuation

  • From April, individuals will be able to access their superannuation, capped at $10,000 for the 2020 financial year and a further $10,000 for the 2021 financial year. The withdrawals will be tax-free and will be made available to those eligible for the coronavirus supplement as well as sole traders who have seen that hours of work, or income fall, 20% of more as a result of the coronavirus.
  • Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov for access of up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for another three months.

Superannuation minimum drawdown rates and social security deeming rates

  • Temporary reduction to superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21.
  • Reduction of the deeming rates by a further 0.25 percentage points to reflect the latest rate reductions by the RBA. As of 1 May 2020, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent and the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent.
Fact Sheet

Please keep in mind that this plan was announced very recently. It is possible that future updates are coming. In the meantime, please contact our friendly team for further clarification.

For a specific breakdown of how this impacts your business, contact your relevant partner.

If you require any assistance in respect of any of the relief measures, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Connole Carlisle Financial Services Pty Ltd (ASIC No. 1245297) (ABN 40613295506) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence 409361, ABN 89 125 557 002

Luke Worth (ASIC No. 1245700) is a Limited Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd

Merit Wealth website | Privacy Statement | FSG (Luke Worth)

2020-03-31T11:04:33+10:00March 23rd, 2020|

COVID-19 Response & Update

Like many of us, you will be receiving advice from many businesses on how they are adapting their operations to deal with and prepare for the impact of COVID-19.

Connole Carlisle is also actively responding to these risks so that we can both protect and support our team members, as well as continue “business as usual” operations for you. The purpose of this email is to reassure you that we can continue to support our clients as usual, while at the same time protecting the health of our partners and team members, and their families.

From Monday 23 March, until further notice, our partners and accounting team members will be working from home. They will have access to the same resources and be able to undertake the same tasks, as they are able to whilst in the office. Appropriate security protocols are in place to ensure the safety and integrity of client information. Our administration team will continue to work at the Gregory Street office, practising “social distancing” such that, to the greatest extent possible, they are protected from the virus whilst they are at work.

During this period, we are still easily contactable. Emails will be attended to as normal. To contact us by telephone, either:

  • Call our reception phone number (07 4951 9333) during normal office hours, and you can be connected to any of our partners or accounting team as normal, or
  • Contact any of the partners via their mobile phones.

Whilst face-to-face meetings are not our preference at this time, please contact the relevant partner should you wish to meet. If clients need to drop off documents or other information at the Gregory Street office, please call ahead to let our administration team know. If possible, please submit information to us electronically.

As with any rapidly changing situation, today’s plans can quickly become outdated.

We will continue to assess how we can best manage the needs of our clients and team members as the situation develops and update you as appropriate. We have created a hub of information on our website; providing relevant updates and resources surrounding COVID-19.

We recognise that this must also be an extremely difficult time for you. If there is any way in which Connole Carlisle can assist you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

COVID-19 Resources

Connole Carlisle Financial Services Pty Ltd (ASIC No. 1245297) (ABN 40613295506) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence 409361, ABN 89 125 557 002

Luke Worth (ASIC No. 1245700) is a Limited Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd

Merit Wealth website | Privacy Statement | FSG (Luke Worth)

2020-03-27T14:10:11+10:00March 19th, 2020|

Get Your Will and EPOA Updated / Set Up Now

If you have to self-quarantine or are admitted to hospital, if you don’t have an EPOA then no-one else can make important business or financial decisions on your behalf.

As a business owner, it is 100% essential that you have an up to date EPOA and Will, and that your family know where these are stored.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require assistance with updating or preparing your EPOA’s and wills. We can help you by liaising with your solicitor to ensure these important legal documents are up to date.

Connole Carlisle Financial Services Pty Ltd (ASIC No. 1245297) (ABN 40613295506) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence 409361, ABN 89 125 557 002

Luke Worth (ASIC No. 1245700) is a Limited Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd

Merit Wealth website | Privacy Statement | FSG (Luke Worth)

2020-03-22T15:09:57+10:00March 18th, 2020|

Business Continuity Planning during COVID-19

As a business owner, now is the time to plan for employees being away from your workplace, shortages of supply, reduction in sales, and the possibility of your workplace being closed for a short period of time if every-one is being forced to self-quarantine.

Planning for business continuity is key. Things to consider include:

  • Employees working from home, and workplace obligations
  • How do pay your bills in the short term if your sales start to dry up
  • How to communicate in a reassuring way with your clients and customers
  • How to keep things moving with your business

We’re not suggesting in any way that we have all the answers, but it is important for us to work with you and help you plan for what may transpire in the weeks and months ahead.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your current situation and would like assistance with the development and / or implementation of a Business Continuity Plan.

Connole Carlisle Financial Services Pty Ltd (ASIC No. 1245297) (ABN 40613295506) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence 409361, ABN 89 125 557 002

Luke Worth (ASIC No. 1245700) is a Limited Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd

Merit Wealth website | Privacy Statement | FSG (Luke Worth)

2020-03-22T15:08:38+10:00March 18th, 2020|

COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package: What is it and how will it impact you?

UPDATE: 22 March

Earlier today PM Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced a further raft of stimulus.

We will provide you with further detail and analysis tomorrow, but in the meantime here are some links to fact sheets and other information detailing the extra stimulus.

On 12 March 2020, the government announced a package of measures to help the economy withstand and recover from the economic impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). The package is wide-reaching, including measures to fast-track investment, cash payments for small and medium businesses to save jobs and subsidies to help keep apprentices employed.

In this article, we will break down a few key aspects of the package and explain how you may be impacted. As always, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team for further information.

Cash Flow Assistance

  • The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure will provide up to $25,000 back to businesses, with a minimum payment of $2,000 for eligible businesses.
  • 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 ATO as a credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020 when eligible businesses lodge (see below) upcoming activity statements.
  • Eligible businesses that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 50% 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.

The Australian Government have released fact sheets with further information including tables and examples. Click below to view the fact sheet.

Cash flow assistance for businesses

Business Investment Support

  • The government is increasing the instant asset write-off (IAWO) 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).
  • The government is introducing a time limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short-term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to assets acquired after announcement and first used or installed by 30 June 2021.
  • A deduction of 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation will apply, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost. This deduction will end 30 June 2021.
  • This proposal applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second-hand assets first used, or installed ready for use in this timeframe.

Your business may now qualify for the instant asset write-off. Please contact us to discuss threshold and grouping of assets. We can also help you understand how March BAS’s may be affected.

The Australian Government have released fact sheets with further information including tables and examples. Click below to view the fact sheet.

Delivering support for business investment

Workforce

  • $7000 each quarter in wage subsidies for employers who employee less than 20 people to save the jobs of 120,000 apprentices. Subsidies will be backdated to 1 January 2020 and will run until 1 September 2020.
  • Waiting times for a government sickness allowance will be waived for casual workers forced into self-isolation.

Individuals

  • One-off payment of $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders to support. Over 90% of payments will be made by mid-April 2020.
  • Deeming rates for pensioners cut by 50 basis points in response to the most recent decision of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Support for regions and communities

  • Initial $1b allocation to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the coronavirus – including those heavily reliant on tourism, agriculture and education.
  • This will include the waiver of the Environmental Management Charge 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.
Stimulus payments to households to support growth
Assistance for severely affected regions

Please keep in mind that this plan was announced very recently. It is possible that future updates are coming. In the meantime, please contact our friendly team for further clarification.

For a specific breakdown of how this impacts your business, contact your relevant partner.

Additional Resources

The Australian Government have released a series of informative fact sheets to help break down the package. Please click the buttons to access available fact sheets.

Cash flow assistance for businesses
Assistance for severely affected regions
Delivering support for business investment
Stimulus payments to households to support growth

Connole Carlisle Financial Services Pty Ltd (ASIC No. 1245297) (ABN 40613295506) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence 409361, ABN 89 125 557 002

Luke Worth (ASIC No. 1245700) is a Limited Authorised Representative of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd

Merit Wealth website | Privacy Statement | FSG (Luke Worth)

2020-03-22T15:43:00+10:00March 16th, 2020|

Employers, are you ready for Single Touch Payroll Reporting?

STPR:  Real-time payroll reporting and cross-agency information sharing

Businesses that employ more than 20 employees will be required to report to the Australian Taxation Office payments such as salaries, wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation on or before each pay day.  The reporting will be done via your Single Touch Payroll enabled software (usually your accounting software).  Businesses with 19 or less employees will have to start reporting on 1 July 2019 but will have the option to start reporting sooner if they would like to.

Once businesses start reporting, employees will be able to see their year to date tax and superannuation information online by logging into their myGov accounts and accessing the ATO online services.  Superannuation funds will also be reporting the payments employers make to super on behalf of employees more frequently from 2019.

 

Step 1: Do a headcount of employees on 1 April 2018

  • For businesses with 20 or more employees on 1 April 2018, mandatory reporting commences on 1 July 2018.
  • For businesses with 19 or fewer employees on 1 April 2019, mandatory reporting commences on 1 July 2019 but you can choose to report earlier if your software is ready.

Instructions on how to count your employees on 1 April can be found here.
The headcount is a self-assessment so you do not need to notify the tax office your employee numbers.

 

Step 2: Ensure you have SBR enabled software

You will need to ensure that your computerised payroll system complies. You can check if your software complies here or you can contact your software supplier.

If you use a manual payroll system you can speak to us about your options.

 

Step 3: Ensure your payroll systems and processes are compliant

Check that your payroll methods comply with the Fair Work Act 2009 and that you have processes in place to ensure that employee superannuation payments are made by the due dates.  In most cases the due date will be 28 days after the end of each quarter.

 

Step 4: Start reporting your payroll

The mandatory reporting dates are:

  • 1 July 2018 (if you have 20 or more employees) or
  • 1 July 2019 (if you have 19 or fewer employees)

If you need to apply for a deferral of commencement date or would like our assistance to become STP ready, you can contact us.

2018-12-13T09:53:56+10:00March 17th, 2018|

The Importance of Tax Planning

As we approach 31 March, it is important that business owners begin to look at strategies to optimise their year end tax position. We believe that the best way to achieve this, is by having tax planning undertaken.

What is tax planning?

Tax planning is the art of reducing your taxable income in the most tax-effective and legal manner possible. This involves looking at the financial performance of your business for the year to date and extrapolating the results to the end of the financial year, with a view to estimating the likely profit for the financial year. We then meet with you and discuss tax optimisation strategies to implement in your business prior to 30 June. By implementing the suggested strategies, you’ll find that you and/or your business will achieve the best tax and cash flow outcomes.

We can help with tax planning

Our team has a wealth of experience with tax planning and can help you achieve the best possible end-of-year result for your business. Contact us now to arrange a meeting with one of our tax professionals and see what difference we can make to your 2018 financial year tax outcome.

2018-12-13T09:57:19+10:00March 17th, 2018|