The past 48 hours have seen an escalation of responses to COVID-19, following the World Health Organisation’s categorisation of the spread of the virus as a “pandemic”. Economic impacts are being felt – and the Australian government is implementing urgent measures to support businesses through what may be a difficult time.
At a Federal level, the government has announced some wide-reaching initiatives to support businesses and their employees through the COVID-19 pandemic:
Providing up to $25k per employer (minimum of $2k) in reductions in the PAYG – withholding obligations. Based on media reports we understand that this is likely to be calculated as being 50% of PAYG-Withholding from 1 January to 30 September 2020;
Providing cash incentives for employers to continue to use their apprentices of up to $7k per quarter during the affected period; and
Increasing the Instant tax write-off for asset purchases from $30k to $150k
As always the devil is in the detail and the legislation has not yet been passed by parliament, so we encourage our clients to wait until they hear more information.
At this stage, we understand that these initiatives will be automatically processed through the Australian Taxation Office so there is no need to apply.
Australian Tax Office
The ATO is expected to announce that businesses may elect to delay the lodgement and payment of their Business Activity Statements for a period of up to four months (yet to be confirmed).
Where businesses are unable to meet their ATO payment obligations, the ATO is expected to make provisions for low / no interest repayment plans for businesses with existing and ongoing tax liabilities.
With regard to individual taxpayers, the ATO will allow them to vary PAYG instalments to nil during the affected period.
Don’t forget – as a client of QC Accountants, we can liaise with the ATO on your behalf.
For businesses operating in Queensland, employers with Australia wide wages below $6.5 million, and Queensland Payroll Tax obligations, may be eligible to defer lodgement of their payroll tax obligations until 31 July 2020.
How can QC Accountants Help?
We understand that your cashflow may be impacted by the coronavirus. We recommend our clients tackle the potential cash flow considerations head-on. If you have any questions or concerns, the first step is to have a meeting with us to determine how much you could be affected, and to identify the options available to minimise the impact.
We can also assist to prepare a cash flow forecast for the affected period to assist you to plan how to best manage your cash flow during this time.
Even if our office is forced to close, we will be available on email ([email protected]) or telephone (07 5593 6060) during the affected period.
We understand this is a confusing and potentially alarming time for people and businesses far and wide. We’re here to help your business mitigate and manage the risk as much as possible and take advantage of all the support available to you.