COVID-19 Stimulus Package – For Employers

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks across the world, with the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and as it currently stands, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that COVID-19 is a global pandemic.

The Australian Government has unveiled their economic response to the Coronavirus and the proposed measures have now been enacted after the bill passed through parliament on the 23rd March 2020.

The full details of the complete assistance packages for both businesses and individuals can be found here but in summary, here is what business who employ staff will be able to access:

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

The ATO will provide Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) credits to eligible SME businesses and Not For Profits, which will go to their Activity Statement accounts with the ATO. Eligible business are entities with an aggregated annual turnover less then 50 million, who must have employed workers prior to 12 March 2020. The credits will be delivered in 2 stages;

Stage 1

The ATO will provide up to $50,000 as an adjustment to Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) with a minimum adjustment of $10,000. The adjustment will be tax free and will be processed by;

For Quarterly Lodgers

  • January – March 2020 BAS Due for lodgement 28 April 2020
    • Upon lodgement of this BAS, a credit adjustment of 100% of PAYGW up to a maximum of $50,000, with a minimum of $10,000 even if they are not required to withhold PAYGW, will be made to ATO Activity Statement System

For Monthly Lodgers

  • March 2020 BAS Due for lodgement 21 April 2020
    • Upon lodgement of this BAS, an adjustment of 300% of PAYGW up to a maximum of $50,000 (this Cap applies to the March, April and May BAS), with a minimum of $10,000 even if they are not required to withhold PAYGW, will be made to ATO Activity Statement System
  • April 2020 BAS Due for lodgement 21 May 2020
    • Upon lodgement of this BAS, an adjustment of 100% of PAYGW up to the $50,000 cap for March, April, May & June will be made to ATO Activity Statement System
  • May 2020 BAS Due for lodgement 21 June 2020
    • Upon lodgement of this BAS, an adjustment of 100% of PAYGW up to the $50,000 cap for March, April, May & June will be made to ATO Activity Statement System
  • June 2020 BAS Due for lodgement 21 July 2020
    • Upon lodgement of this BAS, an adjustment of 100% of PAYGW up to the $50,000 cap for March, April, May & June will be made to ATO Activity Statement System

Stage 2

The ATO will provide a further adjustment to Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) equal to the adjustment received at stage one – only if the business continue to be active and still employing staff. The adjustment will be tax free and will be processed by;

For Quarterly Lodgers

  • April – June 2020 BAS Due for lodgement 28 July 2020
    • Upon lodgement of this BAS, an adjustment of 50% of adjustment received on March BAS, will be made to ATO Activity Statement System
  • July – September 2020 BAS Due for lodgement 28 October 2020
    • Upon lodgement of this BAS, an adjustment of 50% of adjustment received on March BAS, will be made to ATO Activity Statement System

For Monthly Lodgers

  • June 2020 BAS Due for lodgement 21 July 2020
    • Upon lodgement of this BAS, an adjustment of 25% of the PAYGW credit received in stage One will be made to ATO Activity Statement System
  • July 2020 BAS Due for lodgement 21 August 2020
    • Upon lodgement of this BAS, an adjustment of 25% of the PAYGW credit received in stage One will be made to ATO Activity Statement System
  • August 2020 BAS Due for lodgement 21 September 2020
    • Upon lodgement of this BAS, an adjustment of 25% of the PAYGW credit received in stage One will be made to ATO Activity Statement System
  • September 2020 BAS Due for lodgement 21 October 2020
    • Upon lodgement of this BAS, an adjustment of 25% of the PAYGW credit received in stage One will be made to ATO Activity Statement System

Victorian Payroll Tax

Businesses with annual Victorian taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived, and payments already made for the year refunded.

Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to make further payments for this financial year. These businesses can also defer paying payroll tax for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year.

The State Revenue Office has already started contacting eligible businesses directly in relation to gathering bank details for the reimbursement for payroll tax already paid in this financial year.

Apprentice/Trainee Incentive

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to the apprentices new employer.

Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee or $7,000 per quarter. To be eligible you must be a small business employing fewer then 20 staff and have employed an apprentice or trainee as at 1 March 2020.

Employers will be able to access the subsidy after an eligibility assessment is undertaken by an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider, such as Apprenticeship Support Australia. Employers can register for the subsidy from early-April 2020. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020. You can find additional information here.

The lanscape of this crisis is constantly changing and the next few months are going to be challenging for everyone both in business and personally here in Australia and accross the rest of the world. If you need support please reach out, we want to provide as much help as we can to make sure you are ok.

Want more information?

Contact us directly to see how this may effect you, and what you can do to best manage your business.

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