Stimulus package

In light of the new stimulus package, there are few incentives which may apply to your situation.

1: $550/per fortnight stimulus.

This is a payment for sole traders, self employed, casual workers, contract workers, jobseekers, youth allowance recipients, parenting payment recipients, farm household allowance recipients and special benefit recipients.

This payment is income tested, however means testing will be reduced as will processing time.

2: Tax free super withdrawal.

Those experiencing hardship will be eligible to withdraw $10,000 from their super before 1/7/2020 and a further $10,000 from their super prior to 1/7/2021.

3: Wage assistance.

For all companies and eligible entities, the ATO will pay 100% of your employees PAYG withholding (this also applies for directors drawing a PAYG wage (this does not apply to directors drawing director fees)). Moving forwards, this would mean it would be in the business owners best interest to pay themselves via TFN as opposed to directors fees (bear in mind though business owners should not just merely pay themselves a wage to take advantage of the government payment, but should pay themselves a fair wage in line with the work and value they provide to their company.

Bear in mind this payment is only up to a certain threshold.

4: Debt repayment assistance.

The government has announced that failure to make repayments on loans will not incur a default for the next six months. Any loans which may be causing financial distress can be negotiated with the financier, and in most cases the financier will freeze the repayments for the next six months (this includes cars, assets (ie excavators), houses, overdrafts etc)).

ATO will also provide relief of ATO debts in some cases and even landlords may provide relief from rental payments (at the discretion of the landlord).

5: Low interest loans:

Cash flow for businesses will also be more readily available as the government has announced it may be guaranteeing 50% of all business loans in a bid to encourage institutions to lend to small businesses. The proposed loans will be interest free for 6 months as well as having a very low interest rate. Measures will also be put into place to increase the threshold at which creditors can issue statutory demands for payments (as well increasing thresholds for a creditor to initiate bankruptcy proceedings) and temporary relief for directors from all personal liability while trading insolvent.

6: Asset depreciation.

Whilst now is not an ideal time for many businesses to spend money (it is more about conserving cash flow), however if one was so inclined, the instant asset write off has increased to $150,000 for assets installed by 30/6/2020 and is allowing businesses to deduct 50% of eligible assets up front (with the remainder subject to ordinary depreciation rules) up until 30/6/2021 (turnover must be under $500 million).

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