Virus spread leads to unseen measures

UNPRECEDENTED measures have been taken by the Federal Government in the past 24 hours to stem the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, in Australia.
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Mark Saunders

Billions of dollars have been pumped into several stimulus packages in an attempt to shield the economy from the flow on effects of measures such as non-essential travel bans and the closures of pubs, clubs and cinemas.

The Government is also urging people to follow strict hygiene protocols and social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus.

In its electronic newsletter, Business Ag has outlined the following support which has been enabled recently:

Support for business investment:

  • An immediate increase in the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 (ex GST).  Businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500m will be eligible. The increase in the instant asset write off threshold will only be available until 30 June 2020.
  • Introduction of a time limited 15-month investment incentive. The incentive will run through to 30 June 2021 and allow businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset's cost. This will potentially apply to assets that are not eligible for the instant asset write off (ie. those purchases that are over $150,000 or potentially capital improvements). 

Cash flow assistance for business:

  • Eligible small to medium-sized businesses will receive up to $25,000 of wages tax back, with a minimum payment of $2000 for eligible businesses with employees.  The payment will only be available to businesses with a turnover of less than $50m who employ staff between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020. The payment will be tax free and the payments will be processed as a ‘refund' of 50 per cent of their Business Activity Statement (‘BAS') or Instalment Activity Statement (‘IAS') from 28 April 2020. eg. If you withhold $10,000 of PAYG withholding tax during the quarter, we expect that you will get $5000 back from the ATO.
  • Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of their apprentice's or trainee's wage for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.  Where a small business is unable to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs the apprentice. 

Stimulus payments to households:

  • The government will provide a one-off $750 payment to social security, pensioners, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders. 

Up to date information on coronavirus can be found at https://www.health.gov.au/