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COVID19 - Accounting services & stimulus package review


We are living in extraordinary times & experiencing unprecedented measures to curb the spread of COVID19. The following is a summary of initiatives we are taking to continue to provide services, recent trading restrictions and government stimulus packages.

 

Selwood Ackerly Accounting Services (SAAS) COVID19 Policy

 

As recommend by the Victorian Government, all SAAS staff that can work from home are being encouraged to do so. We have the technology in place to ensure your level of service remains unchanged and for the most part business as usual. Staff will remain in contact via email, phone and conferencing applications.

 

In the interests of keeping our clients and staff safe, we are rescheduling in-office appointments to phone appointments, video conference or on client premises visits. The ventilation and office size is not sufficient to comply with social distancing recommendations. We will make contact with clients who have appointments scheduled.

 

We recommend clients familiarise themselves with our client portal which is accessible via our website. The portal enables clients to upload sensitive or large data files and electronically sign documents. The portal is easy to use and we are here to assist if needed. Please contact our office to register for the client portal if not already registered.

 

Rest assured we will remain available to assist you with any of your taxation and accounting needs.

 

New Lockdown Measures

What business will be closed?

Effective from midday today the following businesses will be closed:

·         pubs

·         clubs

·         cinemas

·         casinos

·         nightclubs

·         indoor places of worship

·         gyms

·         indoor sporting venues

What businesses will be left open?

  • Under the new measures, cafes and restaurants will be able to operate, but only to offer take away and delivery services.

·         Hotels will be allowed to continue operations in an accommodation capacity.

·         supermarkets

·         banks

·         petrol stations

·         pharmacies

·         convenience stores

·         freight and logistics

·         food delivery

·         bottle shops

·         hairdressers and beauticians

 

Support for Business

  1. Boosting Cash for employers

Up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized business that employ people, with a minimum $20,000. Delivered via funding 100% of Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) from employee's wages. The incentive is applied automatically as a credit on lodgement of the Business Activity Statements (BAS). It is imperative that clients lodge BAS on time to receive the credit. For some clients the credit will result in a lower BAS payment whereas others will receive a cash refund. The result is dependent on the amount of PAYGW and other BAS obligations, such as GST collected.

  1. Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

The threshold at which creditors can issue statutory demands on a company is being temporarily increased and directors are being offered temporary relief from personal liability if trading whilst insolvent.

  1. Increasing the instant asset write-off

The instant asset write-off is being increased from $30,000 to $150,000 up to 30 June 2020.

  1. Backing business investment

Additional 50% accelerated depreciation on assets up to 30 June 2021.

  1. Supporting apprentices and trainees

Employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice's or trainee's wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020 up to a maximum $21,000 per employee ($7,000 per quarter).

 

Please refer to the following link for more detailed information https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses

 

Support for Individuals (including self-employed)

  1. Income Support for individuals

Expansion to income support payments to include access to the JobSeeker, Energy Supplement and time-limited Coronavirus supplement. This support has been expanded to provide support for permanent employees who are stood down or loose their employment; sole traders; the self-employed; casual workers; and contract workers who meet the income test as a result of the Coronavirus. Also includes a person required to care for someone affected by the Coronavirus. The Asset test will be waived for the period of the Coronavirus. Applicants may also be entitled to Rent Assistance. New applicants are encouraged to lodge on-line via MyGov. Applicants with no internet access can claim over the phone.

  1. Payments to support households

Two $750 payments from 31 March 2020 and second payment from 13 July 2020 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders.

  1. Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates

Reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50% for 2019-20 and 2020-21. Therefore, reducing the funds that retirees are required to withdraw from superannuation.

  1. Reducing social security deeming rates

0.5% reduction in both upper and lower social security deeming rates.

Please refer to the following link for more detailed information https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/households

 

Supporting the Flow of Credit

  1. Support for immediate cash flow needs for SMEs

The Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to SME lenders to support new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs.

  1. Quick and efficient access to credit for small business

The Government is cutting red tape by providing a temporary exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers.

 

Please refer to the following link for more detailed information https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/business-investment or contact your bank. The incentive is based around allowing businesses in distress to access funding fast.

 

Deferral of Loan Repayments

The Australian Banking Association has announced that small business experiencing financial hardship will be able to deferral loan repayments for six months. Details of the package are being developed and are expected to be released today.

 

Coronavirus and Australian Workplace laws  

Visit www.fairwork.gov.au (Please note: the website was down at the time this blog post was prepared [12noon 23rd March 2020]).

 

In summary;

Businesses should, but not limited to;

  1. Review social distancing implications on their business;
  2. Review staffing levels taking note of the attached advice from Fairwork Australia;
  3. Review Pay As You Go Instalments (PAYGI), if business profitability has reduced, the PAYGI can be amended to reflect the change. PAYGI can be refunded where excess PAYGI has been paid.
  4. Continue to lodge BAS to gain access to the Government cash incentives
  5. Contact your Bank manager for assistance with new funding to get your throughout this period and/or defer loan repayments
  6. Contact your landlord for a temporary reduction/deferral of rent
  7. Contact ATO to organise payment arrangements for any outstanding taxation obligations. Note the cash incentives detailed above may be offset against outstanding ATO debt.
  8. Apply for income support via MyGov for sole traders and self employed with reduced income.  

 

Retirees should contact their superannuation fund or financial advisor for a recommendation in respect to reducing minimum pension payments.

  

Individuals who have lost their job or income reduced should apply for income support via MyGov.

 

There may be other incentives that are not included above. We will keep you updated as new incentives are released. Please refer to the following websites for ongoing updates;

 

https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

https://www.business.vic.gov.au/disputes-disasters-and-succession-planning/illness-and-business-management-plan/coronavirus-business-support

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

https://preview.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-updates

 

 

 

Kindest Regards,

 

Michael Ackerly CPA & Trevor Selwood CPA

Principals

Selwood Ackerly Accounting Services Pty Ltd

P. (03) 5722 9595  

Enquiry@saaccounting.com.au     www.saaccounting.com.au 

Suite 8, The Strand, 21 Reid Street    (PO Box 121)  Wangaratta VIC 3677

'Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation'

 

DISCLAIMER - Taxation is only one of the matters that must be considered when making a decision on a financial product. 

Clients should consider taking advice from an AFS licensee before making a decision on any financial products included in this document. 

 

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Aust. Government & ATO re Coronavirus Support



Federal Government's Economic Response to the Coronavirus - Delivering support of Business Investment & Cashflow Assistance for businesses. 

Please follow the links below to peruse the Government & ATO websites in relation to these areas.

If we are able to assist in any way, please contact our office.

The Australian Governments Economic Response to Coronavirus

Coronavirus Information & Support for Business

If we are able to assist in any way, please contact our office. Ph: 03 57229595 (Office Hours 8.30am - 5pm weekdays) or Email: Enquiry@saaccounting.com.au 

We hope that all of our clients, your families and friends are safe during this difficult Summer/Bushfire period.

Re ATO Support

The ATO have identified postcodes of affected areas and granted automatic deferrals of lodgement and payment. https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/dealing-with-disasters/

However, not all affected areas in the Rural City of Wangaratta, Alpine Shire, Towong Shire and Indigo Shire's are currently listed for the automatic extensions (e.g. Whitfield, Myrtleford & Bright). We expect the list of postcodes granted automatic extension to grow as the ATO receive updated information.

If you have been impacted by the Bushfires and would like the ATO extensions be applied to you, please let us know and we will follow up for you.

All the very best, stay safe and please let us know if we can be of any assistance.

Re Financial Support

There is a range of financial support available at both State & Federal levels to assist clients affected by the bushfires.

We recommend reviewing each of the financial support program details per the websites listed below as each program caters for different situations. Once you identify a program call the respective authority to discuss your eligibility.

The Federal assistance packages (which are listed on the State websites) are:

Income support
Disaster Recover 'Allowance'
Call Department of Human Services 180 22 66
https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/victorian-bushfires-december-2019-disaster-recovery-allowance?fbclid=IwAR1F_LG4ZJWaNHd6Mew-Z5V8VcqKgZEIWDzc5BFYCCOtnOy6mL_9OJKK69A

One-off payments
Disaster Recover 'Payment'
Call Department of Human Services 180 22 66
https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/help-emergency/bushfires?fbclid=IwAR1Y_G3u_hc72wFA7jcpBPJd8WiLKPY9ZjrQjpVhoj3wZYpMnA2vRes64xs

The State programs are listed on the links below:

Victoria
https://www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief/?fbclid=IwAR0JIadEbQ6v_YO5D2K8sHg5hfYrV-2xjQ4HgWPuMKe99lvwR95Ox_LgYEM#financial_assistance (select 'Financial Assistance' from the left hand menu)

NSW
https://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/Pages/for-the-community/disaster-assistance/financial-support.aspx

Please contact us if you need any assistance in applying for the financial support which will be free of charge.

Secure Client Portal Login/Access

We have introduced a Two Factor Authentication (2FA) security measure to our Secure Client Portal access. If you use our Secure Client Portal, going forward you will need to download the 'Google Authenticator' App. onto your Smart Phone (both Apple & Android available).

Once you have the App. on your phone, follow the links on your Portal Login, scan the 'QR code', and this will give you a 6 digit code, which you will need to log into your Secure Client Portal Site. You only need to scan the code once, next time you're wanting to log into your Portal site, just open the App. on your phone & the code will be there.

If you have any problems with this process, do not hesitate to give the office a call & we'll walk you through the process.

Get in contact