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ATO extends initial JobKeeper payment deadline

Employers looking to enrol for the first two JobKeeper fortnights have now been granted a further extension of time to enrol and pay employees.

The ATO has now announced an extension of time for employers who wish to enrol for the first two JobKeeper fortnights to 31 May, an extension from 30 April.

       

Crucially, for the first two fortnights that run from 30 March to 12 April, and 13 April to 26 April, the ATO will now accept the late payments of the minimum $1,500 per fortnight as long as they are paid by 8 May.

“This means that you can make two fortnightly payments of at least $1,500 per fortnight by 8 May, or a combined payment of at least $3,000,” said the ATO in an update on Monday.

Speaking to Accountants Daily, the Institute of Public Accountants general manager of technical policy Tony Greco said the payment extension was particularly welcome, considering how the previous deadline of 30 April was hard for employers to meet.

“The onus was on the employer to make the payment and then hope the employee is eligible, so they are taking a leap of faith and if they didn’t make the payment, they wouldn’t get the reimbursement,” Mr Greco said.

“If this date is not met, then the employer will lose the JobKeeper reimbursement and, more importantly, their employees may also be denied the benefit of the first two fortnight payments which will be an unnecessary loss assuming both the employer and employee are eligible.”

The extension in time to meet the wage condition comes after the ATO registered the alternative tests late last week and the Treasurer revealing that further changes would be made to the JobKeeper rules.

 

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said the extension would help the 500,000 businesses that have now enrolled for the JobKeeper scheme pay more than 3 million employees in time.

“This extension allows businesses further time to consider their circumstances and remove any cash-flow pressures arising from financing arrangements that have not been finalised,” Mr Sukkar said.

“Importantly, this extension does not negate the obligation on businesses to ensure they continue to pay eligible employees $1,500 in each JobKeeper fortnight.

“Businesses have until 31 May 2020 to formally enrol to claim JobKeeper payments. However, the sooner an employer pays their staff for April and enrols, the sooner the ATO can reimburse them the JobKeeper payments.”

With the major banks now stepping up with dedicated JobKeeper hotlines to provide bridging finance to businesses ahead of the ATO’s reimbursement, Mr Greco said it was pleasing to see the Tax Office adopt a flexible approach to give employers more time to meet the first payment date.

“There are a lot of dates flying around and this could be lost in translation,” he said.

“It is a very simple message, but I think everyone is working at a rate of knots that simple messages have just been lost.”

The ATO’s updated guidance on enrolment date and payment date can be viewed here.

 

 

Jotham Lian 
27 April 2020 
accountantsdaily.com.au

 

 

Boosting cash flow – ATO

Beginning the April 29 2020 BAS based payments began to flow from the ATO to small businesses across Australia.

           

While the circumstances are horrific, Covid-19, part of the Federal Government's relief package is to provide a very welcome and much needed cash flow boost.  These payments have begun with the April payment being the first of three

An overview of all aspects of this scheme can be read here.

  • Payment examples and timing here.
     
  • Eligibility is outlined here.

 

ATO

 

 

 

 

Our website, your resources

Coronavirus resources have been added to the many others we supply our clients.  Resources such as many latest news articles, educational videos (updated recently), client portals, calculators, and stock prices.  You have 24/7 access to all these tools and resources.  Any question, simply ask. *

         

 

Covid-19 updates.  We have added an article to our latest news that is regularly updated with Federal and State government resources and tools so you don't have to find them yourselves and perhaps miss something important.

Latest news articles. 7-9 individual articles every month, though 13-15 in March, and all chosen for their relevance. Our website is a great place to stay informed.

Educational videos on accounting topics. All are relevant, interesting, educational and interesting. Videos that are changed three times a year to ensure you and your family are able to lean about many issues related financial issues and topics.

Calculators. A good range of calculators to help you better understand and manage your personal and family financial issues. Four of the more popular are: Pay calculator, Budget Calculator, Loan Calculator, and Super Calculator

Client portals. Portals are quite common on many sites and can be used to store your data, pay bills, log onto investment systems.

Ask us a question at any time. If you have a question on any related topic then don’t hesitate to use a form on our site to ask.

Your information is private and confidential and should be treated that way. Using Secure File Transfer means your information is encrypted when sent in either direction over the Internet.

Many sites also have a message window feature that displays messages of interest or that cover topics and deadlines you should be aware of.

 

* Not all are on every website.

Your Accountant

ATO releases JobKeeper alternative test

The alternative decline in turnover test rules for the JobKeeper payment scheme has now been registered by the ATO.

       

The legislative instrument, Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Alternative Decline in Turnover Test Rules 2020, has now been registered.

The alternative tests will only kick in if an entity cannot satisfy the basic decline in turnover test.

The explanatory statement notes that the alternative tests will only apply to seven circumstances.

These include where an entity commenced business after the relevant comparison period in 2019 or the business did not exist in the relevant comparison period and as a result there was no relevant comparison period in 2019.

It will also cover a circumstance where an entity acquired or disposed of part of their business after the relevant comparison period in 2019, and where an entity has restructured part or all of their business after the relevant comparison period in 2019.

Entities who had an increase in turnover by 50 per cent or more in the 12 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period, or 25 per cent or more in the six months immediately before the applicable turnover test period, or 12.5 per cent or more in the three months immediately before the applicable turnover test period, will also be covered.

The alternative test will also cover entities affected by a drought or other natural disaster in the relevant comparison period in 2019, and entities who have an irregular turnover that is not cyclical, such as what can occur in the building and construction sector.

A sole trader or a small partnership where the sole trader or one of the partners did not work for all or part of the relevant comparison period because they were sick, injured or on leave during the relevant comparison period, and those circumstances affects the turnover of the sole trader or partnership, will also be covered.

Each of the seven circumstances has its own alternative test that is detailed in the legislative instrument.

“The commissioner cannot determine an alternative decline in turnover test in all circumstances,” said the explanatory statement.

“It is only in those circumstances where there is an event or circumstance, be it internal or external to an entity, that is outside the usual business setting for entities of that class which results in the relevant comparison period in 2019 not being appropriate for the purpose of an entity in the class of entities satisfying the decline in turnover test.”

 

Jotham Lian
24 April 2020
smsfadviser.com

 

 

Temporary Working from Home Expenses Rule

The Australian Taxation Office has announced special arrangements this year – and it affects everyone working from home due to the coronavirus crisis.

         

A shortcut method will allow people to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour, instead of calculating costs for specific running expenses as taxpayers would, under normal circumstances.

Multiple people living in the same house can claim this new rate individually.  It is no longer a requirement to have a dedicated work from home area in order to claim from 1 March  to 30 June.

The person MUST keep a record of hours worked from home.

The existing rules for claiming home remain available.

Of importance today – keep a record of hours worked at home starting 1st March 2020.

 

 

AcctWeb

Minimum Pensions Halved – 2020 & 2021

Retirees have support to preserve their superannuation benefits by changing their minimum pension.

         

Superannuation fund values will have suffered from coronavirus driven financial market volatility, particularly since stock market peaks of February 2020.

The Government is temporarily reducing the superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50% for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years.

Age

Default minimum draw down rates (%)

Reduced rates by 50% for 2019-20 and 2020-21

Under 65

4

2

65-74

5

2.5

75-79

6

3

80-84

7

3.5

85-89

9

4.5

90-94

11

5.5

95 or more

14

7

 

A similar temporary measure occurred from 2009 to 2011 following the global financial crisis.

This measure will reduce  the need to sell investment assets (at a depressed time) to fund minimum drawdown requirements.

 

 

AcctWeb

 

 

More coronavirus support for landlords, commercial tenants

More state governments are pledging to support tenants and landlords through the coronavirus pandemic by reforming residential and commercial tenancy law.

           

South Australia and Western Australia have followed on from NSW and Victoria in announcing further stimulus measures to help their commercial tenants by easing the burden on landlords.

South Australia 

SA has announced a further $50 million in stimulus measures, under which landlords will be offered a 25 per cent reduction on their 2019–20 land tax liability if they pass on the full benefit to their tenants impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the government, eligible landlords with an outstanding 2019–20 land tax liability will see any remaining land tax payable deferred for up to six months until around December.

Moreover, taxpayers who have already paid their 2019–20 land tax liability and are eligible for relief under this scheme will be issued with a 25 per cent land tax refund on eligible properties.

Delving into eligibility, the SA government said eligible landlords are those who can demonstrate that they have provided the “minimum level of rent relief” to tenants since 30 March, and/or they will provide such relief up to and including 30 October.

“This will be a powerful shot in the arm for local businesses and residential tenants who have been suffering a significant downturn in trade and income as a result of COVID-19 and the necessary restrictions imposed to help limit its spread,” the state’s treasurer, Rob Lucas, said.

“By helping landlords, we help their tenants — and, in turn, ensure our economy is best placed to bounce back more rapidly from this once-in-a-century crisis.”

The latest measure is specifically tailored to SME commercial tenants including gyms, restaurants, cafés, beauty salons and hairdressers.

Western Australia

Similarly, WA has slated $100 million in land tax relief grants to commercial landlords who reduce rent for small-business tenants impacted by COVID-19 as part of its latest $154.5 million relief package.

To be eligible, commercial landlords must provide rent relief that equates to a minimum of three months’ rent and freeze outgoings to small businesses that have suffered at least a 30 per cent reduction in turnover due to COVID-19.

Grants equivalent to 25 per cent of the landlord’s land tax bill for 2019–20 for the property in which an eligible tenant is provided relief will be paid to landlords.

The state explained that commercial rent relief grants will be administered through the Small Business Development Corporation, with applications opening on 1 May 2020.

Treasurer Ben Wyatt confirmed the grants will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to encourage landlords to negotiate early with tenants who are doing it tough as a result of COVID-19.

“We’ve opted to provide targeted assistance that supports both tenants and landlords of commercial and residential properties,” Mr Wyatt said.

The state’s newest measure complements the introduction of a six-month freeze on rent increases, the moratorium on evictions from 30 March 2020 and the $25 million small-business rent relief package announced last month.

 

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
28 April 2020
mybusiness.com.au

 

 

 

COVID-19: Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package

From Monday 6 April additional support for Early Childhood Education and Child Care Services and their families.

       

On 2 April 2020, the Australian Government announced the new Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package. From Monday 6 April 2020 weekly payments will be made directly to early childhood education and care services in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy, to help them keep their doors open and employees in their jobs.

Payments will be made until the end of the 2019-20 financial year and families will not be charged fees during this time. These payments will complement the JobKeeper Payment announced by the Prime Minister on 30 March 2020.

Early childhood education and child care services do not need to apply for the payments, they will be paid automatically.

In addition, up to and including 5 April 2020, services can now waive gap fees for families due to the impact of COVID-19. This can go back as far as 23 March 2020 and is in addition to changes already announced..

For more information:

 

 

Source: education.gov.au

Now I’m working from home, what can I claim?

As more people are now working from home many are wondering what can and can’t be claimed and what records they need to keep. The following information, plus some tools and fact sheets, will help but your accountant and financial planner can help you the most with this question.

         

What tax deductions can you claim?

If you work from home, you can claim the work-related proportions of household costs such as:

  • Heating, cooling and lighting bills
  • Costs of cleaning your home working area
  • Depreciation of home office furniture and fittings
  • Depreciation of office equipment and computers
  • Costs of repairing home office equipment, furniture and furnishings
  • Small capital items such as furniture and computer equipment costing less than $300 can be written off in full immediately (they don’t need to be depreciated)
  • Computer consumables (like printer ink) and stationery
  • Phone (mobile and/or landline) and internet expenses

Ideally, you should have a specific room set aside as a home office. If you are using a room with a dual purpose (e.g. dining room), or a room shared with others (e.g. lounge room) you can only claim the expenses for the hours you had exclusive use of the area.

How do you claim?

You can use either of these methods:

Diary method/actual running expenses

Keep a diary to work out how much of your household running expenses relate to doing work in your home office. The diary needs to detail the time you spend in the home office, compared with other users of the home office. Keep your diary record for a representative four-week period. The ‘work-use proportion’ can then be used to determine your work-related claim, for whatever period of time they are required by the Government or Employer regulation to work from home. Of the two methods this usually produces the larger deduction, but the record-keeping requirements are more stringent.

It may well be that you are already working from home from time to time but that the amount of remote working will spike over the next few weeks or months. If that’s the case, keep a separate diary for the period of your ‘corona-induced’ home working to justify the larger claim for this period – but don’t try to apply this larger work-related proportion to the whole year!

ATO rate per hour method

Alternatively, you can use a fixed rate of 52 cents per hour for home office expenses for heating, cooling, lighting and the decline in value of furniture, instead of keeping details of actual costs. You just need to keep a record of the number of hours you use the home office and multiply that by 52 cents per hour.

In addition to claiming 52 cents per hour, you can also make a separate claim for:

  • phone and internet expenses;
  • computer consumables and stationery; and
  • depreciation of computers or other equipment.

Finally, a word of warning: it is quite common for people to have insufficient documentation to support a home office claim, particularly around the proportionate split between business use and personal use so be sure to keep records.

The ATO have calculators (at present only the 2018/19 is available) available to assist you with calculating these deductions and links below for more information.

 

 

Based on ATO information and resources.

 

Global statistics plus Covid-19 updates

The following website gives the running totals for many everyday categories and the numbers are almost, if not, overwhelming when seen on a global scale.

         

Click on the image below to link to a website that collects data from sources all over the globe and simply counts the numbers.  Global births and deaths, for example.  How much is spent on health and public education.  Be prepared though for how much is spent on illegal drugs or how many cigarettes are smoked every day.  Included is a link to the latest Coronavirus statistics as well. 

Mind blowing stuff.

 

 

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