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90,000 SMEs to benefit from new JobTrainer program

 

The government has announced a $2.5 billion JobTrainer program, giving 340,000 Australians the opportunity to retrain or upskill into sectors with job opportunities, including an additional $1.5 billion to expand the apprentice and trainee wage subsidy.

 

 

       

Speaking on 2GB Breakfast radio on Thursday morning, the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Michaelia Cash, explained that the new JobTrainer initiative will offer Aussies access to short courses and full qualifications to prepare for a post-pandemic workplace.

“That will be up to the states and territories as to how they would like to deliver them. But certainly, it’s vocational education and training, short courses, full qualifications. It’s all about upskilling, reskilling, retraining into areas that we know are in demand and have a job,” Ms Cash said.

Under the program, the National Skills Commission will work directly with the states and territories to ensure that we are targeting the areas of demand in their particular state or territory.

But according to Ms Cash, priority areas will be mining and resources; construction; ICT; health, aged and disability care.

“They’re the obvious ones where we know there is that growth,” Ms Cash said.

As for the additional cash being focused towards apprentice wage incentives, the minister explained that around 90,000 small and medium businesses will be covered.

“All those businesses out there, 200 employees or less, you now qualify,” she said.

“We’re extending it to those with 21 or more, and less than 200. We’re also extending the wage subsidy by a further six months to March 2021.

“So, for all of those small businesses out there who have already qualified, you will now get an extra six months of support. We want to see apprentices and trainees kept on the job, and that’s what this $1.5 billion will do.”

 

 

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic 
16 July 2020 
accountantsdaily.com.au

 

COVID-19 resources -Update July 2020

 

Several new links have been added to the many already in this article, links that date back to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have any questions, or require further assistance, please send us an email or phone.

 

 

Please click on the following links to access a wide range of Covid-19 related guidelines and resources for both Federal and State Government initiatives. Once done, click on the X (top right) to close the article and you'll return to this list. NB: Internet links are often altered by the source which means some of the following might not link properly. Ongoing testing is done to try and ensure this problem is minimised.

 

Latest Updates:

Previous Updates

  • Articles and Updates in other Latest News articles including:
    • Stage 3 – Covid-19 $1.1billion Domestic Violence, Medicare and Mental Health.
    • Stage 2 – Covid-19 – $66 billion stimulus package.
    • Stage 1 – Covid-19 Update – Small Business
    • Stage 1 – PM launches $17.6 billion virus stimulus plan

JobKeeper Phase 2 – The Next Step

 

The Government has decided to extend a lower JobKeeper for a further six months (13 fortnights) from 28 September this year, with eligibility based on actual rather than projected turnover declines.

 

       

The key features are

  • Only those businesses whose actual GST turnovers in each of the June AND September 2020 quarters have declined by 30% or more (or 50% or more – businesses with a GST turnover of $1 billion or more) compared with the same periods in 2019 will be entitled to JobKeeper in the December 2020 quarter.
  • Only those businesses whose actual GST turnovers in each of the June, September AND December 2020 quarters have declined by 30% or more (or 50% or more – businesses with a turnover of $1 billion or more) compared with the same periods in 2019 will be entitled to JobKeeper in the March 2021 quarter.
  • The JobKeeper payments will be lower and there will now be two tiers:
    • For employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, were working in the business for 20 hours or more a week on average – for the December quarter, $1,200 a fortnight; and for the March 2021 quarter, $1,000 a fortnight
    • For other eligible employees (both permanent part time and casual) – $750 a fortnight for the December 2020 quarter and $650 a fortnight for the March 2021 quarter
  • Business participants who are not employees remain eligible on the same basis as employees.
  • Employers must pay employees first before they can receive JobKeeper.

The new turnover tests will be harder to fulfill than those applying to JobKeeper 1.0. 

Each quarter is tested for actual GST turnover, – averaging is out and the single month test is out. 

One difficulty all employers who remain eligible will face is timing the calculation of their turnover for the September and December 2020 quarters with the payment of staff.  With BAS deadlines of 28 October and 28 January respectively, the ATO “will have discretion to extend the time an entity has to pay employees in order to meet the wage condition, so that entities have time to first confirm their eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment”.  But delaying BAS lodgement can also delay receipt from ATO.

As far as employees are concerned, the eligibility rules are unchanged.  In that regard, the employee must have been on the books as at 1 March 2020 as well as being a current employee for the relevant JobKeeper fortnight.  The rules which exclude persons who were not long-term casuals as at 1 March also remain, as do the rules excluding most temporary workers who are neither citizens nor permanent residents.

The long term casual test has two relevant dates –  1 March being the date on which the employee has to meet the basic criteria (including the long term casual test) and the JobKeeper fortnight the subject of the claim and for which the employer must have paid the employee.

 

 

Federal Government
 

Payroll Tax 2020 concessions and JobKeeper

 

Employers subject to payroll tax will generally benefit from an expected relaxation of payroll tax by all states & Territories.

 

       

Each state has their own version of concessions, including increased thresholds and one-off grants.  For more detail on each State and Territory, click on the appropriate link in the article in our news feed titled 'COVID-19 resources -Update July 2020'.

Generally, the principle will be that wages paid to meet the requirements of the JobKeeper scheme are exempt from payroll tax, to the extent that they exceed the employees earned wage.

The JobKeeper receipt by the employer is income, (no GST), so the subsidised payment to the employee should remain tax neutral to the employer.

The payments are exempt from payroll tax if the employee had been stood down.

Whether the employee payment is taxable will depend upon the wages before Jobkeeper and the hours worked.

Northern Territory has a new field on the Annual Declaration to identify the JobKeeper portion, which will be deducted from the gross.

Other states require exclusion of the JobKeeper portion of wages, subject to whether the wages are higher or lower than the JobKeeper amount.

Further details will be needed on the Annual Adjustment return, with calculations back to JobKeeper start in March 2020. Examples are provided by each collection authority.

Businesses with annual Victorian taxable wages, up to $3m, will have their entire payroll tax for the 2020 year waived.  Any payroll tax already paid can be refunded.  No further payments are required, although payroll tax reporting should continue.

 

 

AcctWeb

 

Important Single Touch Payroll Update

Single Touch Payroll (STP) and Annual PAYG Payment Summaries – a reminder to both employers and employees.

 

     
   

Payment summaries – if you are using the STP system you will be exempt from issuing payment summaries to your employees if you have made a ‘’finalisation declaration’’.

STP summaries replace the previous PAYG summaries.

The payment summaries will be made available to your employees online through myGov.

The finalisation declaration requires the employer to declare that all of the information relative to the financial year for each employee has been provided through your STP reporting. Finalisation declaration lodgement requirements are:

  • Employers with 20 or more employees will have until 14th July 2020.
  • Employers with 19 or less employees will have until 31st July 2020.

Payment summaries – if you are not using STP, the payment summaries have to be prepared and sent to all employees by 14th July 2020.

PAYG Withholding Tax – if you are not using STP the annual summary is due to be lodged with the ATO by 14th August. 2020.

Payroll Tax (if you are liable – if you have any questions please contact us) – you have to prepare a reconciliation of total payroll for the year showing the total amount of payroll tax payable and then reconcile this with the remittances that you have forwarded throughout the year.

Workcover – a Workcover Declaration is due by 31st August certifying wages paid for the year ending 30th June 2020.

 

 

ATO

 

Work Related expenses – 2020

Although the coronavirus lockdown has changed the work habits of many taxpayers, the fundamental tax claims for 2020 apply the same old tax principles.

       

Home Office

  • Claim the costs incurred, plus a new simpler short-cut method of 80¢ per diary hour.

Travel

  • Motor vehicle costs can be claimed under several methods, but using a logbook will almost always produce the best claim.  If you haven’t kept a logbook, how will you know what you missed out on?  Total kilometres travelled by Australia generally has declined, leading to a similar expectation for every taxpayer.  Are you any different?
     
  • Other travel claims are expected to be much lower due to lockdown, so strong evidence of purpose as well as receipts can be expected.

Subscriptions

  • Trade associations, etc, same rules.  Have digital subscriptions or anti-virus software subscriptions increased?

Clothing & Laundry

  • Same rules as always, but use may have changed.  It is probable that most taxpayers will have reduced costs, but other habits may change e.g. sanitiser, which has significantly increased.  What are your changes?  Think about them now and make a note or ask the question.

Tax Agent Fees

  • As always, these expenses are tax deductible.

Other

            What expenses have increased which you can provide a rationale and some evidence to connect to your income generation?

 

 

AcctWeb

 

‘Everyone is now on notice’: ATO acquires COVID-19 data on 3m Aussies

The ATO is set to acquire the data of 3 million Australians from Services Australia as it doubles down on the COVID-19 compliance front.

       

Last week, the ATO published a gazette notice informing that it would now acquire data from Services Australia, formerly the Department of Human Services, to verify individuals’ eligibility criteria for JobKeeper payments, temporary early access to superannuation and temporary cash-flow boost. 

Data for 3 million Australians are expected to be used for the data-matching program, running from 19 April to 24 September.

The data that will be scrutinised include identification details, government payments such as the JobSeeker payment, and when the benefit started or ceased.

Details of incarcerated individuals for the period of 1 March 2020 to 27 September 2020 will also be acquired from state and territory correctional facility regulators. 

According to the Tax Office, the data-matching program will allow it to identify and address taxation risks, including identity theft, or incorrect or misleading information included in applications for the COVID-19 stimulus measures.

The Institute of Public Accountants general manager of technical policy Tony Greco believes the ATO’s gazette notice and its recently published compliance approach mean claimants should begin reviewing their circumstances.

“Everyone is now on notice,” Mr Greco said.

“The ATO will now catch up with making sure that the cash-flow boost, JobKeeper, early release of super, all those measures have been done in accordance with the policy intent and the rules.

“When these measures were being implemented, there was a lot of misinformation, the dust hadn’t settled and people can argue that they got confused.

“Now that the dust has settled and you’ve entitled yourself to any of those things and you don’t believe you’ve qualified, then it is probably better to come forward voluntarily.”

Mr Greco also believes the ATO will pay close attention to the early release of super claims, with 2.1 million individuals now having been approved for the scheme, totalling $15.9 billion in payments.

Eligible Australians will be allowed to apply up to a further $10,000 between 1 July and 24 September.

“People think, ‘I got the money; therefore, I must be OK’, but that’s a false sense of security because the whole intent was to help people in financial stress, not to open up the floodgates to people who just wanted to access their super because someone down the road was able to,” Mr Greco said.

“They now have line of sight — Single Touch Payroll is giving them so much transparency around what people are earning on a pay-cycle basis, that anyone whose circumstances haven’t changed, it is probably better to get on the phone now.

“If you think you’re not eligible, the best thing you can do right now is to ring up to say to the ATO that you think you may not be eligible.”

 

 

Jotham Lian 
29 June 2020
accountantsdaily.com.au 

 

 

Extra Tools & Resources for our clients.

Over time we have supplied our clients with a growing collection of tools and resources to help in areas such as COVID-19 relief updates, articles on tax changes and updates, articles to help understand economic changes, calculators for all financial needs, and videos to help you and your family learn more about financial matters.  We hope you enjoy these 'extras' and if you have any question then 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

Extra Tools & Resources for our clients.

Over time we have supplied our clients with a growing collection of tools and resources to help in areas such as COVID-19 relief updates, articles on tax changes and updates, articles to help understand economic changes, calculators for all financial needs, and videos to help you and your family learn more about financial matters.  We hope you enjoy these 'extras' and if you have any question then 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

Year End Tax Deductions – “equipment”

As retailers promote heavily for taxpayers to buy before year end, are their advertisements real or imaginary?

       

If a retailer promotes a TV for a 40% discount at $2,500 with the slogan “eligible taxpayers will get a tax deduction”, is that real and should I be tempted?

If you have just begun working from home instead of the work office, as an employee you should ask “can I claim the $2,500?”

Short answer – No.

Home office work related expenses rules will allow depreciation of the non-private portion if there is a connection with employment.  A reasonable question would be – why do you need a $2500 TV screen compared to a $150 screen or a notebook?  Whilst the quantum is not the test, it goes to the credibility of the connection with employment.

If you can make the connection, the depreciation claim may be 20% of the cost for the remaining days to the end of the year.   At a marginal tax rate of 30% the benefit is minor. 

The justification for buying any equipment should firstly be economic, with tax benefit secondary

An alternate question may be – “why can’t I benefit from the instant asset write off that is constantly reported and advertised?

This relates to small business entities who probably don’t care about a tax deduction right now – they only care about staying in business.  For most small business, tax deductions can help but the economic benefit of any expenditure is the first rule.

 

 

AcctWeb

 

 

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