This is a very uncertain time for us all. COVID-19 has changed the way most of us run not only our lives but also our businesses. Legislation is changing rapidly and the information available, particularly via the broad media outlets, can often be confusing and hard to verify. As your accountant, I receive regular tax updates from several sources most, if not all, of which are front line advisers to the Government.
I will endeavour to pass on any relevant updates to my business and individual clients as and when they become available in an effort to hopefully ease some of the confusion and inevitable contradictory reports in this difficult time.
Small Business Stimulus Package
Whilst your Q3 BAS 2019-2020 is not due for lodgement until 28 May, 2020, given the current COVID-19 situation, it is in your best interest to get on to this ASAP.
For those of you with employees, you must lodge your Q3 BAS return and report salaries/wages via STP to receive your initial Coronavirus Small Business Stimulus package payment.
I have found a very informative link https://www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/blog/coronavirus-stimulus-package-small-business which outlines the various stimulus measures for small businesses.
For those of you without employees, you still must lodge your Q3 BAS return to determine your eligibility for the JobKeeper payment. Whilst the above link covers this, a more targeted fact sheet can be found here https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/Fact_sheet_supporting_businesses.pdf – in particular, please refer to the last page which shows examples for self-employed individuals and others.
Please send me your details/spreadsheets/bank statements or ensure your transactions are reconciled in your cloud accounting packages.
As you know, late last night on 8 April 2020, Parliament passed the JobKeeper package in response to the economic consequences of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Whilst the bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament, unfortunately it did not contain the finer details of how the JobKeeper payment scheme will operate. It is anticipated that the ATO will make this information available once Treasury has released the rules. We believe this information is imminent and as soon as it is available, we will be working quickly to provide this to you.
Currently, the most informative fact sheet that has been made available can be found here: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/Fact_sheet_supporting_businesses_0.pdf -in particular, please refer to the last page which shows examples for self-employed individuals and others. Whilst this is a Treasury document, it would be prudent to wait until they provide a formal updated fact sheet.
Another informative link can be found here: https://www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/blog/coronavirus-stimulus-package-small-business which outlines the various stimulus measures for small businesses.
Overall, the key to your eligibility for the JobKeeper package appears to rely heavily on your business accounts being as up to date as possible as it seems you will be required to continually report your current (reduced) turnover in comparison to the corresponding period a year earlier. Your eligibility as a non-BAS lodging entity will be reassessed on a regular basis which can be as short as monthly.
Action to take now
Initially, if you haven’t already done so, I strongly suggest that you all visit the ATO website https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/ to register your interest in JobKeeper payments – you will need your ABN for this process.
It still remains difficult to get definitive answers in relation to the above at the current time so please note, this information is to the best of my knowledge at the time of sending.
Whilst the current restrictions mean that we are no longer able to meet with clients face to face, we are always more than happy to respond to your questions via email or telephone.