COVID-19: Update March 23 2020

23 March 2020

Over the weekend, significant additional support was announced for individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19. We appreciate that people may be experiencing information overload in relation to COVID-19. To make it easier to understand, we have summarised below what assistance is available to individuals and businesses. Whilst many have already been impacted, we expect this number to grow as the crisis deepens. We, therefore, recommend anyone who might be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to seek assistance immediately.

Support for Individuals

The Federal Government has increased support for those requiring government social security payments. These measures include:

1.    Introducing a new Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight to be paid to new recipients of JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.

2.    Reduced waiting times and expanded access to benefit payments for those who lose their job as a result of the Coronavirus.

3.    Two $750 payments (one on 31 March, one on 13 July) to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders.

4.    Allowing eligible individuals impacted by the Coronavirus to access $10,000 in superannuation tax-free.

5.    Allowing affected individuals to defer mortgage and loan repayments for up to 6 months. Banks have indicated no reasonable request will be denied and those impacted should contact their bank and request a deferral.

For further information, follow this link Supporting Individuals and Households

Support for Businesses

The Federal Government has announced increased measures to support businesses, including:

1.    Providing a payment of up to $100,000, with a minimum payment of $20,000, to businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50m. The payments will be calculated as a 100% offset on the PAYG withheld from employee wages, with a minimum of $20,000 over a period from March 2020 to September 2020. Payments will be credited to the business’s ATO account. If this credit results in a refund position, the refund will be paid within 14 days.

2.    Provide an immediate tax deduction for any assets purchased up to $150,000 (limited to businesses with $50m in turnover or less).

3.    Provide an immediate 50% deduction for the purchase of any eligible asset (limited to businesses with a turnover of $500m or less).

4.    Provide a wage subsidy of 50% of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020 (limited to employers with less than 20 full-time employees and capped at $7,000 per person per quarter).

For further information, follow this link Support for Businesses

Cash Flow Support for Businesses

Cash Flow support is available for businesses by:

1.    Deferring ATO payments - Impacted businesses are able to apply to the ATO for a payment deferral on current and future BAS and other tax liabilities.

2.    Deferring bank loan repayments - Impacted businesses can contact their bank and without penalty, have loan repayments paused for between 3 and 6 months. Banks have indicated they will make this available for all impacted customers and will not require any financial information to support the deferral.

3.    Deferring Payroll Tax payments - Impacted businesses are able to apply to have their Payroll Tax payments suspended until July 2020.

4.    Access to new loans to support business cash flow - The Federal Government has announced it will guarantee 50% of loans made by banks to impacted businesses to support cash flow during the Coronavirus crisis. Full details are yet to be released, however it is understood loans will be available, up to a maximum of $250,000. They will have concessional interest rates and not require repayment for 6 months.

5.    Access to additional funds through Queensland State Government Support Loans - The Queensland Government will this week announce a loan scheme for impacted businesses. Loans of up to $250,000 will be available with no interest for 12 months and a 10 year repayment period. The program will be administered by QRIDA.

For further information, follow this link Supporting the Flow of Credit

If your business is in need of assistance or if you require more information on what support is available, please contact Darren, Shaun or one of our team.


©2020 by Cairns Covid-19 Updates.