In light of the current situation around the Coronavirus and the uncertainty we are all facing day to day, we felt it important to assure you that we expect no major interruptions to the services that we provide to you.
OUR CLOUD SYSTEMS MEAN YOU CAN ALWAYS CONTACT US IF YOU NEED US
We have invested heavily in the latest technology in recent years, and this means we can keep assisting you no matter what may happen. All members of our team are able to work remotely and have access to all the technology systems and tools they use daily to assist our clients. Please keep emailing or phoning your accountants and advisors at Simple Solutions Accounting Services when you need us, and we will be here to help you!
GOOD ADVICE IS NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER
If you have any general queries, requests for bookings for meetings or requests for documents, please feel free to contact Gillian (Director) on firstname.lastname@example.org on 0479 076 616.
Business and Tax
The Australian Government has just released their $17.6 billion economic stimulus package in response to the Coronavirus. It is designed to help employers to keep their workforce levels. There are key tax benefits that business owners need to access over the next few months. Our expert Accountants are here to help business owners receive the maximum benefits they can.
If you are a business owner, you need to face the possibility of team members being absent from your workplace, product supply issues and demand for your services and products reducing over the short term.
There are some urgent things to be aware of:
1. GOVERNMENT STIMULUS PACKAGE – OUR TAX PLANNING MEETING WITH YOU THIS YEAR WILL BE VITAL!
The Australian Government has just released a $17.6 billion economic stimulus package. The package has been marketed as a measure to protect the economy by maintaining confidence, supporting investment and keeping people in their jobs.
The key tax and stimulus measures include:
- From Thursday 12 March 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million) to $150,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million) until 30 June 2020.
- A time-limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) which will operate to accelerate certain depreciation deductions. This measure will also be available to businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million, which will be able to immediately deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost. As announced, this measure is proposed to only apply to new depreciating assets first used, or installed ready for use, by 30 June 2021.
- Tax-free payments of up to $25,000 for eligible small and medium businesses (i.e., with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff) based on their PAYG withholding obligations. This is not a cash payment, but it is a credit equal to 50% of the PAYG amounts withheld from salary and wages paid to employees.
Businesses that lodge activity statements on a quarterly basis will be eligible to receive the credit for the quarters ending March 2020 and June 2020. Business that lodge on a monthly basis will be eligible for the credit for the March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 lodgements.
If a business pays salary and wages to employees but is not required to withhold any tax, then a minimum payment of $2,000 will still be made. The minimum $2,000 payment will be applied to the first activity statement lodgement.
- Wage subsidies to support the retention of apprentices and trainees – Employers with less than 20 full-time employees may be entitled to apply for Government funded wage subsidies amounting to 50% of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. The maximum subsidy for each apprentice/trainee is $21,000.
- Tax-free payments of $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. It is estimated that around half of those who will benefit will be pensioners. These payments will commence to be automatically made from 31 March 2020.Contact us TODAY if you would like to meet with us earlier to ensure you receive your maximum cashflow assistance from the Government.
2. BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING
As a business owner, now is the time to plan for employees being away from your workplace, shortages of supply, reduction in sales, and the possibility of your workplace being closed for a short period of time if every is being forced to self-quarantine.
Over the next few weeks, we can schedule a Zoom Meeting to discuss the following:
- Employees working from home, and workplace obligations
- How do pay your bills in the short term if your sales start to dry up
- How to communicate in a reassuring way with your clients and customers
- How to keep things moving with your business
There are 7 key areas you need to consider immediately:
1. Cash – Preserve cash at all costs. You must immediately start building a cash “war chest” for your business to survive.
2. Protection – Update and upgrade your Asset Protection IMMEDIATELY. It’s very important to review strategies to protect the equity in your family home and other assets in personal names. It’s also vital for you to have an up to date Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) and Will, and to know where the original signed copies of these are located.
3. Banks and Funding – You should contact your bank immediately to arrange additional lines of credit if possible. Alternative funding sources should also be immediately considered. The time to act is NOW, not in 2 weeks’ time when the banks will be overwhelmed by other bank loan applications.
4. Management Team – Work through the COVID-19 Continuity Plan with your Management Team, then quickly communicate appropriate decisions to your entire team.
5. Employees – You need to openly discuss reduced working hours with your employees to save cash (if this does save cash) and working from home arrangements. Employees will be scared, so they need to be reassured by you and they need to be given an understanding of your plan to keep the business alive.
6. Customers & Suppliers – Great communication is needed to so that customers have peace of mind that it’s “business as usual” where possible, and so that you can rely on your suppliers.
7. Mental Health – This could be one of the most stressful times ever for you and your employees. We can provide links to assistance for you to help you and your team through this crisis.
We’re not suggesting in any way that we have all the answers, but it is important for us to work with you and help you and plan for what will happen in the weeks and months ahead. We may be able to assist you with ATO Tax Relief Options.
The Australia Taxation Office (ATO) is implementing a series of relief options to assist those impacted by the coronavirus. The relief will not be automatically applied. You (or we can) will need to contact the ATO to make any of the following requests for assistance.
- Businesses can call the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline (1800 806 218) to discuss relief options based on their needs and circumstances.
- Individuals and businesses can request deferral of some payments (by up to 4 months) and vary instalments.
- Businesses (under $20 million turnover) can elect to report and pay their GST monthly instead of quarterly to accelerate access to GST refunds, but only from 1 April 2020, and must remain monthly for 12 months.
- Quarterly payers can vary their PAYG instalments for the March 2020 quarter, and claim a refund of instalments paid for the Sep and Dec 2019 quarters.
- Businesses can request remittance of interest and penalties applied to tax liabilities incurred after 23 January 2020.
- Businesses can request a low interest payment plan.
- Employers still need to meet their SG obligations. The ATO has no discretion under the SGC rules to vary the due date or waive the SGC where contributions are late/unpaid.
Contact us TODAY to book in a 30 minute Zoom online meeting so we can discuss your business situation and make plans to assist you. There are fees associated with planning meetings, starting from $250 ex GST.
The share markets have crashed due to fear and uncertainty in the marketplace. As has always happened before, when this crisis is over the markets will quickly pick up again. Keeping a long term focus and not panicking now is the key to success.
For any questions you may have about wealth and investment matters, please feel free to contact us and we will recommend a suitable financial planner.
IMPORTANT – GET YOUR ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY (EPOA) AND WILL UPDATED NOW
If you have to self-quarantine or are admitted to hospital, if you don’t have an EPOA then no-one else can make important business or financial decisions on your behalf.
We strongly recommend that you have an up to date EPOA and Will, and that your family know where these are stored.
We have an Estate planning attorney we can recommend that will be able to offer you a fast, easy and professional way to get these documents prepared quickly.
Simply reply to this email and we will put you in touch with a suitable Estate planning attorney.
These are times when we need to stay calm and rely on reliable news sources and information from State and Australian Government websites. What you see on social media may be panicky and unreliable information – stay away from this!
WEB LINKS + FACTSHEETS WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Here are some key web links for you to access for further information to help your clients during the COVID-19 crisis.
Standing Down Employees
ATO – COVID-19 Assistance
Treasury Economic Response to Coronavirus