KDC Accounting

COVID-19 Resources Info and Tips

We have set up this page as a dedicated resource for our clients during this unprecedented time. The information available is voluminous and appears to change fairly rapidly. We will keep you updated here rather than bombarding you with emails and other correspondence. Please Like our Facebook page to be kept up to date with changes made here. It may save time coming back to check what is new.

PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION WITHOUT CHECKING.  THIS INFORMATION IS NOT YET LAW AND HAS BEEN CHANGING OFTEN.  PLEASE SEEK ADVICE.  GIVE US A CALL.

Please refer to the bottom of this page for updates as we add them.

In addition to the updates below, please pay particular attention to the following white paper: 

The following summary (white paper) is up to date to 31st March and summarises all Stimulus Packages as we understand them at the moment.  This is a really good resource for someone who wants to know “just enough” about the packages and make sure they are aware of all of their likely entitlements.

COVID 19 Stimulus and support Measures – Summary

What are we doing here at KDC Accounting?
We are forging ahead with a business as usual attitude … we are just doing it a little bit different.
We are encouraging social distancing. If you don’t need to come into the office, please don’t. We can receive your information via mail, email, or uploaded to our Client Portal.

Most of us are already working from home (WFH) but are aware of the technology and internet restrictions that will slow us down.  There are a couple of us in the office at any one time.  We are isolating at home and the office to extend our time in the office.

We are discouraging anyone attending the office.  Electronic communication will cover most interactions. We can use phone, email, and video conference (our preference is Zoom which is a really easy platform with a simple app download – all you need to do is click on the link, it will ask you to download and you say yes) means of communication.

If you need to attend the office, please note our social distancing protocols.  We have chairs in front of the reception counter to prevent you leaning where everyone else has leaned, and to protect my team.  We have a trolley station set-up with sanitiser, large snap-lock bags that we have always used to keep your work papers together, and engagement letters for you to sign.  You are welcome to drop documents anytime using this trolley station.

Please get in touch, by telephone or email, if you have any questions or concerns. We are here supporting our clients in this very tough time and hope you stay well.

Client Portal Update:

We have been setting up the Client Portal one client at a time – usually after we have received your work.  To assist in this climate, we are systematically sending out activation emails.  You may have already received one of our emails, or it is coming in the next few days.

Please activate by following the links and setting up a password.  It would really help us if you activated as soon as you receive the invite.  There will be nothing in your portal when you first set it up, but you can then upload information for your tax return, and we can upload your return when it is done.  This will be particularly helpful to avoid unnecessary trips to the office, or when we are shut down, or other problems like email inbox size limits.

When you upload to the Client Portal, we receive an automatic email to let us know.

When we upload to the Client Portal, you will receive an automatic email to let you know.

Our Client Portal experts, Cheryl and Mal, can help over the phone with any questions or assistance you may need.

The Client Portal is a much more secure system than email.  It also gives you access to your data whenever you need it.  We are uploading Tax Returns without TFNs (Tax File Numbers) so that you can send them to the bank or Centrelink whenever required.

Please note:  Our Client Portal underwent a maintenance program on the weekend  Unfortunately some problems required a restore from the back-up and a few activations that you all did on the weekend will need to be re-activated.  Cheryl has been in touch with most of you already.  Thanks for your patience with this.

Are you working from home (WFH)

Are you having to work from home during this period?  Remember to keep a diary of the hours for claiming in your 2020 income tax return.  There is no prescriptive format for the diary but you can download our templates and usage diaries here:

https://www.kdcaccounting.com.au/useful-links/

Stimulus Packages

Individuals: 

JOBSEEKER: You should all be aware of the Jobseeker availability (also known as Newstart or the Dole) has been extended to embrace a lot more people.  If your hours or income have dropped by 20% or more, you may be eligible.  Your gross income (ie before tax) needs to be less than $1075 per fortnight.  We understand that your spouse’s income will not be relevant.  We also understand that the assets test will not apply.  If you are eligible, you will receive usual Jobseeker payments of up to $550 fortnight.  This amount is means tested so if you exceed the $1,075 it will reduce, but as long as you are receiving $1 of this, you will receive the COVID-19 Supplement of $550. This does not get reduced.  You may also be entitled to rent assistance and pharmaceutical allowances.

PAYG INSTALMENTS:   Qtr 3 PAYG Instalments are issuing now.  Some of you may have already received them.  Business owners are  allowed to vary this instalment to nil – no questions asked.  Non-business owners are possibly allowed to do this but the announcements are a little unclear.  Please get in touch if you would like to follow up on this with us.  You need to complete the form to say no income likely for the year / period, and vary the instalment to nil.  Previously, the ATO discourage this behaviour with a fine – but they will not in the current climate.

You are also entitled to vary for your previous instalments paid in Qtrs 1 and 2.  They will refund these amounts.  You need to be aware that you will need to “catch up” these payments when you lodge your 2020 tax return.  It’s too soon for us to know what concessions and payment plans will be available, but no doubt, they will be available.

ACT GOVERNMENT ASSISTANT: There is assistance with your Rates, electricity, freeze on increases, and include things like a $150 towards your Rates, $200 rebate for concession card holders on your electricity.

More information can be found https://apps.treasury.act.gov.au/budget/covid-19-economic-survival-package

Business:

There is a lot on offer and there is a lot of detail to get behind.  Please see the attached

CPA Australia put out the following:

CPA – Government announces coronavirus stimulus package

ACT Government has some assistance.  You can find more here:

https://apps.treasury.act.gov.au/budget/covid-19-economic-survival-package

The ATO has the following page which outlines a lot of their assistance:

https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Dealing-with-disasters/In-detail/Specific-disasters/COVID-19/

There is a lot of discussion about standing down staff, forcing leave, and/or making staff redundant.  The applicable rules depends upon your enterprise bargaining, award, employment status, and employment period.

A redundancy requires a redundancy payment and payout of leave entitlements.   A Stand Down does not. But annual leave accrues and staff will need to be paid for public holidays.  A Stand Down may be preferable if your business is going into hibernation (the new term our PM is using to represent a business that shuts down and can come back without having accrued crippling debt and preclude them from starting up again).

You need to be communicating with your staff.  “I am already receiving inquiries from accountants wanting to change jobs because their boss has made unilateral decisions without consultation.  I can assure you, accounting staff are hard to come by, and desperately needed in this environment.  These employers are going to be disappointed at losing their staff.  Consultation needs to happen.  Don’t spring your decisions on your team!” Kerri made comment this morning.

Some preliminary information regarding stand down is available from here:

https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/#stand-down

Some specifics

Cash Bonus for employers reporting wages

Payable to businesses with payroll reporting history.  It will be between $20,000 – $100,000 and credited to your ATO account once your BAS is lodged.  It’s a complicated formula but is automatically calculated by the ATO and credited on your BAS lodgement due date.  This is why you must lodge. If you have a liability, the ATO will keep the credit to apply to the debt, otherwise they will offset it against your GST debt in the BAS reported, or pay it out as a refund.  Not had a BAS refund in a while?  Please email your bank account details so we can update the ATO records for you.

A useful calculator can be found here:

https://digit.business/payg-cashflow-boost-calculator

Low interest loans 

The Federal Government has offered to guarantee 50% of any small business loan taken out to help see a business through this period.  The responsible lending criteria that the banks must abide by are also being relaxed.  The loans are for a period of no more than 30 months with the first 6 months interest only.  The banks are requiring you to prove your solvency as at 31st January.  Up to date financials to 29th Feb and 31st March showing the downturn are also useful.

Bankruptcy changes

Up to now, you can be bankrupted over a debt of $2,000.  This has been moved to $20,000.  The time-frame to respond was 21 days but is now 6 months.

There is also temporary relief from directors trading whilst insolvent.  In the past, this shift all debts incurred to the director personally.

Banks and lenders deferring repayments

The banks and other lenders (chattels mortgages, leases etc) are deferring repayments for up to 6 months.  In most instances doing it as a freeze and just extending your finance period by 6 months. In other instances, just capitalising the interest.

Payroll Tax:

ACT:  Business in affected industries (hospitality, entertainment etc) will receive a one-off six-month waiver of payroll tax.  All other businesses will receive a payment deferral of 12 months commencing 1st July.  Woeful leadership from ACT Government.

NSW: Payroll tax for March, April, and May will be waived.  The increase in the threshold to $1 Million will be brought forward to 1st July 2020 instead of 2021 – meaning less employers need to pay it at all.   Annual liability reduced by 25% – actioned on annual reconciliation report lodged in July 2020.

Other states: have other concessions not effecting any of our clients.

I’ve tried tailoring this information but it is changing too rapidly.

We are reviewing who needs to do what to be eligible, and most of it is automatic. But please read through the tips below and note anything that should be done now.  Please note:  Many of these are relevant for our business clients, but not all of it.  Please read through the list.

TALK TO THE FOLLOWING – NOW

Talk to your Bank – Now.  There are business loans available. There are repayment deferrals, low interest business loans, and increases on your credit card available.

Talk to your landlord – Now.  The Emergency Cabinet is still working through the logistics and legalities of commercial leases and we expect an announcement any day now.

Talk to the Tax Office – Now – through us.

Talk to any other lenders – Now.  Many goods and chattels mortgages and leases are offering 6 month deferrals on repayments.

Your kids – Now!  Don’t let them go through this alone.  There are plenty of resources available online but often a good place to start is just acknowledging that everyone is stressed.

Keep up to date with your lodgements with the Tax Office.  They are granting generous extensions of time to pay, but not to lodge.  They need you to keep your lodgements up to date so that they can use your data to indicate Industry impacts and who and where to apply the best assistance.

Keep up to date with lodgement and payment of staff superannuation.  There are no concessions on lodgement or payment available and the consequences of being late are significant.  The ATO is aware of this issue but needs legislative change to waive penalties in relation to SGC for staff.

Review your Power or Attorney and Wills documentation.  Get them done or updated if necessary.  Often the PoA is very important if you suffer a medical event that means you can’t operate your business and there is no mechanism in place for someone else to do it.

MENTAL HEALTH TIPS

Take regular breaks from Social Media

Take breaks from your desk or work generally. Especially if working at home.  It is very easy to become engrossed in your work without interruptions and spend too long hunched over a computer.

EFT Tapping – Google it and get behind this powerful yet easy tool to help with your mental health and improve your productivity. Many of the team here at KDC are practicing this technique daily.  Look up Brad Yates, Nick Ortner, and tap-easy.com for some excellent resources.  There are many free EFT Tapping resources becoming available for you to use with your children and help them through this time.  The absorb so much of what is going on around them regardless of how hard we try to shield them.

Review your outgoings and look for ways to save

MYOB Offering 2 months waiver of fees.  I’m sure the other programs will get on board shortly.  At this stage, you have to actively apply rather than an automatic extension.

Look for Workplace Relations Advisers for HR Advice re your staff

EG: Employsure, Employment Hero,

Fair Work website.

There are a lot of recommendations to look at Stand Downs of staff rather than redundancies.  We will need our staff to help get things back to normal.  It may not be wise to make them redundant which may encourage them to look elsewhere for work.

DOWNTIME ACTIVITIES FOR WHEN BIZ GETS GOING AGAIN

Develop passive income streams

Write a book

Document policies and procedures not already done

Work on your Mission Vision Values statement.  Will this change in the future – as surely the world is changing.  Will your priorities change?

Goal Setting and planning for the recovery

Online courses

Actual Down time – rest and recuperate

KEEP IN CONTACT WITH

Staff

Clients

Suppliers

Social Media followers

Accountants and Advisers

Updates:

25/4/20

Two important updated came out from the ATO just yesterday.

  1. Extensions of time to register for JobKeeper for April:  ATO announced we can register as late as 31st May and we have until 30/4/20 to catch up the initial minimum payments to eligible employees.  We have a few clients that might take advantage of this – especially when unsure of projecting April income to determine eligibility.  But in the main, we have all worked really hard to get registered in time for May receipts of JobKeeper from the ATO.  Deferring registration will defer receipt of your first payment until June – and this simply won’t work for many of you,
  2. Full time students who are 16 or 17 years old, who are not financially independent:  are not eligible for JobKeeper.  This is a massive change in direction but welcome as many of these employees work small number of hours and still live at home with mum and dad.  The impost on the employers to top up to the minimum $1500 / fortnight, and to prepay this minimum prior to receipt of JobKeeper  from the government was too much for many employers and meant they simply couldn’t take part in the JobKeeper program.  Many employers have already paid the top up payments to their 16 and 17 year old staff.  The ATO have said that the new rules are prospective from May only and if you paid your junior staff on the basis that they were eligible, you can claim them for April ….but not for May.  This will probably mean new notifications need to be issued to these employees.

Not from the ATO, but a big update yesterday with the Treasurer hauling the banks to the table to discuss funding for JobKeeper.  The 4 Big Banks have now set up hotlines to help businesses apply for funding – especially for JobKeeper purposes.

Westpac – 1300 731 073
NAB – 1800 562 533 (1800 JOBKEEPER)
CBA – 13 26 07
ANZ – 1800 571 123

If you have avoided JobKeeper because of the cashflow requirements, please get in touch and we can help you with the funding requirements.

24/4/20

We got most of the JobKeeper Registrations done today.  Mammoth effort by the team.  We holed up in our training room (you know, social distancing…) and worked through them all one-by-one.  Several clients aren’t eligible yet but we will review their turnover next month and we have some clarity around the Alternative Tests for determining a decline in income.  We will be in touch with most of you in the coming week to confirm minimum payments, accounting package set up (MYOB, QBO, and Zero), the reporting requirements for those not in STP, and a number of other little nuisance bits that are a requirement of this legislation.

from Kerri:  I would like to pass on my eternal gratitude to my team who worked tirelessly this week,  It  was a tough week and we are all physically and mentally exhausted but we pulled together like a Champion Team and got more done that i thought possible.  To our wonderful clients, who have appreciated the environment of changing legislation within a deadline, and that we are writing procedures on the fly, thank you for your patience and for working with us as a team.  You rock! And to all of you who showed support and care in so many little ways.  I may not have commented at the time, but your thoughtfulness was certainly noted and so very appreciated.  Finally to my team, I would love to be able to give my team this coming week off to rest and recover – you need it and you earned it, but there is still much to be done.  Enjoy the weekend and i will see (virtually) on Tuesday.

22/04/2020 From the ATO:  Sole trader with no employees:  Enrolling in JobKeeper.  Having trouble enrolling?

This was a known system error that they have corrected on Tuesday night 21 April 2020. You will now be able to enrol online with 0 employees.

21/04/2020 JobKeeper information sheet:  We have had quite a few clients advise they don’t think they are eligible as they don’t employ staff.  You may still be eligible.  You do not have to be employing staff.  Please refer our Information Sheet:  JobKeeper Information Sheet

15/04/2020

QBO Guidance for payroll:  https://support.yourpayroll.com.au/hc/en-au/articles/360001461816?mobile_site=true

XERO Guidance for payroll (an update): Did you see the correction required to Xero instructions?  JobKeeper payments ARE subject to PAYGW – even the top up amount.

MYOB Guidance for payroll: https://help.myob.com/wiki/display/ea/COVID-19+wage+subsidy+%28JobKeeper%29+payments

ATO Dropped a heap of information on JobKeeper over the weekend.  Here is the link:  https://www.ato.gov.au/general/JobKeeper-Payment/?=Redirected_URL

We are attending team training on JobKeeper this afternoon.  We won’t get all of the answers, but we will get some.  Here’s what you need to know and do now:

  1. Not sure if eligible?  Regardless, Register your interest now at: https://www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment/
  2. Enrol for JobKeeper – From 20th April.  If you register as above you will be kept updated by the ATO.  The ATO is still working on this infrastructure.
  3. Lodge (an as yet unknown) document with the ATO to confirm your eligible employees – From 4th May.  The ATO is still working on this infrastructure.

In the meantime, all eligible staff need to be paid a minimum of $1,500 a fortnight, regardless of how many hours they work.  You can not choose which employees to include:  One-In-All-In.  Find the money to keep paying them.  There are more instructions on the ATO site that are clear and succinct as far as the ATO have worked things out.  The best link is still: https://www.ato.gov.au/general/JobKeeper-Payment/

BAS Preparation:  For Stimulus 1 to apply, the ATO have instructed us not to lodge before 28th April to ensure that all systems are functioning and processing the credits appropriately.  If you lodge your own BAS, you should delay lodgement until as close as possible to the due date.

14/04/2020

Accountants granted Exemption from licensing requirements to provide advice on early access to super

Accountants without a financial services license will now be able to provide advice to clients on accessing superannuation early as ASIC rolls out temporary measures in response to COVID-19.  This is still a difficult area for us to advise on, but it frees us to provide some advice.

Financial Planning Advice – just got easier to get

ASIC has provided temporary regulatory relief for advisers to provide advice more efficiently to a larger number of clients in the COVID-19 crisis, including elimination of the need for an SOA in some cases.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the corporate regulator said it would provide the temporary relief to “assist the industry in providing consumers with affordable and timely advice during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

The relief measures included eliminating the need to provide an SOA when providing advice around early access to super, including when tax agents or in-house super fund advisers are providing such advice.

The measures are only available for advice where fees are capped at $300, the client has approached the adviser for advice and where the advice provider has established the client is eligible for early release.

The client would still need to be provided with a record of advice, ASIC said.

Xero – Fact sheet needs correction

Xero supplied a guidance note on how to manage JobKeeper within the payroll section.  It is correct in all material points except where it references withholding tax.  The payments are subject to ordinary withholding payments (PAYGW).  The $1500 applies to the gross amount (ie before tax is withheld).  And the new Pay Category only relates to top up payments for those employees earning less than $1500.  Ordinary pay is subject to superannuation.  But the “top up” amount is not subject to superannuation guarantee at 9.5% as the “top up” amount is not ordinary times earnings.

The following article is taken from Accountant’s Daily and is a really good summary of where we are at the moment.

Treasurer releases JobKeeper rules

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has now released the rules governing the JobKeeper scheme as the profession continues to wait on further guidance from the ATO.

Tax&Compliance  Jotham Lian  14 April 2020

https://www.accountantsdaily.com.au/tax-compliance/14238-treasurer-releases-jobkeeper-rules?utm_source=Accountants%20Daily&utm_campaign=14_04_20&utm_medium=email&utm_content=1&utm_emailID=10408e927b4d298371231161a4fbc8bd7d14823ef49b0d6ae5fcfc53d12e6ad3

The rules set out the eligibility and obligations concerning the $1,500 a fortnight JobKeeper payment for a 26-week period running from 30 March to 27 September.

Together with its explanatory memorandum, the rules detail how entities will need to satisfy the decline in turnover test through a basic test or the alternative test.

The basic test compares the GST turnover of any of the months from March 2020 to September 2020 or the quarters that starts on 1 April 2020 or 1 July 2020 with the corresponding period in 2019, with a business satisfying the test where there is a shortfall of 30 per cent or more.

As an example, a business can make the comparison by comparing the whole of the month of March 2020 with March 2019, or by comparing the quarter beginning on 1 April 2020 with the quarter beginning on 1 April 2019.

The alternative test will apply where there is not an appropriate relevant comparison period in 2019.

This alternative decline in turnover test will be determined by the Commissioner of Taxation.

Once an entity satisfies the decline in turnover test, it does not need to retest its turnover in later months.

However, entities will need to notify the ATO of its current GST turnover for the reporting month and its projected GST turnover for the following month on a monthly basis.

According to the rules, this information will not affect an entity’s eligibility, nor will it be used to verify whether the projection given as part of the decline in turnover test was accurate.

“Rather, it is intended to ensure that there is good information on which to assess the economic impact of the coronavirus on a monthly basis across Australia,” the explanatory memorandum stated.

One in, all in

The rules also note that once an employer decides to participate in the JobKeeper scheme, all eligible employees must be covered by the scheme.

“The employer cannot select which eligible employees will participate in the scheme. This ‘one in, all in’ rule is a key feature of the scheme,” said the explanatory memorandum.

ATO guidance

While employers are required to actively seek to participate in the JobKeeper scheme through an approved form to the Commissioner of Taxation, the ATO has yet to update its website with the relevant information.

Speaking on an ATO webcast before the Easter break, ATO acting assistant commissioner Trent Jakubowski said the agency was working feverishly towards providing guidance and its administrative approach.

“At the moment, people don’t need to call us. In fact, if I’m being frank, we would probably prefer they don’t because there isn’t much currently that we can say,” Mr Jakubowski said.

“What we are encouraging practitioners to do, though, is to use the ato.gov.au/JobKeeper website to get regular updates and information, as our best and brightest develop the implementation as we speak.

“One thing I should note, because there has been confusion over this point, for the people who have already registered, they are not registering for JobKeeper. They are registering interest.”

 

3/04/2020

We are delighted to make the following exciting announcement to our wonderful and loyal clients. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time, and we hope that you are taking care of yourselves and staying positive.

Interactive Website for COVID related information and entitlements – Business and Employee clients.

Over the past few weeks, we have been developing relevant guidance and supporting materials to ensure you are aware of your entitlements and any support you may be eligible for from the State, Territory, and Federal Governments.

We have created a state-of-the-art online platform for your convenience.  This data will be updated constantly – although we are hoping there will not be as many updates as the announcements start to slow down.

Here you will be able to gain direct access to all potential stimulus packages available to you depending on your location and profile.

You can access the online portal here https://stimuluspackagegrants.com.au/kdcaccounting

Feel free to download these resources and use them at your disposal.   As it is constantly updated, please feel free to check back here regularly.

If you have any questions or need assistance to apply for any support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

JobKeeper – stimulus package update for Businesses.

Most of our business clients experiencing a downturn in income will be eligible for JobKeeper.  The mechanism for claiming depends on a number of factors such as how you have received your profits (unrelated employees, salary, dividends, distributions, or profits).  We will be assessing this as part of the BAS preparation for those of you for whom we prepare your BAS.

The rules are complex and were rushed through Parliament this week.  There is no standard answer as to how this will apply, and we will need to consider it on a case by case basis.

To claim JobKeeper for your staff, you need to have paid them in order to claim back the JobKeeper.  This is obviously going to be hard for some of you as no cash is coming in.  There are some very limited circumstances where you can pay your staff in arears.  Please get in touch if this impacts you and you would like some advice.  For many of you, if there is a decision to be made, we will be in touch before finalising your BAS.

Jordan continues to book appointments with me to discuss the COVID Stimulus package.  A fee of $220 per half hour does apply.  Please get in touch if you need advice.  We can also discuss Payment Terms for those that need the advice now but need to pay later.

In the meantime, whether or not you think you are entitled, please register your interest in JobKeeper on the Tax Office website.  This will guarantee you get up to date information from the Tax Office.  If you don’t claim JobKeeper, that doesn’t matter.  The Tax Office needs to know you are interested.

 

08/04/2020

Today, Wednesday 8 April, the Federal Parliament will be holding an emergency sitting of both houses to debate and hopefully pass, the latest and much anticipated third stimulus package proposed by the government.

If it’s anything like the first stimulus package, which was rushed through on 23 March, it may in fact be late tonight or the wee hours of Thursday morning that we will have all of the details.

As such we will be bunkering down in self isolation on Thursday, and probably all weekend, ploughing though the news reports, ATO fact sheets and reading the fine print of the legislation and explanatory memorandums so that we know the exact details of what assistance our clients will be eligible for and the manner in which this assistance will be accessible – at this stage we know some will be via the BAS, some will be via STP payroll, some will be automatic, and some will be manual.

By Tuesday morning, we will hopefully have some solid updates to provide to you.  Please check back here then.   Please bear with us and the government’s systems (some of which will need building after the legislation passes). Please note that the earliest some of the payments will be made will be 28 April and 1 May.

We would also like to take this opportunity of wishing you and your family a Happy and restful Easter.

We will be enjoying the time with our family and reading up on the legislation so will not be monitoring our emails over this time.

Property unoccupancy – Commercial premises
If your premises are now unoccupied as a result of COVID-19, it is important to tell your insurance company or broker. Insurers perceive unoccupancy as an increased risk.  Insurers will generally provide full cover for 30 days of continued unoccupancy before they require being notified, at which point they typically apply additional terms and conditions to manage the increased risk.  If they are not aware of this change at the property, and there is a claim, you may find yourself with restricted cover or no cover at all.  Please speak to your insurer or broker if this applies to you.

 Cyber risk

Are you and your team now working from home? Remote work arrangements are great to prevent the spread of COVID-19, however it has also coincided with a 400% increase in COVID-19 cyber scams.  Please contact your insurer or broker if you require assistance with Cyber risk protection.

We can recommend a couple of really good insurance brokers if you need.  Send an email to admin@KDCaccounting.com.au

07/04/2020

New rate for claiming home office – 80c an hour.  Refer ATO Press release here for further details:

ATO Press release – Working from Home – COVID

We have a quick calculator for determining your reduction in turnover for JobKeeper eligibility:

JobSeeker eligibility calculator

Wanting to vary your PAYG Instalment for Qtr 3?  We (you) need to lodge by 28th April – under current legislation, it cannot be amended afterwards and you would need to wait until July when lodging the June Quarter BAS.  Please get your BAS info to us ASAP.

 

03/04/2020

Businesses Applying for loans:  We have had several reports of banks asking for G11 amounts from your BAS.  This is no longer reportable and many accountants are not calculating it.  We are calculating it as part of our BAS preparation so can provide this information if needed.  Please call or email and any of the team can provide it to you.

02/04/2020

Please refer our white paper at the top of the page.  This page has been written by one of our Technical Resource providers and they have excellently summarised the current stimulus packages for you.  It’s in easy to use language and laid out in such a way that you can quickly identify the areas that apply to your circumstances.

We would also like to share a Fact Sheet prepared by CPA Australia with some tips to help businesses survive COVID-19 and get to the other side and thrive. You can find this Fact Sheet here:

Managing through COVID-19 – A checklist for Small Business Owners

There has been an update to the Treasury Fact Sheet on Job Seeker around the eligibility requirements – especially for start-ups and those that had unusual circumstances this time last year.  The addition includes:

– Where a business was not in operation a year earlier, or where their turnover a year earlier was not representative of their usual or average turnover, (e.g. because there was a large interim acquisition, they were newly established or their turnover is typically highly variable), the Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information that the business can provide to establish that they have been adversely affected by the impacts of the Coronavirus.

 –  The Tax Commissioner will also have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances.

 – There will be some tolerance where employers, in good faith, estimate a greater than 30% fall in turnover but actually experience a slightly smaller fall.

Unfortunately, this suggests that we still need to wait and see the legislation but does mean Government is listening to us.

You need to consider if JobSeeker is right for your business.  A business must be able to afford the payroll throughout the month to be eligible.  And the payment is received in arrears.  There are some impacts on Super Guarantee, and it’s unclear if the payments will be subject to Work Cover / workers’comp – But we think they will be.

30/03/2020

JobKeeper Stimulus package.

Refer the following link for details of today’s announcement.  It includes the links for registering to be kept up to date.

https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/jobkeeper-payment

29/03/2020

Everyone (not just business owners):  Contact your banks for deferrals of repayments on loans, mortgages, credit cards etc.  If the repayments are just added to the end of the term (ie you don’t accrue interest in the meantime) great. Prioritise small repayments, if you can, to say credit cards where the interest is accruing and just your repayments are deferred.  Each bank is making different arrangements so you will need to read the details.

We are still waiting on announcements re rents (residential and commercial). We understand the conflicting feelings out there between landlords and tenants.  Please be compassionate in your dealings with each other and wait for an announcement.

We do have good news for SMSFs that rent to related entities:  The ATO have announced that they will not be directing any compliance / audit activity towards this matter.  We suspect that they will expect you to catch up on the rent owing to you SMSF but you will have time to do it.  We also acknowledge that it is probably a good thing to do – if given enough time – so that your retirement benefits aren’t too heavily impacted.

We are also waiting on announcements regarding Spouse income for Jobseeker entitlements.  We do expect an announcement on an increase to the threshold.  This should NOT delay you applying.  Even if your spouse is still receiving an income, you should start the application process with Centrelink now.  Note;  The process is clicking a button and waiting for them to get back to you.