The incentives and subsidies available to businesses are changing rapidly as the government and other agencies seek to support the Australian economy through these difficult times.  Below is a list of the incentives and subsidies for which your business may be eligible. 

Whilst we are being vigilant in ensuring this information is up to date, the guidelines are changing so rapidly we recommend you refer to the links to the relevant agency where you can find detailed information.
  1. JobKeeper Payment 
  2. Increased Instant Asset Write-Off (IAWO)
  3. Backing Business Investment (BBI) 
  4. Increased and Accelerated Income Support
  5. Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries
  6. SME Guarantee Scheme
  7. Deferment of loan repayments by banks (Australian Banking Association)
  8. Quick and efficient access to credit for small businesses
  9. Early access to superannuation
  10. Boosting cash flow for employers
  11. Trainee and Apprentice Support
  12. Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
  13. Tax Support
  14. Hold on evictions for renters
  15. Relief for commercial tenants
  16. Support for customers to pay power bills
1. JobKeeper Payment (last government update: 21st July 2020)

Assistance:
Government subsidy to continue to pay employees

Eligibility (employers):
Business turnover has been reduced compared to a year ago (Turnover of over $1bn; by 50%; Turnover of less than $1bn; by 30%).  Turnover to be measured at month or 3 month period depending on natural activity statement reporting period. Where business not in operation a year earlier or or turnover was not representative of usual turnover, Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information to establish that the business has been affected.  There will also be some tolerance where employers estimate a greater than 30% or 50% fall in turnover but the actual experience was higher.  Business is not subject to Major Bank Levy. Employment relationship with employee on 1March20 and still currently engaged.

JobKeeper extension:  The JobKeeper support has been extended for six months to March 2021.  In order to be eligible from 28 September 2020, employers will need to demonstrate the same decline in revenues as above in both the June2020 and Sept2020 quarters.  From 4 January 2021, employers will have to demonstrate that they have met the decline in revenues for all three quarters; June2020, Sept2020 and Dec2020.

Eligibility (employees):
Were employed by employer on 1 March 2020 and still currently engaged. Includes FT, PT and long term casuals.  Are over 16 years old. Are Australian citizens, permanent visa holders or fall into other categories. Not receiving JobKeeper payment from another employer.

JobKeeper extension:  There is no change to the eligibility criteria of employees. The employee must have been employed on 1st March 2020.

Monetary Value:
$1,500 minimum per eligible employee per fortnight. If employee normally earns less than $1,500 per fortnight, employer must pay their employee a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight. If employee has been stood down, employer must pay employee $1,500 minimum per fortnight.

JobKeeper extension:  From 28 Sept 2020, the payment rate will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight and will reduce again to $1,000 from 4 January 2021.

How:
Registration of interest on ATO website. Salaries to employees to be paid under normal prevailing workplace arrangements and are subject to PAYG.  Declaration through Single Touch Payroll and ATO portal.

Time Frame:
From 30 March 2020 for a maximum of 6 months. Payments made a month in arrears. First payments received by employers in first week in May 2020. Monthly updates must be provided to the ATO on eligible employees.

JobKeeper extension:  Now extended to March 2021.

Registration of interest:

  Click here to register your interest
 
  Click here for more information 
2. Increased Instant Asset Write -Off (Last Government Update 2nd April 2020)

Assistance:
Immediate deduction of purchases of eligible assets costing less than $150k per asset. Must be installed and ready for use in time frame. New or second hand.

Eligibility:
Expanded to include businesses with aggregated turnover of less than $500m (up from $50m)

Monetary Value:
Increased from $30k to $150k

Timeframe:
12 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.  Will revert to $1k for businesses with turnover of less than $10m from 1 July 2020

 Click here for more information 
3. Backing Business Investments (BBI)

Assistance:
Accelerated depreciation deductions for eligible assets

Eligibility:
Businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500m.  New assets depreciated under Division 40 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 - plant, equipment etc.  Does not apply to second-hand division 40 assets or buildings and other capital works depreciable under Division 43.

Monetary Value:
50% depreciation deduction on installation/first use with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance; including the first year.

Timeframe:
12 March 2020 to 30 June 2021 first used or installed.

 Click here for more information 
4. Increased and accelerated income support (last government update 15 April 2020)

Assistance:
Expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing new time-limited coronavirus supplement.

Eligibility:
Expanded access applies to sole traders, self-employed, casual workers, contract workers who meet the income test. Other eligibility criteria available

Monetary Value:
$550 per fortnight

How:  
Supplement available when applying for Jobseeker payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance or Special Benefit. If not getting an eligible payment, need to apply to Services Australia

Timeframe
Payments commence 27 April 2020. One week the ordinary waiting period has already been waived. Other time frames apply

  Click here for more information 
 
5. Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries (last government update 2 April 2020)

Assistance:
The Government has created an initial $1 billion support fund to assist industries and regions severely affected by the economic impacts of Coronavirus. In development.

Eligibility:
Deputy Prime Minister to work with affected industries and communities to develop recovery plans.

  Click here for more information 
6. SME Guarantee Scheme (Last government update: 2 April 2020)  

Assistance:
Government to provide a guarantee of 50% to SME's for unsecured loans to be used for working capital. The government will encourage lenders to provide drawdown facilities. Government providing an exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders to existing small business customers for 6 months. Reserve Bank of Australia announced a term funding facility to banks with $90bn available at 0.25%.

Eligibility:
SME's up to a turnover of $50m

Monetary Value:
Maximum loan of $250k per borrower; up to 3-year loans with initial payment holiday of 6 months; unsecured finance.

How:
Application to lenders

Time Frame:
Scheme to commence early April 2020 for new lands made by participating lenders until 30 Sept 2020.

  Click here for more information
 
7. Deferment of loan repayment by banks (Australian Banking Association)  

Assistance:
Bank loan repayment deferral for businesses impacted by pandemic

Eligibility:
Loans of up to $10m

How:
By application through bank

Time Frame:
Initial deferral for 6 months with phase two measures being offered following that.

  Click here for more information
8. Quick and efficient access to credit for small businesses (last government update: 2 April 2020)

Assistance:
Government is providing an exemption for the lender from responsible lending obligations to existing small business customers.

Monetary Value:
New credit, credit limit increases; credit variations and restructures.

How:
By application through the lender

Time Frame:
Exemption for 6 months

  Click here for more information
9. Early access to superannuation (last government update: 2 April 2020

Assistance:
Drawdown on superannuation

Eligibility:
Eligibility as a sole trader:  business suspended or reduction in turnover by 20% or more

Monetary Value:
Up to $10k in the financial year 2019-2020 and up to a further $10k until 24 Sept 2020.  No tax applies and does not affect Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs payments.

How:
Apply online through MyGov from 20 April 2020

Time Frame:
Up to $10k to 1 July 2020 and up to a further $10k from 1 July 2020 for 3 months (dependant on the passage of relevant legislation)

  Click here for more information
10. Boosting cash flow for employers (last government update: 8 April 2020)

Assistance:
Payment against activity statement by ATO effectively 'paying' PAYG withheld from employees’ salaries

Eligibility:
SME's with revenue of less than $50m. Applies to businesses that held an ABN on 12 March 2020 and continue to be active. Made eligible payments to employees where PAYG is required to be withheld; salaries and wages, directors fees, retirement and termination payments, compensation payments.  Must also have derived business income in Financial Year 2018-19 and lodged 2019 tax return on or before 12 March 2020 and made GST taxable, free or input taxed sales in a previous tax period (since 1 July 2018) and lodged relevant activity statement on or before 12 March 2020.

Monetary Value:
100% of amounts withheld to a maximum of $50k.  Minimum payment of $10k even if no tax is withheld. Additional payment also to a maximum of $50k

How:
No application is necessary.  Automatically credited to ATO account on lodging activity statements

Time Frame:
Starts with 28 April 2020 activity statement for the financial year. Continues for additional payment to September 2020.

  Click here for more information 
11. Trainee and Apprentice Support
(last government update: 16 July 2020)

Assistance:
Wage subsidy for employing apprentice or trainee

Eligibility:
Small business employer who employs 19 or less employees and who retains an apprentice or trainee as at 1 March 2020. Available to employers of any size and GTO's that re-engage an eligible out of trade apprentice or trainee who has previously been engaged by a qualifying employer.

Extension:  
Small business employers with 19 or fewer employees can claim against wages paid from 1 July 2020 for an apprentice that was retained as at 1 July 2020.

Medium sized businesses who employ 199 or fewer employees will now be eligible to claim for wages paid from 1 July 2020 for an apprentice that was retained as at 1 July 2020.

Monetary Value:
50% of wages to a maximum of $7k per quarter - $21k in total

Extension: The % claim remains at 50% of wages to a cap of $7k per quarter.

How:
Eligibility assessment to be done by an AASN provider.  Registration starts early April 2020. 

Time Frame:
Wages paid from 1 Jan 2020 to 30 Sept 2020. Claims must be lodged by 31 Dec 2020.

Extension:  The trainee & apprentice support initiative is now extended to March 2021.  Claims from small businesses are now open.  Claims for medium sized businesses will open 1 October 2020.  Final claims must be lodged by 30 June 2021.

  Click here for more information
12. Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses (last government update: 25 March 2020)

Assistance – Statutory Requirements:
Temporary increase to the threshold at which creditors can issue statutory demand and time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. Includes temporary relief for directors from personal liability for trading while insolvent and temporary flexibility in Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary and targeted relief from provisions of the Act

Assistance - ATO:
ATO will tailor solutions for owners or directors of businesses that are currently struggling including a temporary reduction to payments or deferrals or withholding enforcement actions

Monetary Value:
Statutory demand threshold increased from $2k to $20k and response time increased from 21 days to 6 months.

Time Frame:
Statutory demand threshold increased for 6 months. Response time increased for 6 months. Relief from director’s liability for trading while insolvent will apply for 6 months.

  Click here for more information
13. Tax Support

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. Contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline for businesses on 1800 806 218 for more information or to request this help.

  Click here for more information
14. Hold on eviction for renters (last government update: 30 March 2020)

Assistance:
Australian Govt and States and Territories have agreed on short term, temporary moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent.

Eligibility:
Commercial tenancies impacted by severe rental distress due to pandemic

How:
Tenants and landlords are encouraged to agree on rent relief or temporary amendment to lease.  More information to be released.

  Click here for more information
15. Relief for commercial tenants (last government update: 8 April 2020)

Assistance:
Mandatory Code Of Conduct for commercial tenancies to support SME’s affected by the pandemic which sets out good faith leasing principles for commercial tenancies. Specifically states that leases cannot be terminated by a landlord for non-payment of rent.

Eligibility:
Commercial tenants must be SME’s with a turnover of up to $50m and be eligible for the JobKeeper payment.

Monetary Value:
Rent reduction based on tenant’s decline in turnover.

  Click here for more information
16. Support for customers pay power bills (Energy Networks Australia updated 2 April 2020) 

Assistance:
Network charges rebated for SME customers experiencing financial distress and is mothballing due to pandemic.  SME's will not be disconnected without an agreement before 31 July 2020. Disconnection fees. reconnection fees and the daily supply charge will also not apply.

Eligibility:
SME's mothballing over the period 1 April to 30 June 2020 and consume less than 40MWh per annum and use less than 25% of historic average consumption in the period.

How:
Application to the energy provider

Time Frame: 
Processed by the end of Sept 2020 for a period to June 2020 following receipt of evidence by 1 Sept 2020

  Click here for more information

2:01 pm 24 March 2020 – The QLD Government announced a new $4 billion package in response to the crisis. Extending tax breaks for small to medium-sized businesses in a move to prevent significant job losses. For in-depth info on the package, click here. or visit www.tresuary.qld.gov.au 

3:15 pm 17 March 2020 – The Queensland Government is digging deep to offer loans of up to $250,000 to local businesses and eligibility for payroll tax deferral has now been extended to businesses of any size. Read more about how this affects your business.

21 February 2020 – The Queensland government is supporting small businesses and exporters, tourism and hospitality, fishing industry, student support services and local agriculture. To see how this impacts your business, click here.

FACT SHEETS 

  Electricity Relief for Households & Businesses Q&A (Tues. 24 March 2020)

  Payroll tax relief measures, read more here

  QLD Government Small Business Hotline 1300 654 687

2:18pm 16 April 2020 – NSW Government $10,000 grant for NSW businesses is now available. Click here to apply via Service NSW.

5:27pm 13 April 2020 – NSW Government has announced $440 million in relief for renters and landlords affected by Government-enforced Coronavirus restrictions. Click here for more.

9:02am 3 April 2020 – $10,000 grants to provide real and rapid relief to NSW small business. Click here.

8:04am 1 April 2020 – Locals to fill the medical supply chain: The NSW Government is calling on manufacturers around the State to help fill gaps in the global supply of medical equipment and hygiene products. Read more.

5:15am 27 March 2020 – NSW Government to unveil $750 million stimulus package: The package is aimed at retaining and creating jobs as well as sustaining NSW businesses. Click here for further details.

2:15pm 17 March 2020 – The NSW government announced a $1.6 billion stimulus package, waiving payroll tax for businesses and bringing forward payroll tax cuts. We will continue to provide relevant information for what this means for your business.

9th April 2020 - Emergency Cash Grant for Small Businesses
The South Australian Government will provide $10,000 emergency cash grants to small businesses and not-for-profits facing closure or a significant loss of income as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Click here to read more

  For More information and to register your interest, visit the Department of Treasury and Finance website.

11:01am 5 April 2020 – SA businesses whose employees qualify for the JobKeeper support payments will be exempt from paying any payroll tax on the wage subsidy. For further details, click here.

8:32am 26 March 2020 – SA Government announced $650 million rescue package: The package is aimed at saving South Australian jobs and supporting key industries. Premier Steven Marshall indicated the money is likely to be directed towards supporting local businesses. Click here to find out more.

9:22am 16 March 2020 – The SA Government are fast tracking the support of local jobs and businesses, with a $350 million stimulus package aimed at safeguarding the economy and protecting jobs. Click here to understand more.

10:22am 1 April 2020 – VIC Government announced a $1.3 billion funding boost for the state’s health system: The additional funding will ensure Victoria has the resources and capacity to treat thousands. Further details here.

1:07pm 19 March 2020 - The VIC Government is working on a support package for hospitality businesses. This comes after the Governments ban on gatherings of 100 people or more, meaning some businesses are no longer viable to remain open. Find the latest on the government initiatives here.

4:31pm 31 March 2020 – WA Government has announced new relief package: The McGowan Government unveiled support for power and water bills, ensuring that no household or small to medium business will have their water or power shut off. Interest-free repayment plans will be made available under the scheme and there will be no late payment penalties for other government charges. Read more.

12:00pm 16 March 2020 – The WA Government has extended financial support for small and medium businesses with public sector workers including casuals accessing 20 days of Covid-19 leave. Learn more about this here.

17 March 2020 – The Tasmanian Government is supporting local businesses through waiving payroll tax, assting with grants and backing Tasmania's tourism industry. To learn more about this, click here.

17 March 2020 – Tourism Tasmania has created a $9.2m Response Plan aimed at domestic travel. Click here to learn more.

6:41am 27 March 2020 – ACT Government expected to announce rental assistance package. The decision was meant to be unveiled on Tuesday, however it was delayed and is expected to be made today. Click here.

10:46am 20 March 2020 – The ACT government has announced rates rebates, suspended fees and direct funding for arts and entertainment businesses, with a focus on sectors most likely to be affected by the Coronavirus. Click here to see how this impacts your business.

3:00am 18 March 2020 – ACT Government will direct support toward small business owners as well as aim to reduce cashflow pressures for sole traders and those in the ‘gig economy’. Read more to find out how this impacts you.

 

8:36pm 1 April 2020 – NT Government set for economic boost of $1 billion to buy time to keep its citizens healthy and in jobs, and businesses alive until the Coronavirus pandemic passes. Find out more.

2:36pm 24 March 2020 – The NT Government pledged $50 million to help territory businesses survive the economic impacts of Coronavirus. The package is labelled the Small Business Survival Fund and is aimed to support industries such as hospitality, tourism and entertainment businesses. To learn how this affects your business, click here.

7:36am 18 March 2020 – NT Government has announced a $60 million stimulus package with eligible businesses receiving grants and more schemes to roll out through the coming weeks. Click here to read more details.


QBE Changes Trading Terms

For those of you who deal direct with QBE (or deal with another broker), we understand that QBE is evaluating on a case by case basis the decisions announced, but that evaluation period ends 8th of April and then all announced changes will be permanent.  Again, please contact David Little directly and TABMA will assist you with your challenges.

Attached is a joint press release from TABMA and FTMA, we are jointly working on your behalf to convince QBE to reverse this decision, to recognise our industry as essential and to engage local, state and federal Politicians in applying pressure. 


National Updates for Government Initiatives 


1:20pm 2 April 2020 – Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced free child care will available for parents who still need it. Read more.

2:35pm 1 April 2020 – Australia Government announced measures to help secure freight access for Australian exporters: A $110 million initiative will back Australia’s agricultural and fisheries sector by helping them export their high-quality produce into key overseas markets. Also, funding for the Export Market Development Grant will increase by $49.8 million. To read more, click here.

3:30pm 30 March 2020 - Federal Government offers $130b in coronavirus wage subsidies for businesses to pay workers. read more here  Also see the National fact sheets & Links below for the government's information and a link to the ATO where you can register.

8:08am 30 March 2020 – Government to unveil Coronavirus wage subsidy for businesses workers: Businesses are expected to be paid a wage subsidy of up to $1,500 per employee, under a Federal Government plan to keep Australians in work. Click here for more.

6:43pm 29 March 2020 – $1.1 billion Medicare, mental health, domestic violence package on its way in response to Coronavirus crisis: The bulk of the package will go to expanding Medicare subsidies for telehealth services. Click here for further details.

2:40pm 27 March 2020 – The Federal Government has announced an economic hibernation: Policies are being developed to help businesses emerge after the Coronavirus crisis without crippling debts. For more details click here.

6:34am 27 March 2020 – Australia backs $7.5 trillion plan to kickstart global economy: Australia and other G20 nations have committed to co-ordinate efforts to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic. To read more about the virtual summit, click here.

1:22pm 25 March 2020 – The Government has increased and accelerated income support with expanded eligibility to income support payments and a new time limited Coronavirus supplement. This supplement will be paid to both new and existing eligible recipients. To view the eligible payment categories, click here.

8:52am 25 March 2020 – The Government is allowing individuals affected by Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. To read more about accessing superannuation, click here.

12:00pm 24 March 2020 – The Government has given six month relief to directors for any personal liability from trading while insolvent as part of its Covid-19 response package. The regulatory relief comes alongside further stimulus that bring the total announced so far by the government to 9.7 percent of GDP or $189bn over the forward estimates. Australian Institute of Company Directors has more to say here.

11:45am 22 March 2020 –  Boosting cash flow: The Federal Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not-for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000. Click here to read more.

10:20am 22 March 2020 – $66 billion second stimulus package: The Federal government is set to unveil new measures including up to $100,000 for small businesses to keep their staff employed during the coronavirus crisis, and Commonwealth guarantee of unsecured loans of up to $250,000. Read more.

2:36pm 20 March 2020 – PM, Scott Morrison’s Coronavirus update: The Federal budget has been postponed from May to October. Small and medium-sized businesses including sole traders, will be the focus of the second stimulus package. To learn about how this impacts your business, click here.

11:08am 20 March 2020 – ABA relief for small business: The Australian Banking Association announced all small businesses who are impacted by Coronavirus will be entitled to a six-month deferral on all business loans. Read more here.

TABMA Aust