Coronavirus (Covid - 19) Important Information

In light of the recent developments around the Coronavirus (or COVID-19) and the uncertainty we are all facing day today, we felt it important to assure you that we expect no major interruptions to the services that we provide to you. This page will be updated regularly with important information.

LAST UPDATE 23:24 SUNDAY 29 MARCH 2020 

 

 

Team Precision

 

What measures have we taken to manage to Coronavrus emergency?

 

As of 12 March, Precision has implemented the following measures:

  • We are following the recommendations of the Australian Department of Health, the advice of The Federal Government, The Department of Education, Skills and Employment, and The NSW Government  and have implemented the practice of social distancing. As a result, all meetings unless specifically discussed prior to the appointment will be conducted via Zoom, Skype, Facetime or other means;
  • Team Members are not working from our office;
  • We are refraining from direct personal contact such as handshaking, high fives and fist bumps. This measure is adopted to reduce transmission and minimise exposure to possible illness;
  • Any Team Member that has experienced any symptoms, or has been in contact with anyone who has experienced any symptoms will be required to self isolate;

At Precision, we will remain flexible and ready to adapt to any changes that may be recommended or mandated by either The Federal or State Governments. The health and safety of our Team Members, Clients and Network Partners is as always our highest priority. As American Author Robert Byrne said, “Everything is in a state of flux, including the status quo.” However, for Team Precision we are up to the challenge and ready to go.

 

Our cloud systems mean that you can always be in contact if you need us

 

While many of us don’t know if we’ll be working from our office or working from our homes in coming weeks, at Precision, we have invested heavily in the latest technology over the past years. In fact, our systems are award winning, and this means we can keep assisting you no matter what may happen. Whether there is a lockdown, shutdown etc, we will be able to help you.

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. Most of our clients may not know this but for the last eighteen months, Kelly has been working from home 40% of the time. So we have complete confidence in our systems.

Please keep emailing or phoning when you need us, and we will be here to help you!

 

Good advice is needed now more than ever

 

The situation surrounding the Coronavirus is in constant motion but rest assured we are on top of the information that is coming out of The Federal Government in Canberra and The State Government in Sydney. If you have any general queries, requests for bookings for meetings or requests for documents, please feel free to contact us at reception@ptam.com.au or 1300 007 826. We can schedule Zoom, Skype, Facetime meetings as well as staying in touch via traditional means.

 

Government Stimulus Measures

 

On 23 March 2020, The Federal Government’s coronavirus economic stimulus package – This includes $17.6 billion for the Government’s first economic stimulus package, $90 billion from the RBA and $15 billion from the Government to deliver easier access to finance, and $66.1 billion – was passed by the Federal government unanimously.

In separate legislation, the government set aside a further $40 billion for urgent and unforeseen spending associated with the pandemic, likely to cause a recession. The packages have been marketed as a measure to protect the economy by maintaining confidence, supporting investment and keeping people in their jobs. The key tax measures include:

 

Support for workers and households

 

Coronavirus supplement

 

The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.  This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.

The Coronavirus supplement will be paid for the next 6 months. Eligible income support recipients will receive the full amount of the $550 Coronavirus supplement on top of their payment each fortnight.

 

Payments to support households

 

In addition to the $750 stimulus payment announced on 12 March 2020, the Government will provide a further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders, except for those who are receiving an income support payment that is eligible to receive the Coronavirus supplement.

This second payment will be made automatically from 13 July 2020 to around 5 million social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Around half of those that benefit are pensioners.

The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 to people who will have been on one of the eligible payments any time between 12 March 2020 and 13 April 2020.

 

Early release of superannuation

 

The Government will allow individuals in financial stress as a result of the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov for access of up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for another three months. They will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

 

Temporarily reduce superannuation minimum drawdown rates

 

The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21. This measure will benefit retirees by providing them with more flexibility as to how they manage their superannuation assets.

 

Reducing social security deeming rates

 

On top of the deeming rate changes made at the time of the first package, the Government is reducing the deeming rates by a further 0.25 percentage points to reflect the latest rate reductions by the RBA. As of 1 May 2020, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent and the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent.

The change will benefit around 900,000 income support recipients, including Age Pensioners.

 

Assistance to business to keep people in a job

 

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

 

The 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.  These payments will help businesses’ and not-for-profits’ cash flow so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff.

Under the enhanced scheme from the first package, employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld (up from 50 per cent), with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000. In addition, the minimum payment is being increased from $2,000 to $10,000. The payment will be available from 28 April 2020.

By linking the payments to business to staff wage tax withholdings, businesses will be incentivised to hold on to more of their workers.

The payments are tax free, there will be no new forms and payments will flow automatically through the ATO.

This measure will benefit around 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people, and around 30,000 NFPs (including charities).

Small and medium business entities with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers are eligible. NFPs entities, including charities, with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers will now also be eligible. This will support employment at a time where NFPs are facing increasing demand for services.

An additional payment is also being made from 28 July 2020. Eligible entities will receive an additional payment equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments received. This means that eligible entities will receive at least $20,000 up to a
total of $100,000 under both payments.

 

Regulatory protection and financial support for businesses to stay in business

 

Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme

 

The Government will establish the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme which will support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get access to working capital to help them get them through the impact of the coronavirus.

Under the Scheme, the Government will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs.

The Government’s support will enhance lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit to SMEs with the Scheme able to support $40 billion of lending to SMEs.

The Scheme will complement the announcement the Government has made to cut red-tape to allow SMEs to get access to credit faster. It also complements announcements made by Australian banks to support small businesses with their existing loans.

This builds on the investment the Government is making to enable smaller lenders to continue supporting Australian consumers and small businesses, through providing the AOFM an investment capacity of $15 billion to invest in wholesale funding markets used by small authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADI) and non-ADI lenders.

It further supports the Reserve Bank of Australia’s announcement of a $90 billion term funding facility for ns ADIs, that will reduce the cost of lending, with particular incentives to lend to small and medium enterprises.

The measures the Government is announcing today, along with the previous announcements, will deliver a total of $125 billion to support Australians get through the impact of the coronavirus.

The Government will guarantee up to $20 billion to support $40 billion in SME loans.

 

Providing temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

 

The Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent.  The Corporations Act 2001 will be amended to provide temporary and targeted relief for companies to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus.

This builds on the support for business and business investment provided in our first economic support package, which included:

  • increasing the instant asset write off
  • backing business investment by providing accelerated depreciation deductions
  • supporting apprentices and trainees
  • targeted support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities

• 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.

• Administrative relief from the ATO for some tax obligations for people affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, the ATO is setting up a temporary shop front in Cairns within the next few weeks with dedicated staff specialising in assisting small business and is currently considering further temporary ‘shop fronts’ and face-to-face options.

• 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. Importantly, where an employer is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice. It is proposed that employers will be able to register for the subsidy from early-April 2020.

• Assistance to severely affected regions – The Government has also committed to set aside $1 billion to support regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education. This will include:

– The waiver of fees and charges for tourism businesses that operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the waiver of entry fees for Commonwealth National Parks.

– The provision of additional assistance to help businesses identify alternative export markets or supply chains.

– Further targeted measures to further promote domestic tourism.

 

Important Links

 

Australian Government https://www.australia.gov.au/

Australian Government Treasury https://treasury.gov.au/

Australian Government Department of Health https://www.health.gov.au/

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

New South Wales Government https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/get-help/covid-19-coronavirus-information-small-business-owners

Victorian Government https://www.vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria

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

Tasmanian Government https://www.business.tas.gov.au/home

Queensland Government https://www.qld.gov.au/about/industry-recovery

Northern Territory Government https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/

South Australian Government https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/business-and-trade/running-a-business/preparing-a-business-continuity-plan

Western Australian Government https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/coronavirus-covid-19-western-australian-government-response

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