The Value Add
Frequently Asked Questions
COVID-19 Government Assistance
Who would have thought at the beginning of 2020 that we would be staring down the barrel of a recession or depression (depending on which news story you read), and the government would have to provide record breaking financial assistance to every segment of society?
Yet, here we are.
Given the fast moving nature of the health crisis and the corresponding response from both Federal and State Governments, we have been fielding quite a few questions on what can be done on a personal level to ensure economic survival when nearly every segment of the economy is seeing a 50%-100% drop in income.
We have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions, which may help you navigate the assistance available and help you put together a plan.
New Announcement – JobKeeper Payment
What Do I Do?!
My income has dropped or stopped, what do I do?
When does my business get paid the $100k from the Federal Government?
How do I apply for the Qld State government Jobs Support Loan?
Can you prepare the Jobs Support Loan application for me?
I’ve got rent to pay on my business and/or my home – how do I manage?
I’ve got loan repayments to make but I don’t know if I will be able to afford them?
I am unemployed, or have no business income – do I qualify for JobSeeker payments?
The Federal Government has today announced further extensions to the JobSeeker payment, and also a new initiative called JobKeeper.
- The Government will pay businesses up to $1,500 per fortnight, per employee for the next six months.
- The payment will be a flat rate of $1,500 regardless of how much they have previously been paid.
- It will be available to full-time and part-time workers, sole traders, and to casuals who have been with their employer for 12 months or more.
- If employees have been stood down by their employer since March 1, they are still eligible for these payments.
- The payment must be applied for, with applications to the Australian Taxation Office.
- To be eligible, the business’ income will need to have fallen 30% or more.
Payments will start on May 1, but will be backdated to today.
NB – you cannot be on both JobSeeker and JobKeeper – you must be on one only. if the employee has applied for JobSeeker they will need to speak with you as the employer to work out how to apply for JobKeeper.
You can register your business here:
What do I do?!
Stay calm, and remain focused on what you can control.
- Stay self-isolated if you are required to
- Stay self-isolated if you are part of an “at risk” group i.e. elderly, health issues etc.
- Stay at home if you don’t have a good reason to go out.
- Following government guidelines and maintain social distancing if you absolutely have to go out for food, medical assistance, and work
The steps you need to take are:
- Add up how much cash you have access to – savings, offsets, redraws
- If you haven’t done so already, prepare a budget of expenses so you know how much money you need to keep going for 6 months
- Trim expenses – there will always be expenses that are not necessary.
- Bare essentials are rent/mortgage, electricity, water, food, health care.
- Non-essentials are anything else
- Calculate how many months you can survive with no income while covering the essentials
- Follow the suggestions below to help increase the number of months available to you
Make no mistake – we are facing an extended period of economic and personal financial pain. Not a single person in this country will be immune, everyone will suffer some form of financial loss, so you are not alone.
This is not the time to “reward” or “treat” yourself; it is a time to be frugal, stay home and ensure financial and physical survival.
The more you can rely on your own resources, the better placed you will be when this pain will pass.
Unfortunately, there is no direct cash coming as a result of the credit for PAYG withholding reported by businesses during the period 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020. The amount reported will be a credit against your BAS, so it will offset the amount of PAYG withholding that you have reported, or it will offset any other ATO debts you currently owe.
In isolated cases, if you report minimal PAYGW and you don’t owe any GST, then you may receive a refund up to a maximum $10k for January to June, and $10k for the period July to September.
You can apply online here: https://applyonline.qrida.qld.gov.au/login
We cannot complete these applications for you, as they are unique to each business’ email address and the guidelines also state you must complete the application yourself. We can provide the information you need such as financial statements and tax returns, ATO activity statement transactions (when the Tax Agent Portal isn’t suffering a systems failure!).
The Commonwealth Government has announced, and State Governments will be putting in place, a six month moratorium during which tenants cannot be evicted for not paying rent.
You should be talking with your landlord about a rent deferral, reduction or waiver.
Surprisingly even last week, some landlords were oblivious to the financial pain the tenants were going through, thinking they were still doing ok.
You have to communicate with your landlord so they know what you are dealing with, and that way you can agree on a course of action.
Talk with your bank. The Australian Banking Association has announced that banks will defer loan repayments for six months on small business loan facilities up to $10 million, for businesses affected by COVID-19.
Note that this deferral doesn’t mean you won’t have to make the payments eventually, it just defers them for six months. This means you may pay higher interest or the loan term may be extended, however if it means the difference between keeping your business open or being forced to shut, it could be a small price to pay.
More details can be found here:
The Federal Government has today announced that the limit on partner pay has increased from $40,000 to just under $80,000.
This means that more people will be eligible for JobSeeker than were previously eligible.
If you have no income then you should look at the information available from Services Australia (including their payment finder tool) to find the various forms of financial assistance available to those affected by COVID-19.