COVID-19 Stimulus Package Extension Update

The Australian Government have recently announced an extension to the COVID-19 Stimulus package to provide further support to businesses and individuals affected by the corona-virus pandemic. Below we have put together a summary of the key points.

JobKeeper Extension Key Points

The extension of the JobKeeper program will continue to be available to eligible businesses and not-for-profits until 28th March 2021.

Payment Rate:

  • The current payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28th September 2020, and further reduced to $1,000 per fortnight from 4th January 2021.
  • Lower payment rates will apply for employees and business participants who worked fewer than 20 hours per week. For detailed clarification of payment rates for the varying types of employees, please click: Further JobKeeper Information

Employee Eligibility:

  • The Government has expanded the eligibility criteria as employees who have been employed between 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020 may now be eligible should they meet all requirements.
  • The eligibility rules for employees remain unchanged, although businesses and not-for-profits will be required to nominate which payment rate they are claiming for each of their eligible employees (or business participants).

New Recipients:

  • JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the existing eligibility requirements, and the turnover tests during the extension period.

Business Eligibility:

  • Eligible employers will be required to demonstrate they have continued to suffer an ongoing decline in turnover using actual GST turnover, rather than projected GST turnover.
  • From 28th September 2020, actual GST Turnover of September 2020 quarter will be referenced to reassess the eligibility of businesses and not-for-profits. They will need to demonstrate they have met the relevant decline in both turnover tests to be eligible for JobKeeper payments 28th September 2020 – 3rd January 2021.
  • From 4th January 2021, eligible employers will be required to further assess their turnover to meet the requirement for the JobKeeper Payments. They will be required to demonstrate they have met the relevant decline in turnover in each of the June, September & December 2020 quarters (with reference to actual GST turnover) to remain eligible for the JobKeeper Payment 4th January 2021 – 28th March 2021.
  • Please be advised, GST Turnover (projected & current), exclude the following:
    • GST included in sales to your customers (if any)
    • Sales that are input tax sales (e.g. bank interest, sale of shares, residential rental income)
    • Sales that are not made for payment (unless a taxable supply to an associate)
    • Payments for no supply (JobKeeper payments for example)
    • Gifts and donations (except for deductible gift recipients and ACNC-registered charities)
    • Sales not connected with Australia, for example:
    • Sales of services made through a business you carry on outside Australia
    • Sale of real property situated outside Australia

Turnover Test (Business Eligibility) – The required decline in turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment Extension:

  • 50 percent for those with aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion;
  • 30 per cent for those with aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less
  • 15 per cent for Australian Charities and Non for profits Commission-registered charters (excluding schools and universities)
  • Other eligibility requirements remain unchanged, more information: click here
  • For further information in regard to the turnover tests, please visit: Further JobKeeper Information

EFC Group will continue to provide services of applying and monitoring JobKeeper eligibility on behalf of clients, should you have any queries please contact our office.

Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme

The second phase of the Coronavirus Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme will begin 1st October 2020 and will be available for loans made until 30 June 2021. From 1st October 2020, eligible lenders will be able to offer loans on the following terms:

  • Available to SMEs, including sole traders and not-for-profits, with turnover of up to $50 million.
  • The maximum loan size will be increased to $1 million per borrower.
  • Loans can be up to five years, the opportunity of a six-month repayment holiday at the discretion of the borrower.
  • Loans can be secured or unsecured finance: meaning the borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan. This excludes commercial or residential property.
  • Loans can be used for a broader range of business purposes than the first phase, including to support investment in a period of economic recovery.
  • For more information please click here: SME Guarantee Scheme
JobTrainer Skills Package & Wage subsidiaries for apprentices and trainees

The Morrison Government, in partnership with States and Territories will invest $2 billion to give many Australians access to new skills through training and to keep apprentices employed. This package will provide the opportunity for Australian’s to receive free, or low cost, training through the $1 billion JobTrainer fund. A further $1.5 billion will be provided to extend the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidiary, eligibility of the subsidy will be expanded to include medium sized businesses. For more information, please visit: Apprentice & Trainee Support

COVID-19 Early Release of Superannuation

Should you be financially affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible to access a portion of your superannuation early. Australian & New Zealand eligible citizens and permanent residents are able to submit an online application through ATO Online Services in MyGov, applications close 24th September 2020. For more information, please visit: Early release of superannuation

EFC Group thank you for your continuing support during these unprecedented times. Should you have any queries, or require assistance please contact our office.