$66 billion in stimulus: what it all means

COVID-19 | LOCAL PROFESSIONAL ADVICE

Mitch Williams

Financial Writer

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
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The Federal Government yesterday announced a second stimulus package worth $66 billion to provide support to businesses and individuals feeling the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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BUSINESS SUPPORT MEASURES

Whilst there were some additional initiatives, the cash rebate for eligible employers was the key updates:

  • Previously announced tax-free payment of $25,000 for employers under $50m turnover will be increased to $50,000 and extended to Not-for-profits.
  • The minimum payment will be increased from $2,000 to $10,000. Those entitled to the minimum payment, will receive the full amount in their March 2020 BAS.
  • The payment will be based on 100 per cent of the PAYG withholding amount reported in the activity statements from January to June 2020, up from the previously stated 50 per cent. This will be a credit on your activity statement. Where this places the entity in a refund position, the ATO will deliver the refund within 14 days.
  • An additional payment is also being introduced in the July – October 2020 period. Eligible entities will receive an additional payment equal to the total of the cashflow assistance employer payments they have received in the January – June period. This means that eligible entities will receive at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000 under both payments.
  • The payments will only be available to active eligible employers (other than charities) established prior to 12 March 2020.

INDIVIDUAL SUPPOT MEASURES

Some of the individual assistance included:

  • Two tax-free payments of $750 - to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. It is estimated that around half of those who will benefit will be pensioners. These payments will be automatically made from 31 March 2020 and a second payment will be made from 13 July 2020.

  • Income support for individuals - over the next six months, 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 JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.
  • Temporary Early Release of Superannuation - The Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
  • To apply for early release, you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:
    • You are unemployed; or
    • You are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance; or
    • On or after 1 January 2020: you were made redundant; or your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.

Find out more about the Government stimulus.

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Mitch Williams is a manager at SiDCOR Port Douglas.


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