Coronavirus economic stimulus package
Australian Government stimulus package to assist individuals and businesses with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Within each summary below you will find a link to the relevant treasury fact sheet which provides more detailed information.
Boosting cash flow for employers
- An increase from the first package, small and medium business and not-for-profit (including charities) employers with aggregated annual turnovers of under $50m will be eligible for tax-free payments of up to $100,000 per employer. The first payment (capped at $50,000) will be made after 28th April and the second payment (also capped at $50,000) after 28 July 2020. This is the single largest measure in this package and represents approximately $31.9b.
- SMEs with aggregated annual turnovers of under $50m employers will now receive two payments equal to 100 per cent of their PAYG withheld on salary and wages with each maximum payment increased from $25,000 under the first package) to $50,000, for a total maximum payment of $100,000.
- Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages but are not required to withhold tax will receive a minimum payment of $20,000, up from $2000 in the first package. The payment will be available from 28 April 2020 and, as stated in the previous stimulus update, will be paid as a credit to the business upon lodgement of their activity statements.
- The payments are tax free, there will be no new forms and payments will flow automatically through the ATO
Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme
- The Government commits to underwrite $20b worth of loans as a 50 per cent guarantee to support lending of up to $40 billion to SMEs from bank and non-bank lenders.
- Starting in early April, this will apply to eligible loans for businesses with annual turnovers of up to $50 million and will include an upfront six month freeze on repayments.
- The loans will be unsecured but used only for working capital purposes and will apply to loans granted within six months from April 1, 2020. New and existing bank customers will be able to apply for loans up to $250,000 over three years.
Providing temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
- Temporary increase to the threshold at which a creditor can take action to initiate insolvency or bankruptcy from $2000 to $20,000 and giving companies and individuals six months instead of 21 days to respond.
- Relief for directors for personal liability when the company is 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 relief will be provided over the next six months.
- ASIC has also released guidance on AGMs and reporting for listed entities.
Payments for households
- 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 and is estimated to cost $4b over the forward estimates period.
- Temporary eligibility expansion 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.
- This measure is estimated to cost $14.1 billion over the forward estimates period.
Early release of superannuation
- From April, individuals will be able to access their superannuation, capped at $10,000 this financial year and a further $10,000 next financial year. The withdrawals will be tax-free and will be made available to those eligible for the coronavirus supplement as well as sole traders who have seen that hours of work, or income fall, 20% of more as a result of the coronavirus.
- 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. This measure is estimated to cost $1.2 billion over the forward estimates period.
Superannuation minimum drawdown rates and social security deeming rates
- Temporary reduction to superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21.
- Reduction of 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. This measure is estimated to cost $876m over the forward estimates period.
Victorian Government Initiatives
Payroll Tax Refund
Businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived. This will support 24,000 businesses and up to 400,000 workers.
The State Revenue Office will directly contact eligible businesses to reimburse them for payroll tax already paid in the financial year.
Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to make further payments for this financial year.
These businesses can also defer paying payroll tax for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year.
More information about the administration of these relief measures will be sent directly to eligible businesses.
Liquor licence fees waived
Renewable liquor licence fees for 2020 will be waived. Businesses that have already paid will be reimbursed.
The State Revenue Office will administer the reimbursement, regardless of whether the licence fee was paid to it or the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation.
Business Support Fund
The $500 million Business Support Fund will support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail.
The Government will work with the Victorian Chamber, Australian Hotels Association and Australian Industry Group to deliver the Fund, which will help these businesses – which may not be eligible for payroll tax refunds due to their size – survive and keep people in work.
Working for Victoria Fund
Under the $500 million Working for Victoria Fund, displaced workers will be eligible to apply for different types of work. This presents opportunities for paid work and an opportunity to contribute to Victoria’s ability to manage this event and support the community.
Some displaced workers will have skills that can be readily transferred to new roles. The Government can also assist skills development or help people in obtaining immediate accreditation to commence work.
The Government will work across the public sector, local government, the not-for-profit sector and key private sector employers to facilitate job matching.
Land tax deferral
Landowners that have at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million have the option of deferring their 2020 land tax payment until after 31 December 2020.
The State Revenue Office will contact all taxpayers who are eligible for this deferral.