On the 8th April the JobKeeper legislation was passed and received royal assent the following day. The key points of the legislation are summarised below:

    • Applies to all eligible business structures that had an employee on 1 March 2020.
    • Eligible businesses must show a 30% decline in income
    • Various tests are available to satisfy the 30% decline in income
    • Eligible businesses will receive $1,500 (gross) per fortnight for each eligible employee
    • Payment is received at the end of the month
    • JobKeeper scheme will operate from April 2020 to September 2020
    • Businesses can opt in at any stage so long as they meet the eligibility requirements
    • Once a business is eligible for JobKeeper they remain eligible even if income increases
    • Not all employees will qualify
    • Businesses owners that have no employees may still qualify as an Eligible Business Participant

Work Test

Treasury has released an exposure draft legislation to remove the work test for persons aged 65 and 66 making a voluntary personal contribution (concessional & non-concessional) into super.

To satisfy the work test you have had to been gainfully employed for at least 40 hours within a consecutive 30 day period in the financial year the contribution was made.

The draft legislation has also recommended that persons aged 65 and 66 be able to access the ‘bring forward’ rule for non-concessional contributions.

The ‘bring forward’ rule essentially allows you to contribute three times the non-concessional cap limit in one year e.g. cap of $100,000 means an individual could contribute $300,000. Note additional conditional apply.

The above proposed changes are intended to come into effect from 1 July 2020.

Lodgement Extensions

The ATO has released a number of lodgement concessions for those taxpayers affected by COVID-19:

    • Vary PAYG Income tax instalments to Nil in the March 2020 quarter and apply for a refund of any instalments previously paid in the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters.
    • 6 month deferral for the payment of BASs, including PAYGI tax instalments, and Fringe Benefits Tax assessments.
    • Businesses can change their GST reporting cycle from quarterly to monthly for faster access to GST refunds. Can be done from 1 April 2020 and has to remain in place for at least 12 months.
    • Remitting any interest and penalties incurred on or after 23 January 2020.
    • Approve low interest payment plans for any outstanding tax liabilities.

Commercial Property held by SMSF

In light of the impact COVID-19 is having on businesses, the ATO has advised trustees will not face action if the SMSF reduces the rent it collects from the business.

Please note where a reduction in rent has occurred it is important that the transaction is appropriately documented. It is also important to review the current lease agreement to see what provisions are in place for a rent reduction, if any, and where such provisions exist ensure the steps taken are in accordance with the steps of the lease agreement.

Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty

Further to the passing of the above legislation the ATO has now released the approved form for businesses to complete where they want to take advantage of the amnesty offered. Please note a separate form must be completed for each relevant Superannuation Guarantee quarter.

The six month amnesty period is from 6 March 2020 to 7 September 2020 and applies to any business that has outstanding Superannuation Guarantee between the period 1 July 1992 and 31 March 2018.

Where a business discloses the required information by the due date, the ATO advised they will waive the administrative component of $20 per employee per quarter.

The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only.  It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone.  If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.

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