Coronavirus: Government announces new tax measures
The Government has announced a number of economic responses to the Coronavirus (or ‘COVID-19’) pandemic, including economic stimulus packages worth billions of dollars.
Some of the key tax measures include:
- From Thursday 12 March 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million) to $150,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million) until 30 June 2020.
- A time-limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) which will operate to accelerate certain depreciation deductions.This measure will also be available to businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million, which will be able to immediately deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.
- Small and medium-sized businesses (and not-for-profit entities), with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million that employ people, may be eligible to receive a total payment of up to $100,000 (with a minimum total payment of $20,000), based on their PAYG withholding obligations.
- A new ‘JobKeeper Payment’ will be available to assist eligible employers (and self-employed individuals) who have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic to continue to pay their workers.Eligible employers will be able to claim a subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight, per eligible employee, from 30 March 2020 (with payments commencing from the first week of May 2020), for a maximum period of six months.
The ATO will also implement a series of administrative measures to assist Australians experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Options available to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 include:
- Deferring the due dates for income tax payments, Fringe Benefits Tax payments (‘FBT’) and excise payments up to 12 September 2020 for businesses in financial difficulty; and
- Remitting any interest and penalties, incurred on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities.
However, note that employers will still need to meet their ongoing super guarantee obligations for their employees.
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