Xerri Evans News
With 2020 seeing quite a few changes being implemented with regards to business compliance obligations and regional business support. We thought now would be a great time to reach out with how these changes may affect your business.
We are also sad to advise you that after 19 years Helene is on the move. Helene has been a valuable team member for all at Xerri Evans and a great asset to many of you in her assistance in your own businesses. Helene is off an exciting adventure moving to the Gold Coast to start her next chapter with her Fiancé.
We wish Helene all the best and would like to assure all clients that your needs will still be serviced by our qualified and dedicated team.
Economic Stimulus Package
As at the 12th March 2020, The Australian Government have released an Economic Stimulus Package.
Small businesses may be eligible for the following
- Asset Write Offs – Under previous stimulus packages equipment purchased for less than $30K could be claimed as a 100% deduction. The new package has increased the limit to $150K. This Concession is up to 30 June 2020.
There is no exclusion of motor vehicles however you would think that the depreciation cost limit of $57,581 would override the $150,000 tax deduction. Also, the motor vehicle logbook business percentage would further reduce the depreciation deduction available. Access will be extended to include business with an annual turnover of less than $500 million
- Cash Back – via PAYGW – There is a Cash Back offer of $2K – $25K which is going to work via your BAS lodgements from 28/4-20-28/7/20 i.e. the March, April, May & June 2020 BAS’s. The idea is that your rebate is based on the amount of PAYG Withholding that will be paid for the period, 50% being rebated up to the $25k limit. It is a tax-free rebate. Small & Medium business entities with annual turnover under $50million (based on prior year turnover) are eligible. The payment will be delivered by the ATO as a credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 20 when eligible business lodge upcoming activity statements..
- Apprentice Subsidy – The Government will subsidise 50% of an apprentice/trainee’s salary for 9months up to 30/09/20. There is no detail as to the definition of an apprentice/trainee which has prevented most businesses claiming these types of subsidy schemes in the past.
- Accelerated Depreciation – The depreciation will be increased to 50% for new assets acquired during the period 12/03/20-30/06/21.
- Tax-free Payments – $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. These payments will commence to be automatically made from 31 March 2020.
The new provisions, set to affect 22 awards including white-collar professions under the Banking, Finance and Insurance Award, will see employers needing to make systematic changes to how they record employee hours.
Employers will need to keep a record of start, break and finish times for all employees in each pay period.
Employees will need to either sign the record or acknowledge it as correct in writing, which includes electronic means.
Additionally, the new provisions introduce “outer limits” to an employee’s annualised wage.
The first outer limit is the number of hours outside of normal work hours an employee can work each pay period before the employer needs to start paying penalty rates.
The second is how many overtime hours an employee can work each pay period before the employer needs to pay extra wages.
Where annualised wages traditionally accounted for overtime hours in deciding an employee’s minimum rate, the new provisions mean employers would have to pay extra on top of the annualised wage if the outer limits are breached.
There has also been concern for how the new provisions might affect workplace flexibility.
Under the National Employment Standards, employers have to consider requests for flexibility for certain types of employees.
This includes employees who are parents, carers or work with some form of disability.
Flexible working arrangements can be refused by an employer under reasonable business grounds such as if the new working arrangements will prove too costly for the employer.
The following awards will be affected by the new provisions:
- Banking, Finance and Insurance Award
- Broadcasting Award
- Clerks Award
- Contract Call Centres Award
- Horticulture Award
- Hydrocarbons Industry (Upstream) Award
- Legal Award
- Local Government Award
- Manufacturing Award
- Mining Award
- Oil Refining and Manufacturing Award
- Pastoral Award
- Pharmacy Award
- Rail Award
- Salt Award
- Telecommunications Award
- Water Award
- Wool Award
Super Guarantee Amnesty now law
A one-off amnesty for historical underpayment of superannuation guarantee begins on 24 May 2018 and ends Sunday 6 September 2020. The amnesty only applies to Super Guarentee shortfalls arising from 1 July 1992 to the March 2018 quarter, and not for subsequent quarters. The ATO advised that amnesty applications must be lodged and received by the ATO before 11.59pm on Monday 7 September. Its webpage also contains details on the eligibility conditions and how applications can be made.
The Act also limits the Commissioner’s ability to remit penalties for historical SG non-compliance, where an employer fails to make a voluntary disclosure during the amnesty.
Single Touch Payroll & Super Obligations – ATO data matching
As a result of the introduction of these Single Touch Payroll the ATO are now in possession of more real time data than ever before. With this data we are now seeing the ATO use this information to actively chase employers who are not satisfying their employment obligations.
The initial introduction of SuperStream meant that the ATO were able to collect data on employers who were not paying their superannuation obligations on time. Now, with the introduction of Single Touch Payroll, the ATO are also able to determine employers who are not paying the right amounts as well.
With the amount of data now available to the ATO from the SuperStream and Single Touch Payroll reporting, it is important to ensure that all employers are meeting their superannuation obligations.
The superannuation amnesty is a once off concession.
There are measures in place for significant penalties to apply to employers that do not take the opportunity to correct past mistakes, or continue to fail to satisfy their superannuation obligations. It is our expectation that once the amnesty expires we will see an increase in activity from the ATO to ensure the employers continue to satisfy their obligations.
Regional Investment Corporation – Loans to build a stronger region
As at 31 January 2020, the Regional Investment Corporation have approved 251 loans valued at $273m for Australian farmers this financial year.
There are loans available that may be applicable to you:
A brief summary of each is provided above.
If any of these loans are of interest, we are here to help.