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Covid19 Economic Relief 26 March 2020
Updated 15/03/20

COVID 19 ECONOMIC RELIEF

This document has been compiled from information disseminated by the BCC, QLD Government and Australian Taxation Office of economic relief that they are proposing. The information available at present is vague and unlegislated and therefore we will update this document as the information available becomes more detailed and/or legislated.

BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL (BCC)

- Waiving (excluding rates) all charges, rents, levies and permit fees effective immediately for all businesses impacted by Covid 19.
- This will apply to all businesses and Council leases who will have a range of fees and charges waived for the next three months.
- BCC will now expand its rates assistance so that it not only applies to owner-occupiers, but also non owner-occupiers and businesses.
- This assistance will consist of payment plans or deferred payment agreements of up to nine months, no interest will be applied to these outstanding payments. NB All rates accounts will have to paid when the deferment period of up to 9 months ends. Contact BCC on 133 263.

QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT

WORKERS & INDUSTRY
- Up to $500 million to assist workers who lose their job or income with retraining, job-matching and other help to transition into jobs in the industries that are vital to help QLD through the crisis.
- For further details go to COVID19ISP@treasury.qld.gov.au
- $500 rebate on electricity bills for all QLD small and medium sized businesses that consume less than 100,000 kilowatt hours. This will be automatically applied to electricity bills.
- Liquor license fees waived for businesses that are forced to close down.

HOUSEHOLDS
- $200 rebate for all Queensland households to offset the cost of water and electricity, this will be automatically applied.

PAYROLL TAX RELIEF
This only applies to businesses with a payroll of $1.3 million to $6.5 million.
- A two month refund of payroll tax
- A three month payroll tax holiday
- Deferral of paying payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year.
Eligibility:
If you are an employer who pays $1.3 to $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages and has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 you may be eligible for the above. Please go to the Queensland Treasury web site to find further information, www.treasury.qld.gov.au

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT

SUPERANNUATION
- Temporary early access to superannuation. This will be for those who have been significantly financially affected by Coronavirus.
- You may be able to access up to $10,000 of your superannuation before 1 July 2020 and a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020.
- Application is directly through the myGov website www.my.gov.au
- applications for early access may be made from mid April 2020.
- these payments will be tax free
- these payments will not affect Centrelink or Veteran’s Affairs payments.
An applicant will need to meet certain criteria:
- unemployed, OR
- are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for job seekers, parenting payment, special benefit or farm household allowance, OR
- on or after 1 January 2020, you were made redundant or had your working hours reduced by 20% or more, OR
- are a sole trader and your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.

AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

BOOSTING CASH FLOW FOR EMPLOYERS – ATO Google – QC 61775
- Eligible businesses include not-for-profit organisations, sole traders, partnerships, companies and trusts.
- Eligible entities will be provided a tax free cash flow boost of between $10,000 and $50,000.
Eligibility:
- Held an ABN on 12 March 2020 and continues to be active
- Has an aggregated turnover under $50 million (generally based on a prior year turnover), and
- Made eligible payments you are required to withhold from (even if the amount you need to withhold is zero), therefore must be an employer.

HOW IT WORKS
- Eligible businesses receive a credit equal to 100% of the withholding tax on their employees’ salary and wages up to a maximum of $50,000.
- The minimum credit is $10,000 even if the amount withheld is zero, however you will not be eligible to receive any more cash flow boosts until your PAYG withholding exceeds $10,000 over the relevant periods.
- You do not need to apply for the cash flow boosts. If eligible the boosts will be delivered as credits in the activity statement system from the Government (announced 28 April 2020).

MONTHLY LODGERS
- Will receive a credit equal to 300% of the withholding tax on their employees’ salary and wages in the March 2020 activity statement (this is to align them with quarterly lodgers).
- Credit is available for March, April, May and June 2020 periods.
- Eligible entities who receive these cash flow boosts will also receive additional cash flow boosts, for the periods June – September of an amount equal to the amount of the initial cash flow boosts received and these will be delivered in four instalments.

QUARTERLY LODGERS
- Credit is available for the quarters ended March 2020 and June 2020
- Eligible entities who receive these cash flow boosts will also receive additional cash flow boosts, for the periods July to September of an amount equal to the amount of the initial cash flow boosts received and these will be delivered in two instalments.

INCREASING THE INSTANT ASSET WRITE-OFF
From 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, the instant asset write-off:
- Threshold will be raised to $150,000 (from $30,000)
- Covers businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).

PAYMENT DEFERRALS (assessed on a case by case basis)
If you or your business has been affected by COVID-19, the ATO can work with you to defer some payments and vary instalments you have due. These include your income tax, activity statement, PAYG instalments, FBT and excise payment by up to 6 months.
The ATO will consider remitting interest and penalties incurred after 23 January 2020.
If having trouble paying your existing and ongoing tax liabilities, contact the ATO, low interest payment plans are available.
ATO: Individual, sole trader, small or medium business – Emergency Support Infoline – 1800 806 218.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

CORONAVIRUS SUPPLEMENT
On 22 March 2020, a temporary Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight to new and existing income support recipients from 27 April 2020 for six months was announced. People will receive their usual payment of $550 per fortnight plus the supplement of $550 being a total of $1,100 per fortnight.

SOLE TRADERS, PARTNERSHIPS, TRUSTS AND COMPANIES
The eligibility has been expanded from 27 April 2020 to include:
- sole traders and self-employed people. They will be able to meet mutual obligation requirements by continuing to operate their businesses.
- People caring for someone infected or in isolation as a result of Coronavirus.
The government will temporarily waive, for certain payments:
- the assets test
- the Ordinary Waiting Period (already waived until 12 June 2020)
- the Liquid Assets Waiting Period
- the newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period

For further information on this go the Department of Social Services Website – www.dss.gov.au .

TWO ECONOMIC SUPPORT PAYMENTS
On 12 March 2020, the government announced that it would provide an Economic Support Payment of approx. $750 to Social Security and Veterans’ income support recipients, FHA recipients, FTB recipients and holders of a Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or Commonwealth Gold Card who were eligible on 12 March 2020 (extended to 13 April 2020 on 22 March 2020). A second payment of $750 will be made to people eligible in the first round as long as they DID NOT receive the Coronavirus supplement (see above) with their first payment. There is an extensive list of eligible recipients on the DSS website.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

MYGOV
- Website – www.my.gov.au

BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL
- 133 263
- Website – www.brisbane.qld.gov.au

QUEENSLAND TREASURY
- Queensland Treasury – COVID19ISP@treasury.qld.gov.au
- Economic relief - https://www.treasury.qld.gov.au/programs-and-policies/covid19-package/
- Web site – www.treasury.qld,gov.au
- 1300 300 734

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
- 1300 65377
- Web site - www.dss.gov.au
- Department of Social Services ‘Coronavirus (COVID19) information and support – Ctrl+Click on following link:
https://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-support

AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE
- Emergency Support Infoline – 1800 806 218
- web site – www.ato.gov.au
- Australian Taxation Office – ‘The Australian Governments economic response to Coronavirus – Ctrl+click on following link:
https://www.ato.gov.au/General/New-legislation/The-Australian-Government-s-Economic-Response-to-Coronavirus/