Below are key points from the Commonwealth Government’s second stimulus package, announced on 22 March.
Boosting Cash Flow for Employers
- Not-for-profit entities, including charities, will be eligible for the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers The measure is designed to support entities that retain employees during the current COVID-19 crisis.
- The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure provides up to $50,000 for the period March – June 2020, with a minimum of $10,000. The payment is delivered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as credits to the entity upon lodgment of their activity statements (i.e. BAS / IAS). The payments are based on 100% of the PAYG Withholding withheld from employee’s wages during the period.
- If the entity continues to be active in the period July – October 2020, it will receive further credits over that period equal to the total of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers amounts received for the period up until June 2020. This means that entities remaining active and employing staff until at least October 2020 can receive up to a total of $100,000, with a minimum of $20,000.
- As the payments are made as credits against activity statements, it is important that entities observe the lodgment schedule for their activity statements. However, be aware that the ATO is also offering extended payment dates for activity statements. Entities should pay particular attention to the payment dates for individual BAS / IAS, as well as monitoring their ATO Integrated Client Account for offset of Boosting Cash Flow for Employers amounts against amounts owed to the ATO. This will assist entities to ensure they optimise their cash flow by not making unnecessary payments when credits have been applied.
- The only cash payments made under this measure will be refunds resulting from the application of the measure to a particular activity statement. Refunds are expected to be paid by the ATO within 14 days.
- The Australian Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus Fact Sheet – Cash flow assistance for businesses provides examples of how payments will be calculated and made, depending on the amount of PAYG Withholding and the activity statement schedule of the entity.
Supporting Apprentices and Trainees
- This measure is focused on employers with fewer than 20 full-time employees who retain an apprentice or trainee. The trainee must have been in training as at 1 March 2020.
- Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of a trainee’s wage paid during the period 1 January to 30 September 2020, up to a maximum of $21,000.
- Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. For further information on how to apply for the subsidy, including information on eligibility, contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider. AASN providers can be searched for on the Australian Apprenticeships