With the highly anticipated coronavirus supplement set to drop this week we thought we would provide a breakdown of the main government and QLD Coronavirus packages directly boosting Australia, so here we go…
JobKeeper Payment for Employers and Employees
The government is providing a wage subsidy of $1500 per employee, per fortnight to eligible businesses for up to 6 months. Businesses who have been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic will be eligible to receive payments, starting from the first week of May 2020.
The government has announced a new stimulus package that aims to keep people in their jobs. The JobKeeper payment will support businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic by subsidising employee wages for up to 6 months. Employers will receive $1500 a fortnight per eligible employee with the mandate that is payment is passed on in full to the employee. The payment is also open to the self-employed who meet the eligibility requirements.
Employee are eligible who:
- are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
- were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020
- are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020)
- are at least 16 years of age
- are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder
- are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
$750 Economic Support Payments
The Government will be providing two separate $750 payments to lower income Australians including pensioners, veterans and other social security recipients.
The Government is providing two separate $750 payments to support confidence and domestic demand in the economy. Around half the payments will go to pensioners with veterans and other recipients also eligible to receive the package. The first payment has automatically been paid from the 31st of March 2020 to 13 April 2020. The second payment will be automatically paid from the 13th of July 2020. Those that are eligible to receive the coronavirus supplement will not be eligible to receive the second payment.
To be eligible for the payments, you must be residing in Australia and be receiving one of the following payments, or hold one of the following concession cards, at any time from 12 March 2020 to 13 April 2020, inclusive:
• Age Pension • Disability Support Pension • Carer Payment • Parenting Payment • Wife Pension • Widow B Pension • ABSTUDY (Living Allowance) • Austudy • Bereavement Allowance • Newstart Allowance • JobSeeker Payment • Youth Allowance • Partner Allowance • Sickness Allowance • Special Benefit • Widow Allowance • Family Tax Benefit, including Double Orphan Pension • Carer Allowance • Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) holders • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders • Veteran Service Pension; Veteran Income Support Supplement; Veteran Compensation payments, including lump sum payments; War Widow(er) Pension; and Veteran Payment. • DVA PCC holders; DVA Education Scheme recipients; Disability Pensioners at the temporary special rate; DVA Income support pensioners at $0 rate. • Veteran Gold Card holders • Farm Household Allowance
The temporary Coronavirus Supplement will be an extra $550 a fortnight payment on top of your income support payment. This starts this week from Tuesday the 27th of April set to be the first payments. It won’t show up on mygov util this date so don’t stress, it will be paid automatically. It will be paid each month on top of your current allowance for 6 months. If you are eligible for the coronavirus supplement you will not receive the second $750 coronavirus stimulus payment.
You will automatically get the supplement if you’re getting one of these payments:
- JobSeeker Payment, Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Wife Pension
- Youth Allowance for job seekers
- Youth Allowance for students and apprentices
- Austudy for students and apprentices
- ABSTUDY for students getting Living Allowance
- Parenting Payment partnered and single
- Farm Household Allowance
- Special Benefit.
For more in-depth and up-to-date information and for a breakdown of entitlement to the stimulus payment and supplement please visit: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Payments_to_support_households_0.pdf
Early Access to Superannuation
From mid April employees or Sole Traders will be able to draw up to $10,000 from their Super in 2019-2020 and a further $10,000 in 2020-2021 if their income or turnover has been cut by more than 20% compared to the previous 6 month average.
The government has recognised that the those financially impacted by the Coronavirus may benefit more from accessing their superannuation now than they would saving it for retirement.
Eligible individuals will be able to apply through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for approximately three months (exact timing will depend on the passage of the relevant legislation).
- To apply for early release you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:
- you’re unemployed
- you’re eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance
- on or after 1 January 2020
- you were made redundant
- your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more
- if you’re a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.
- People accessing their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
You’ll be able to apply for the release of your super from 20 April 2020 up until September 2020 (Subject to legislation change).
Temporarily Reducing Superannuation Minimum Payment Amounts – COVID-19
To assist retirees, the Government has reduced the minimum annual payment required by 50% for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.
The significant financial losses due to the economic impact of the Coronavirus has resulted in negative affects on the account balances of many retirees superannuation.
In light of this, the Government has reduced the minimum annual payment required for account-based pensions and annuities, allocated pensions and annuities and market-linked pensions and annuities by 50% in the 2019–20 and the 2020–21 financial years.
The 50% reduction will apply to the calculated minimum annual payment. Superannuation and annuity providers calculate the minimum annual payment required at 1 July each year, based on the account balance of the member or annuitant.
$200 Rebate For All Queensland Households
The Queensland Government is providing a $300 Million Household Utility Assistance Package to all Queenslanders during the Covid-19 crisis. This is in addition to the Government’s Asset Ownership Dividend package, worth $100 million, and will see households receive a $200 utility payment to assist with electricity and water bills this year.
$200 rebate for all 2.1 million Queensland households (including the $50 Asset Ownership Dividend already announced) to offset the cost of water and electricity bills.
The $200 Household Utility Assistance Package will go to all households (around 2 million). This includes homeowners, tenants, customers who receive an electricity bill from their landlord or body corporate, and customers in communities with card-operated meters. Government is working with retailers to get the payment to households as soon as possible. Depending upon when their bill falls due, customers will begin to see the payment over the coming months.
80 Cent an Hour Tax Shortcut For Working From Home Due To COVID-19
Australians working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic will be able to claim an 80 cent per hour tax deduction for expenses incurred whilst working from home. This deduction can be applied from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.
The ATO has announced changes to the working from home tax deduction due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Instead of calculating the added expense of working from home, Australians will be able to claim 80 cents per hour of expenses for the period of March through to the end of financial year.
The ATO has maintained that this tax shortcut could also be applied for the next financial year but will monitor the situation and advice from the Federal Government.
To Claim a Working From Home Deduction:
- You must have spent the money.
- The expense must be directly related to earning your income.
- You must have a record to prove it.
- This means you cannot claim a deduction if you have been reimbursed for the expense.
Calculating Work From Home Expenses:
- There are now three ways to calculate your expenses
- Shortcut Method ─ claim a rate of 80 cents per work hour for all additional running expenses
- Fixed Rate Method ─ claim all of these:
- a rate of 52 cents per work hour for heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and the decline in value of office furniture,
- the work-related portion of your actual costs of phone and internet expenses, computer consumables, stationery, and
- the work-related portion of the decline in value of a computer, laptop or similar device.
- Actual Cost Method ─ claim the actual work-related portion of all your running expenses, which you need to calculate on a reasonable basis.
Work From Home Deduction Shortcut:
You can claim a deduction of 80 cents for each hour you work from home due to COVID-19 as long as you are:
- working from home to fulfil your employment duties and not just carrying out minimal tasks such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls,
- incurring additional deductible running expenses as a result of working from home.
- You do not have to incur all expenses listed by the ATO whilst working from home but you must have incurred additional expenses in some of those categories as a result of working from home due to COVID-19.
- If you use the shortcut method to claim a deduction for your additional running expenses, you cannot claim a further deduction for any of the expenses listed above.
- You must keep a record of the number of hours you have worked from home as a result of COVID-19. Examples are timesheets, diary notes or rosters.
We are not accountants nor financials professionals, this is simply our notes that we are sharing for information. Always do your own research.