Government Assistance

Queensland Government Assistance

Payroll Tax deferral has been offered to all companies effected by C-19 across the State. This is a deferral scheme, so companies would need to establish a repayment plan for any deferred taxes after the initial 6 month period. More details can be found by clicking here 

The Treasurer announced today that the State has formed a $500Million fund that will provide low interest loans to C-19 effected businesses. These loans are to be interest free for the first 12 months and are capped at $250,000 aimed at enabling cash flow for small businesses. Companies can get more details at the Qld Rural and Industry Development Authority and register for more information by clicking here 

Federal Government Assistance

Help to stay afloat
 
What help can you get?
  • If you’re a sole trader and do not employ any staff you are eligible for an increased instant asset write-off and accelerated deduction arrangements.
  • Asset write-off: The instant asset write-off threshold has increased from $30,000 to $150,000. This includes businesses with an annual turnover of less than $500 million until June 30, 2020.
  • Increasing investment: A 15-month investment incentive by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to assets obtained from March 12 and first used or installed by June 30, 2021.
For all small businesses: 
  • Boosting cashflow: Up to $25,000 provides to small and medium-sized businesses (only if you employ someone which could yourself) with a minimum payment of $2000 for eligible businesses.
  • Supporting apprentices/trainees: If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from January 1 this year through to September 30. Applicants can register for this from April 2020.
  • Tax payments: These can be deferred, contact the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Business loans: An assistance package of more than $100 billion will be provided. Australian banks will defer loan repayments. Packages include the pausing of loan repayments and interest charges for six months.
How can I get assistance from my bank? 
Any small business that has not been contacted should call their bank to apply for assistance. Be patient as there could be an influx of people seeking help.

What happens at the end of the deferral period of repayments and interest charges?
Businesses will not be required to pay the deferred interest in a lump sum. Either the term of the loan will be extended or the level of loan repayments will be increased. You can also extend your loan period.

How can small businesses keep their costs down?
Look at costs including staffing levels, electricity bills and rent charges and see if any reductions can be given. Speak to people including your landlord, energy provider and accountant.

For more information visit business.gov.au.

Job Keeper 2.0 Allowance (current as of 3 September 2020)

 
Wage Subsidy (JobKeeper Payment) 
  
From 28 September 2020, Clubs will be required to reassess their eligibility to determine if they are eligible for the second round of JobKeeper (JobKeeper 2.0). .
  
Eligible Clubs 
  
Clubs will be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0 from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2020 if the Club has experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more for the September quarter 2020 (1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020) when compared to the September quarter in 2019. 

Clubs will be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0 from 4 January 2020 to 28 March 2021 if the Club has experience a decline in turnover of 30% or more for the December quarter 2020 (1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020) compared to the December quarter in 2019. 

As the deadline to lodge a BAS for the September quarter is in late October, and the December quarter is in late February, Clubs will need to assess their eligibility in advance of the BAS deadline in order to meet the wage condition

The ATO will have discretion to extend the time that an entity has to pay employees to ensure that entities have time to confirm their eligibility for the JobKeeper payment. 
  
The Club must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020 and confirm that each employee is currently employed (this includes employees that are stood down or have been re-hired) in order to receive JobKeeper payments. 
  
Eligible Employees 
  
Eligible employees are employees who: 
  1. are currently employed by the Club (including those who are stood down or re-hired); 
  2. were employed by the Club on 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020; 
  3. are full time, part time or long term casual (a casual employed on a regular and systematic basis for longer than 12 months) as at 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020;
  4. are at least 18 years of age as at 1 July 2020 (if 16 or 17 years of age they may also qualify if they are independent or not undertaking full time study); 
  5. 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; 
  6. are not in receipt of a government parental leave or Dad and partner pay under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010; 
  7. are not in receipt of a payment in accordance with an Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work; and 
  8. are not in receipt of a JobKeeper payment from another employer. 

JobKeeper payment rate 

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the JobKeeper payment rates will be: 
  • $1,200 per fortnight for eligible employees who were working at the Club for 20 hours or more per week on average in the four weeks prior to 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020; and 
  • $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees. 
From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper payment rates will be: 
  • $1,000 per fortnight for eligible employees who were working at the Club for 20 hours or more per week on average in the four weeks prior to 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020; and 
  • $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees. 
Requirements 
  
Where an employee is already accessing support though Services Australia because they have been stood down or had their hours reduced and the Club will be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, the employee must advise Services Australia of their change in circumstances. There can be no double dipping on this payment. 

Government financial assistance to stay afloat (For Clubs) 

Payroll tax relief 
  
Employers paying $6.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages per year can apply for: 
  • a refund of its’ payroll tax for two months; and 
  • a payroll tax holiday (i.e. no payroll tax to be paid) for three months.

You can also apply for a deferral of payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year.

This means that the Club will not need to pay payroll tax returns for the 2020 calendar year. The Club must continue to lodge returns (without paying them) during this time. 
  
Employers paying more than $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages per year can apply for: 
  • a deferral of payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year; and 
  • a refund of its’ payroll tax for 2 months. 
The Club can apply for the deferral here.
  
Cash for Clubs who employ staff 
  
The Australian Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses and not-for-profits that employ people.
  
Small and medium sized business entities and not-for-profits with an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers will be eligible. 
  
The payment will be delivered by the ATO as an automatic credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020 upon employers lodging eligible upcoming activity statements. 
  
Eligible employers that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $50,000. 
  
Eligible employers that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $10,000 even if they are not required to withhold tax. 
  
Quarterly lodgers will be eligible to receive the payment for the quarters ending March 2020 and June 2020. 
  
Monthly lodgers will be eligible to receive the payment for the March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 lodgements. 
  
Clubs do not need to apply for this assistance. It will be automatically credited following the Club’s lodgement of its’ monthly or quarterly activity statement. For further information, please click here
  
Support for apprentices and trainees 
  
The Government is supporting small business to retain their apprentices and trainees. 
  
Small businesses employing fewer than 20 full-time employees who retain an apprentice or trainee can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the 9-month period from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. 
  
To be eligible, the apprentice or trainee must have been in training with a small business as at 1 March 2020. 
  
Clubs will be able to register for the subsidy from early April 2020. 
  
Covid-19 Jobs Support Loans 
  

The Queensland Government is providing low interest loans of up 50% of an entity’s annual wage expense, to a maximum of $250,000 to assist with carry-on expenses such as employee wages, rent and rates and other related expenditure. 
  
All loans will be provided for a term of 10 years, with no repayments or interest charged for the first year, followed by two years of interest only payments. Principal and interest repayments will commence from the third year for the remainder of the loan term. 
  
An interest rate of 2.5% will apply to the loan from the commencement of the second year and for the remainder of the loan term. 
  
You can find further information about the Covid-19 Jobs Support Loans here
  
Loan Guarantee Scheme 
  
Small businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million per annum will be eligible to receive a guarantee from the Australian Government for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital. 
  
The following terms will apply: 
  • Maximum total size of loans is $250,000 per borrower. 
  • The loans will be up to three years, with an initial six month repayment holiday. 
  • The loans will be in the form of unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan. 
The Australian Government is also providing an exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers to enable small businesses to access credit quickly and efficiently. 
  
For more information please click here
  
Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses 
  
Statutory Demands 
  
A creditor issuing a statutory demand on a company is a common way for a company to enter liquidation. 
  
The Australian Government is temporarily increasing the current minimum threshold for creditors issuing a statutory demand on a company from $2,000 to $20,000. This will apply for six months. 
  
The statutory timeframe for a company to respond to a statutory demand will be increased from 21 days to 6 months. This will give a debtor more time to consider repayment arrangements before they could be forced into bankruptcy. 
  
Trading while insolvent 
  
Directors are personally liable if a company trades while insolvent. 
  
During the coronavirus health crisis, directors will be temporarily relieved of their duty to prevent insolvent trading with respect to any debts incurred in the ordinary course of the company’s business for six months. 
  
Electricity Bills 
  
All small and medium size Queensland businesses that consume less than 100,000 kilowatt hours will automatically receive a $500.00 rebate on their electricity bill. 
  
Liquor License 
  
Liquor licensing fees will be waived for all Clubs that have been impacted by enforced safety industry shutdowns. 
  
Commercial leases 
  
There will be a temporary six-month moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent across commercial tenancies. 
  
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that responsibility remains with landlords, tenants and financial institutions to enter into meaningful discussions and work together ‘to ensure that, where possible, businesses can survive and be there on the other side’. 
  
The Prime Minister set out the following principles:
  • tenants and landlords are encouraged to agree on rent relief or temporary amendments to leases;
  • rental payments are to be reduced or waived for a defined period for impacted tenants;
  • tenants will have the ability to terminate leases and/or seek mediation or conciliation on the grounds of financial distress;
  • commercial property owners should ensure that any benefits received in respect of their properties should also benefit their tenants in proportion to the economic impact caused by coronavirus;
  • landlords and tenants who have not been significantly affected by coronavirus are expected to honour their existing lease and rental agreements; and
  • it is the intention that the cost of deferral of losses should be shared between landlords and tenants, with Commonwealth, state and territory governments, local government and financial institutions to consider mechanisms to provide assistance.

Government financial assistance (For Employees) 

Jobseeker payment 

The Australian Government has temporarily broadened the eligibility criteria for individuals to access the jobseeker payment (formerly Newstart). 

At this stage, Centrelink have waived all of the following: 
  • ordinary waiting period 
  • liquid asset test waiting period 
  • newly arrived residents waiting period 
  • seasonal work preclusion period 
  • mutual obligation or participation requirements 
  • assets test. ​
When applying to Centrelink, employees will not need: 
  • an employment separation certificate;  
  • bank statement; 
  • proof of reduced work hours; or 
  • proof of your rental arrangements. 
Clubs Queensland is waiting to receive confirmation on the proposed changes to the partner income test. 

You can find more information about eligibility for Centrelink here

Additionally, persons who are eligible to receive the Jobseeker payment will also receive a Covid-19 supplement of $550 per fortnight. 

Early release of superannuation 

Workers who, because of Covid-19, have: 
  • been made redundant;
  • had their working hours reduced by 20% or more (including to zero); or 
  • in the case of sole traders, had their business suspended or suffered a reduction in turnover of 20% or more 
will be eligible to access up to $20,000 of their superannuation tax free. 

Please click here for more information from HostPlus about your superannuation during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Electricity bills 

All Queensland households will receive a $200 rebate to offset the cost of their water and electricity bills. 

This rebate will be automatically applied through household electricity bills.