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COVID-19 UPDATE FOR BUSINESSES, SOLE TRADERS AND SELF-EMPLOYED

March 31, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of Australians have lost their jobs in just over a week. It’s heartbreaking hearing from locals whose businesses are suffering but help is available.

WHAT ABOUT SOLE TRADERS?
Sole traders will be eligible for the JOBKEEPER PAYMENT. Register via the ATO
From 27 April 2020 eligibility for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance will also be expanded to assist sole traders and the self-employed.
They will be able to meet mutual obligation requirements by continuing to operate their businesses.
The Government will temporarily waive, for certain payments: the assets test; the Liquid Assets Waiting Period; the Seasonal Workers Preclusion Period; the Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period.


JOBKEEPER PAYMENT
If your business has been substantially impacted by COVID-19 register for the new JobKeeper payment.
The government has listened to Labor and will provide a wage subsidy to around six million workers who will receive a flat payment of $1,500 per fortnight before tax through their employer.
For up to six months eligible employers will receive $1,500 per fortnight for each employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and continues to work for them, even if they've been stood down since 1 March.
Every eligible employee must receive at least $1,500 per fortnight from this business, before tax.
Eligible employers will have annual turnover of less than $1 billion who've had a 30% reduction in revenue since 1 March including companies, partnerships, trusts, sole traders and not for profits including charities.
Full time and part time employees would be eligible. Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they will be eligible. You can only receive this payment from one employer.
Eligible employees include Australian residents, New Zealand citizens in Australia who hold a subclass 444 special category visa, and migrants who are eligible for JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance (Other).
Self-employed individuals can receive the JobKeeper Payment.


OTHER HELP FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
The first stimulus package raised the instant asset write off from $30,000 to $150,000 for purchases made before June 30 2020.
Access to accelerated depreciation deductions was also increased and tax-free payments of between $2000 and $25,000 will be made to boost cash flow for small and medium sized businesses.
The first stimulus included a 50 per cent apprentice and trainee wage subsidy for businesses with fewer than 20 employees, up to $21,000 an apprentice
That was increased to a payment equal to 100 per cent of salary and wages withheld with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000.
In addition, the minimum payment is being increased from $2,000 to $10,000.
The payment will be available from 28 April 2020.
The second stimulus package included a payment of up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000.
The payments aim to help businesses’ and not-for-profits’ cash flow so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff.

For the latest COVID-19 updates visit here

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