JobKeeper and JobSeeker changes announced by the Federal Government

22 July 2020

Yesterday, The Prime Minister and Treasurer announced an extension of the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments as well as changes to the schemes that will take effect after the planned end date in September. 

JobKeeper 2.0

Key points:

  • Jobkeeper “1.0” will continue as planned until 27 September 2020
  • Jobkeeper “2.0” will apply for a further 6 months from 28 September 2020 through to 28 March 2021
  • The current $1,500 per fortnight subsidy will be reduced from 28 September 2020 with the introduction of a two tiered payment system.
  • Access to Jobkeeper 2.0 will depend on satisfying the decline in turnover tests for both the June and September 2020 quarters with the test reapplied for the December 2020 quarter for continued access from 4 January 2021.

The JobKeeper scheme which was originally due to end this September has been extended for a further 6 months for businesses and not for profits that continue to be in financial distress due to COVID-19. 

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, JobKeeper payments will be $1,200 a fortnight for eligible full-time workers and eligible business participants. Eligible employees and eligible business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours a week will receive $750 per fortnight.

JobKeeper payments will be further reduced starting on 4 January 2021. From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 eligible fulltime workers and eligible business participants will receive $1,000 a fortnight. Eligible employees and business participants that worked less than 20 hours a week will receive $650 a fortnight. 

In order to determine how many hours that an eligible employee has worked, the four weeks for pay periods before 1 March 2020 will be assessed. Eligible business participants will be entitled to the higher rate where they were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020.

The Commissioner of Taxation will have the discretion to set out alternative tests where an employee or business participant’s hours were not usual during February 2020.

Read more >

2019 Australian Cotton Comparative Analysis Released

1 July 2020

The 2019 Australian Cotton Comparative Analysis report has been recently published.

The analysis is conducted annually by Boyce Chartered Accountants, the largest regionally based accounting firm in Australia, in conjunction with the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC).

The 2019 analysis is the fifteenth report to be produced by Boyce and CRDC.  From 1986 to 2004 the report was published independently by Boyce.

The aim of the study is to collect and critically analyse data that will assist the industry to grow and develop sustainably through a focus on best practice techniques. The study is regarded by the cotton industry as the benchmark for the economics of cotton growing in Australia.

The 2019 report is based on sample figures from participants who produce 165,000 bales, which is approximately 8% of the total Australian cotton production.

The 2019 report reveals that the average group achieved a loss per hectare of $156, down from $2,234 in 2018 which was the highest in the reports history.

It was still an excellent season for growers in the top 20% group, with a profit of $3,515 per hectare compared to the five year average of around $3,295.

Report co-author Hamish Cullenward, a director of Boyce Wagga, noted that ‘those who had access to cheap water and pre-sold cotton when prices were high did very well.

Boyce and CRDC encourage all growers to consider participating in the benchmarking study as a way to greatly enhance understanding of the key drivers that consistently define the top cotton producers in Australia.

The 2019 Australian Cotton Comparative Analysis can be downloaded here.

For more information contact Simon Sellars or Hamish Cullenward at Boyce Wagga on 02 6971 0600.

30 June Wrap

25 June 2020

30 June is just around the corner, which means the start of another financial year. 2020 has been a whirlwind but it is time to start preparing to finalise the 2020 financial year to complete budgets and scenario modelling for the new financial year. 

Effective tax planning reduces tax payable and that is so important in these times as it puts more money in the bank to help your business survive & grow.

What's changing in terms of legislation this year?

The Federal Budget has been delayed this year until 6th October amid COVID-19.  . 

Tax Rates

The Company Tax Rate reduces to 26% starting on the 1st July 2020. This is for Companies with a turnover of less than $50m. This is down from 27.5% in this current year and will reduce to 25% on 1st July 2021.

Single Touch Payroll

Since the implementation of STP employers will no longer need to send employees their payment summary/group certificate for the financial year. Instead they will receive their payment summaries now known as an ‘Income Statement’ directly from the ATO via their MyGov account.

For employers you will need to lodge a finalisation for the financial year in your accounting software via the STP channel by the 14th July 2020. Please note this process will differ for each accounting program.

Read more >

Instant Asset Write-off Extended

10 June 2020

The Federal Government’s $150,000 instant asset write-off scheme will be extended until the end of December 2020 to support millions of businesses which are set to benefit from the accelerated deductions.

After expanding the scheme from covering assets with a cost of less than $30,000 to a cost of less than $150,000 and extending access to the scheme to include medium sized businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government has announced that it plans to extend the deadline for accessing the scheme from 30 June 2020 to December 31 2020.

The Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said the extended timeframe would help firms to invest in assets to support their business as the economy reopens and coronavirus health restrictions continue to be eased.

The instant asset write-off scheme allows small and medium-sized businesses to bring forward tax deductions on eligible asset purchases. 

Businesses with a turnover of up to $500 million per year will be able to claim an immediate tax deduction on certain asset purchases that cost less than $150,000.

Read more >

Payroll Tax and Workers Compensation Relief For JobKeeper Top Up Payments

5 June 2020

Following on from the previous Payroll tax relief measures, the NSW Government has now announced that any top up payments made to employees for JobKeeper will be exempt from payroll tax.

Further, The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has determined that only payments made for work undertaken or hours worked are to be included as wages to calculate workers compensation premiums.

Employers must pay their eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight to receive the JobKeeper payments. Any additional wages paid to employees to meet the requirements of the JobKeeper scheme will be exempt from payroll tax and workers compensation.

Click here for scenarios & examples

If you're an employer who pays wages in NSW, you must register for payroll tax if your total Australian wages exceed the relevant monthly threshold.

If you're a member of a group, the total Australian wages paid by all members of the group determines whether you should register for payroll tax.

For more information on payroll tax or workers compensation, contact your Boyce Accountant.

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