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IMPORTANT: INTEGRITY WEALTH SUPPORTING YOU THROUGH COVID-19

IMPORTANT: INTEGRITY WEALTH SUPPORTING YOU THROUGH COVID-19



With the ever developing situation around the Coronavirus (or COVID-19) and the uncertainty we are all facing day to day, we want to assure you we are here to help.   

Set out below is:

  • Our plans and services for assisting you
  • A reminder about some current time critical matters for business
  • Information about the various Government Stimulus Packages announced to date
  • Links to some further relevant information

 

YOU CAN ALWAYS CONTACT US IF YOU NEED US

While we don’t know if we’ll be working from our office or working from our homes in coming weeks, we can keep assisting you no matter what may happen. 

We have invested heavily in the latest technology in recent years, and this means all members of our team are able to work remotely, and they have access to all the technology, systems and tools they use daily to assist our clients.

 

GOOD ADVICE IS NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER

If you require urgent assistance about any matter please contact us by phone on 1300 780 818 or (07) 3250 7900.

If you have general queries, requests for bookings for meetings or requests for documents, please contact us by email at admin@integritywealth.com.au and we will be happy to help in any way we can.

 

BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING

For our business owners, now is the time to plan for employees being away from your workplace, shortages of supply, reduction in sales, and the possibility of your workplace being closed for a short period of time if everyone is being forced to self-quarantine.

We are happy to meet with you or have a Zoom/Skype meeting to discuss the following:

  • How do pay your bills in the short term if your sales start to dry up
  • How to communicate in a reassuring way with your clients and customers
  • How to keep things moving with your business
  • Employees working from home, and workplace obligations


We’re not suggesting that we have all the answers, but it is important for us to work with you and help you plan for what will happen in the weeks and months ahead.

 

WEALTH ADVICE

The share markets have crashed due to fear and uncertainty in the marketplace. Property markets may suffer as well.  As has always happened before, when this crisis is over the markets will likely quickly pick up again.  Keeping a long term focus and not panicking now is the key to success.   Speak with our expert Financial Advisers if you have any questions and before making any investment decisions.

 

ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY (EPOA)

If you have to self-quarantine or are admitted to hospital, if you don’t have an EPOA then no one else can make important business or financial decisions on your behalf.

We strongly recommend that you have an up to date EPOA and Will, and that your family knows where these are stored.  Please contact us if you need assistance.

 

TURNAROUND TIMES FOR ONGOING INTEGRITY WEALTH SERVICES

As we deal with a number of emerging and often urgent issues on a daily basis, especially with our business clients who might be facing very challenging situations, please be patient with us.  Some of our timeframes for completing annual tax and accounting work or financial planning advice might be extended.  But rest assured lodgement and payment deferrals will be organised with the ATO where required.  Although, we believe announcements from the ATO about extensions of time are inevitable. 

If you have any other important timeframes we may not be aware of, please contact us to advise so we can make sure to meet your requirements.

 

CURRENT TIME CRITICAL MATTERS FOR BUSINESS

While COVID-19 is no doubt dominating your thoughts and plans, unfortunately for business owners there are a couple of key ”non-COVID-19” matters that may also require your attention right now.  We are here to help with all of these issues, so please contact us if you would like assistance or advice.

 

AUSKEY REPLACEMENT (BY MYGOVID)

myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) will replace AUSkey and Manage ABN connections (your ABN connected to your myGov) at the end of March 2020. 

If you currently use an Auskey to access ATO online services, this will affect you.  Your Auskey will not work after 27 March 2020.

If you wish to use ATO online services you will need a myGovID.  This sounds just like myGov so you might think you already have this – but despite the name similarity, it is actually COMPLETELY DIFFERENT and bears no relation to myGov.

 

SUPER GUARANTEE AMNESTY

This legislation has finally been passed, and this allows employers to correct unpaid super guarantee without penalty in relation to super guarantee shortfalls from 1 July 1992 to 31 March 2018 – but only until 7 September 2020.  Under the amnesty, you will pay:

  • The super guarantee shortfall – and you will be able to claim tax deductions for the payments made during the amnesty
  • The nominal interest on the shortfalls – but not the administration fees normally charged ($20 per employee, per quarter)


The other good news is that for super guarantee shortfalls that were reported and paid voluntarily since May 2018 when the amnesty was first announced, you do not have to do anything – the ATO will apply the amnesty law, advise you of your eligibility and refund any administrative fees.


FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STIMULUS PACKAGE

The Australian Government has just released their $17.6 billion economic stimulus package in response to the Coronavirus. It is designed to help employers to keep their workforce levels, and to stimulate our economy. There are key tax benefits that business owners may be able to access over the next few months.

Important note: Our expert Accountants are here to help business owners receive the maximum benefits they can.  Please speak with us prior to outlaying any significant expenditure to ensure you fully understand the eligibility rules and net cash savings that will be achieved.

 

Cashflow Assistance

  • Tax-free payments of up to $25,000 for eligible small and medium businesses (i.e., with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff) based on their PAYG withholding obligations. This is not a cash payment, but it is a credit equal to 50% of the PAYG amounts withheld from salary and wages paid to employees.

Businesses that lodge activity statements on a quarterly basis will be eligible to receive the credit for the quarters ending March 2020 and June 2020. Business that lodge on a monthly basis will be eligible for the credit for the March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 lodgements.

If a business pays salary and wages to employees but is not required to withhold any tax, then a minimum payment of $2,000 will still be made. The minimum $2,000 payment will be applied to the first activity statement lodgement.

  • Wage subsidies to support the retention of apprentices and trainees – Employers with less than 20 full-time employees may be entitled to apply for Government funded wage subsidies amounting to 50% of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. The maximum subsidy for each apprentice/trainee is $21,000.

 

Business Investment

  • From Thursday 12 March 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million) to $150,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million) until 30 June 2020.
  • A time-limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) will operate to accelerate certain depreciation deductions. This measure will also be available to businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million, which will be able to immediately deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost. As announced, this measure is proposed to only apply to new depreciating assets first used, or installed ready for use, by 30 June 2021.

 

Tax-free payments of $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. It is estimated that around half of those who will benefit will be pensioners. These payments will commence to be automatically made from 31 March 2020.

 

QLD GOVERNMENT STIMULUS PACKAGE

The Queensland Government has just released their economic stimulus package in response to the Coronavirus. The package includes targeted financial support and advice; promotes Queensland locally and abroad through marketing and media activities; and provides counselling and support to businesses and students.


Whilst not a lot of detail is to hand as yet, some of the main packages announced are:

Queensland COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans

Expressions of interest are now open for a $500 million loan facility to support Queensland businesses, impacted by COVID-19, to retain employees and maintain their operations.

The loan facility will comprise low interest loans of up to $250,000 for carry on finance with an initial 12-month interest free period.

Support for small and medium business

Support is available for impacted small and medium businesses to build resilience, grow and succeed. This includes financial workshops in partnership with local bodies, business mentoring and a dedicated small business hotline to access information and referral to support services.

Payroll tax support

If your business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be able to apply for a relief package to defer lodging and paying payroll tax returns until 31 July 2020. You may be eligible for the relief package if:

  • you are an employer (or part of a group of employers) who pays $6.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages; and
  • your current turnover, profit, customers, bookings, retail sales, supply contracts or other factors—compared with normal operating conditions—have been directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19.


NEXT STEPS

These are times when we need to stay calm and rely on credible news sources and information from State and Australian Government websites. What you see on social media may be panicky and unreliable information – stay away from this!

Our team at Integrity Wealth are here to help you. Please reply to this email or phone us if you need any assistance.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & USEFUL LINKS

Social Distancing

https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19-information-on-social-distancing.pdf

Federal Government Stimulus Package

https://www.pm.gov.au/media/economic-stimulus-package

Qld Government Stimulus Package

https://www.qld.gov.au/about/industry-recovery/about-this-package

Fair Work & Coronavirus

https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/website-news/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws

Super Amnesty

https://www.ato.gov.au/Tax-professionals/Newsroom/Superannuation/SG-amnesty---a-chance-to-set-things-right/

MyGovID for businesses

https://www.ato.gov.au/General/online-services/businesses/