March 16, 2020

On Thursday 12 March, the federal government announced details of a proposed $17 billion stimulus package, which was triggered by the classification of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

The package is to support businesses throughout the current economic climate and has been marketed as a measure to protect the economy by maintaining confidence, supporting investment and keeping people in their jobs.

Key points of the announcements are.

Instant asset write-off threshold

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.

15-month investment incentive

From Thursday 12 March 2020, businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million will be able to claim a 50% deduction of the cost of new eligible depreciable assets until 30 June 2021. These include assets which are in excess of the proposed instant asset write-off threshold of $150,000 up to 30 June 2020 and will revert to all assets from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. The incentive does not apply to second-hand depreciable assets or buildings and other capital works. The investment incentive allowance requires just the spending and then appropriate declarations in the 2020 tax return.

Tax-free payments – PAYG Withholding

Eligible small and medium businesses (i.e. with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff) will be eligible for a tax-free payment of up to $25,000 based on their PAYG withholding obligations. PAYG(W) does not require application; it will be a credit on the integrated client account.

Tax-free payments – Centrelink recipients

Certain income support recipients and eligible concession card holders will be eligible for a tax-free payment of $750 and will commence to be automatically made from 31 March 2020.

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. Employers are expected to be able to register for the subsidy from early-April 2020.

Additional general measures aligned with the response to other emergencies during the past few months including the Bushfires were also announced.

Accessing this initiative requires application. To see if you are eligible and to apply, contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider. There are numerous providers, one such being the Apprenticeship Support Australia.

Assistance to severely affected regions

The Government has also committed to set aside $1 billion to support regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.

ATO administrative relief

The ATO will provide administrative relief for some tax obligations for people affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, on a case-by-case basis.

Please note the announcements are still only proposals and have not yet been legislated. It is expected that the measures will be introduced to Parliament in the final sitting week of March for urgent consideration and passage however reports suggest that the measures are bi-partisan and there is no suggestion at this time the passage of legislation will be clocked.

NSW State Government

It was also announced today that in addition to Federal Government initiatives, the NSW State Government has put in place measures to assist small businesses during this period of uncertainty. These measures include:

  • Waiving of Payroll Tax for businesses with payrolls up to $10m per annum for three months.
  • Bringing forward the next wave of increases to the Payroll Tax Threshold to 1 July 2020.
  • Waiving of certain fees and charges ordinarily imposed on cafes, restaurants and those in the industry.
  • Increased Government expenditure on cleaning in Government Departments and of Government Assets as well as increase spending on Capital Works and Public Assets maintenance.

Brentnalls NSW expects further announcements from the Federal Government leading up to and in the May 2020 Budget. We will keep you updated as information comes to hand.

If you would like any further information regarding these matters, please contact us.



The Brentnalls NSW Team

We are keeping our website up to date with new developments and information. This information can be found here.