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Australian Measures to Support Businesses Amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic — Orbitax Tax News & Alerts

The Australian Prime Minister and Taxation Office have both announced measures to support businesses amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  According to the Prime Minister's announcement, the following measures are being provided with effect from 12 March 2020 to support business investment:

  • An increase in the instant asset write off threshold from AUD 30,000 to AUD 150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than AUD 500 million (up from AUD 50 million) until 30 June 2020.
  • A 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than AUD 500 million will be able to deduct an additional 50% of the asset cost in the year of purchase.

According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announcement, options made available to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 include:

  • Deferring by up to four months the payment date of amounts due through the business activity statement (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, fringe benefits tax assessments and excise;
  • Allowing businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting in order to get quicker access to GST refunds they may be entitled to;
  • Allowing businesses to vary Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters;
  • Remitting any interest and penalties, incurred on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities; and
  • Working with affected businesses to help them pay their existing and ongoing tax liabilities by allowing them to enter into low-interest payment plans.

Employers still need to meet their ongoing super guarantee obligations for their employees.

Click the following link for additional information published by the ATO on support for large businesses impacted by COVID-19.