Billions of Dollars to be pumped into Coronavirus-hit economy

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison today unveiled a stimulus package expected to be worth almost $18 billion, as the World Health Organisation officially designated COVID-19 a global pandemic.

Most of the package will need to be legislated when parliament returns on 23rd March, so we will be looking closely at these initiatives as they are implemented over the coming weeks and how they will benefit our clients.

Its great to see the Government acknowledging that Small Business is a key driver of this country, is critical to a turnaround, and is providing assistance to cope through our challenges. Take advantage of it…. you deserve it!

At first glance the package includes;

  • Tax breaks for small businesses which will be able to claim up to $25,000 against income tax costs of their staff,
  • One-off cash bonuses to pensioners and Newstart recipients, and
  • An increase in the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000, expanded to businesses with an annual turnover of up to $500 million.

Cash flow assistance for businesses.

  • The government’s package is planning an injection of $6.7 billion to boost cash flow for Small & Medium business’s, aimed at easing the pressure and assisting with wages, investments or preparations for a downturn.
  • Under this measure, businesses with turnover up to $50 million will receive a tax-free cash flow boost worth between $2,000 and $25,000, between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020.
  • According to the government, businesses will receive payments of 50 per cent of their business activity statements or instalment activity statement from 28 April, with refunds to then be paid within 14 days.
  • Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages but do not withhold tax will receive a minimum payment of $2,000.
  • A stimulus is also being provided to keep apprentices in work, with small businesses with fewer than 20 full-time employees set to receive up to $7,000 in wage assistance for each apprentice per quarter over the next six months.
  • The measure, worth $1.3 billion, is aimed to help small businesses maintain or re-employ apprentices and trainees who have lost their jobs from a small business as a result of the coronavirus.

The government has also allocated $3.2 billion to promote business investment by providing a time-limited 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 $500 million will be able to deduct an additional 50 per cent of the asset cost in the year of purchase.

Targeted measures will also be developed to promote domestic tourism.

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