Help for NSW Border Businesses + more on JobKeeper

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well. Read on for this week’s update.

Help for NSW Border Businesses

Services NSW have released information on a grant for small businesses that are impacted by the closure of the NSW and Victorian border for those businesses based in NSW.

The ‘Southern border small business support grant’ is designed to provide immediate, short-term cashflow assistance to help businesses survive or adapt to the changed circumstances.

The grant amount will be tiered based on the business’s decline in turnover:

  • the first tier of $5000 is for small businesses, with or without employees (including non-employing sole traders) that have suffered at least a 30% decline in turnover as a result of the border closure
  • the second tier of $10,000 is for small businesses that employ between 0.5 and 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, that have suffered at least a 75% decline as a result of the closure.

The grants can only be used for eligible expenses:

  • incurred following the introduction of the New South Wales and Victoria border permit scheme on 8 July 2020
  • for which no other government support is available. For example, the grant cannot be used to pay wages for staff eligible for JobKeeper.

Further information on eligibility criteria will be available prior to the application opening date of 8 September 2020.

Victoria’s State of Emergency extended for 18 months

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the State of Emergency will be in place for 18 months and lockdown restrictions will be extended beyond September.

Businesses in Victoria that are struggling can access the state’s Business Support Package. Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

JobKeeper extension bill introduced

The JobKeeper Payments Amendment Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives today. Please note: we are still processing these announcements so we appreciate your patience.

This Bill introduces the extension of the JobKeeper scheme that was announced last month.

The proposed rate changes will see the current $1500 per fortnight payment drop to $1200 for full time workers. and $750 for those working less than 20 hours per week from September 28,

From January 2021, the rate will drop again to $1000 per fortnight, and $650 for those working less than 20 hours per week.

Legacy Employers

Employers who no longer qualify for JobKeeper after 28 September will be classified as legacy employers, and will have to satisfy a 10% decline in turnover to have access to modified JobKeeper enabling directions.

Decline in Turnover Test Certificate

Employers will need to obtain a 10% decline in turnover test certificate from an eligible financial service provider, including a BAS or Tax agent.

These modified directions include reducing an employee’s ordinary hours to a minimum of 60% of the employee’s ordinary hours as they were at 1 March 2020, but cannot result in the employee working less than two consecutive hours in a day.

Further details are to come.

JobKeeper Adjustments for Eligible Employees

The ATO has released guidance on the changes to the timing of an eligible employee.

From JobKeeper fortnights commencing 3rd August, the key date for eligible employees has changed to 1 July. In the past, an employee had to be on the books as of the 1st of March in order to be eligible for the JobKeeper wage subsidy. This change is to allow for businesses that started opening up and taking on new employees after March.

JobKeeper Turnover Test Requirements

From the 28th of September 2020:

  • businesses looking to claim the JobKeeper payment will be required to demonstrate that they experienced a decline in turnover using actual GST turnover, rather than projected GST turnover.
  • businesses will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to their actual GST turnover in the September 2020 quarter to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 (the first extension period).

From 4th January 2021:

  • businesses will need to further reassess their turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. They will need to demonstrate that they suffered a decline with reference to their actual GST turnover in the December 2020 quarter to be eligible for the JobKeeper payment from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 (the second extension period).

The required decline in GST turnover percentages will remain the same:

  • 30% for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less
  • 50% for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion
  • 15% for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools.

Cashflow Boost and JobKeeper Audits

The ATO has announced that it will be actively conducting audits on the cashflow boost JobKeeper scheme.

If you receive contact from the ATO to review your JobKeeper eligibility, you will be required to provide documentation as proof that you meet the eligibility criteria. This may include:

  • Bank statements
  • Tax invoices
  • Profit & loss statements
  • Employee details and contracts
  • Payslips
  • Application of turnover test
  • Superannuation payments

Meanwhile, if the ATO would like to review your eligibility for the cashflow boost, you will be required to supply the following documentation:

  • Bank statements
  • Employee data and information
  • Payslips
  • Updated Single Touch Payroll Reporting
  • Tax invoices
  • Written communication between stakeholders to substantiate changes in payments

At this point, the ATO has not yet outlined the JobKeeper audit penalties. However, based on other audits, they are expected to be significant. If you have any concerns, please get in touch.

Avoiding COVID-19 Online Scams

Recently, there has been a significant increase in COVID-19-related online scams that steal your personal data, impersonate authorities, offer fraudulent medical goods and services, and make fake requests for charitable donations. Below are some tips from Google Safety Center to keep you from falling victim to these scams.

  • Know how scammers may reach you– Aside from emails, they may also use text messages, automated calls, and malicious websites.
  • Check trusted sources directly– Scammers may pose as trusted and authoritative sources. So directly visit reliable sources instead to get the latest factual information.
  • Be cautious of requests for personal or financial information, pause and evaluate before sharing– Do not provide confidential information such as logins, bank details, and addresses to suspicious or unverified sources. Donate directly through non-profits.
  • Double-check links and email addresses before clicking– Fake links imitate established websites by adding extra random letters and numbers or words, so be extra careful and check before you click.
  • Search to see if it’s been reported– Copy and paste the email address, phone number, or suspicious portion of the message on your search engine to check if it has already been reported.
  • Add an extra layer of security to your account– Add two-factor authentications to your accounts for extra protection online.

If you encounter phishing pages, you can report it here. For malicious software, you can report the site here.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

Want to grow your business? Our Free Resources will Help