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JobKeeper Rules Released

The Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has registered the amended legislative instrument governing the rules of JobKeeper 2.0 (effective 28 September 2020). This broadly confirms what was outlined in Treasury’s Fact Sheet but there is always important detail included. We still are awaiting legislative instruments from the Commissioner of Taxation in relation to alternative turnover tests and alternative test periods for hours of work. We will be developing resources to assist our clients in navigating the JobKeeper extension. However, we strongly recommend contacting us to discuss the extension and what it means for you. We will be making contact with clients over the next few weeks in relation to the key matters.

Victorian Government "Business Survival and Adaption Package"

The Victorian Government has announced an investment of $3 billion to help businesses and not for profits impacted by ongoing restrictions in the form of business support and adaptation packages, as well as waivers and deferrals.

Business Support

Under this heading, the major ticket item is the third round of the Business Support Fund. The third round offers grants ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 to each eligible business or not for profit depending on the annual payroll.

The key criteria to be eligible is similar to the previous Business Support Fund rounds, however, your organisation needs to be in an industry sector on this list. Broadly this means that they are in the Restricted, Heavily Restricted or Closed restriction levels that will not be eased between steps 1 and 2. They have also expanded the payroll threshold criteria to include organisations with an annual payroll of below $10 million in the 2019-20 financial year (previously below $3 million).

The other eligibility criteria include that your business or organisation must employ people, be registered for GST on 13 September and be registered for WorkCover, have a payroll of less than $10 million and be enrolled for the JobKeeper program. Applications opened on Friday 18 September 2020:

The second item of note under Business Support is the fact that for the first time there will be a Sole Trader Support Fund worth up to $100 million. Grants of up to $3,000 will be available to over 30,000 eligible sole traders who operate from a commercial premises or location to which the sole operator is the tenant or licensee.

They have also announced support for Licensed Hospitality Businesses, a competitive grants program Business Chambers and Trader Groups, grants for Alpine businesses of up to $20,000 to help them pay a service charge to Alpine Resort Management Boards.

Business Adaption

This is designed to help businesses adapt to the changing environment and includes a voucher program to assist sole traders and small businesses in building their digital capability and other support packages to help exporters, build on the ‘Click for Vic’ campaign, hospitality businesses and the Melbourne City Recovery Fund between the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne.

Waivers and Deferrals

They have also announced a series of waivers and deferrals, to various levies, state based taxes and license fees. The main item to note is that they will defer payroll tax for businesses with payroll up to $10 million for the full 2020-21 financial year.

More information on all measures is available here:

If your business has been affected by COVID, it is likely that you would be eligible for one or more of the above assistance packages. Our message would be – don’t assume you are not eligible!

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