Government Assistance

JobKeeper Payment

JobKeeper Payment Steps

Job Keeper FAQ

JobKeeper alternative tests

Tax credits for small and medium business

South Australian MTA Members

Land Tax Assistance

Northern Territory MTA Members

Loans and overhead deferrals

Apprentice support

Commercial leases

Instant assest write-off

Council Measures

JobKeeper Payment

How can I access the $1,500 per fortnight “JobKeeper Payment”?

Businesses can enrol for the JobKeeper payment but you must assess whether you have or will have experienced a required turnover decline of 30% or 50% for businesses with over $1 billion in turnover.

Businesses will have to provide the number of eligible employees engaged as at 1 March 2020 and those currently employed by the business (including those stood down or rehired). For most businesses, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll data to pre-populate the employee details for the business.

What steps do I need to take to obtain the JobKeeper payment for my staff?

Prepare for enrolment

Check your business meets the eligibility requirements, including the turnover test. The turnover calculation is based on GST turnover. This applies even if an entity is not registered for GST.

Check your employees meet the eligibility requirements and for which JobKeeper fortnights. You must pay your eligible employees in each JobKeeper pay period to claim the JobKeeper payment for that period.

If you are a director or a shareholder of a company, a partner in a partnership, or an adult beneficiary of a trust, consider whether you will nominate as an eligible business participant and check you meet the eligibility requirements.

Re-hire or re-engage employees you let go or stood down as well as pay them if you want to claim the JobKeeper payment for them.

Continue to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight (the first JobKeeper fortnight was the period from 30 March to 12 April).

Notify all your eligible employees that you are intending to claim the JobKeeper payment on their behalf and check they aren’t claiming the JobKeeper payment through another employer or have nominated through another business.

Send the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to all your nominated employees to complete and return to you by the end of April if you plan to claim JobKeeper payment for April. Keep it on file and provide a copy to your registered tax or BAS agent if you are using one.

If you use the Business Portal, you will need a myGovID linked to your ABN in relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). You can find out how to set this up at ato.gov.au/mygovid

Your registered tax or BAS agent can enrol, identify and declare for JobKeeper on your behalf using Online service for agents.

If you find it difficult to interact with us online and don't use a registered tax or BAS agent, you can call us for assistance.

Step 1: Enrol for the JobKeeper payment

You or your registered tax or BAS agent can enrol for the JobKeeper payment.

Log in to the Business Portal using myGovID by clicking here.

Select 'Manage employees', then the link for the JobKeeper payment.

Fill in the JobKeeper enrolment form and provide your:

  • eligibility information
  • expected number of eligible employees
  • contact and bank details.

Notify all your eligible employees you have nominated them.

To ensure you receive your JobKeeper payments as early possible, you should enrol by the end of April. However, enrolments are open till the end of May if you need more time.

Step 2: Identify and maintain your eligible employees

You or your registered tax or BAS agent can identify each eligible employee that you will claim the JobKeeper Payment for and maintain their details each month.

If you have STP enabled payroll software, you can identify your employees in one of the following ways:

  1. Directly into your STP enabled payroll software if it is updated with JobKeeper functionality.
  2. In the Business Portal if your STP payroll software is not updated with JobKeeper functionality:
  • If you have 200 employees or less, log in to the Business Portal and select employee details that are prefilled from your STP pay reports.
  • If you have more than 200 employees, you can manually create a pay report, ask the ATO for a prefilled JobKeeper report, or use the JobKeeper Payment Guide sample payload files by clicking here and an example file by clicking here to help produce your own JobKeeper report and provide it back to the ATO by uploading via the Business Portal Transfer file function.

If you don't have STP enabled payroll software, you can identify your employees in one of the following ways:

In the Business Portal

  • If you have 40 employees or less, manually enter your eligible employees' details
  • If you have more than 40 employees, you can use the JobKeeper Payment Guide sample payload files by clicking here and example file by clicking here to produce your own JobKeeper report and provide it back to the ATO by uploading via the Business Portal Transfer file function or consider moving to an STP enabled payroll solution.

Step 3: Make a business monthly declaration

Each month, you must reconfirm your reported eligible employees. This can be done through the Business Portal or via your registered tax or BAS agent.

If your eligible employees change or leave your employment, you will need to notify us through the business monthly declaration report.

You must also provide information as to your current and projected GST turnover. This is not a retest of your eligibility, but rather an indication of how your business is progressing under the JobKeeper Payment scheme.

What you need to do for your employees:

You need to identify your eligible employees and tell them you intend to claim the JobKeeper payment for them.

If you are participating in the JobKeeper Payment scheme you need to include all eligible employees.

You need to provide these employees with the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and ask them to return it to you by the end of April if you want to claim JobKeeper payment for April.

If your employees have multiple employers, they can usually choose which employer they want to nominate through. However, if your employees are long-term casuals and have other permanent employment, they cannot nominate you. They cannot be nominated for the JobKeeper payment by more than one employer.

If an employee is receiving or in the process of applying for a Services Australia income support payment, like JobSeeker payment, they should contact Services Australia by clicking here and let them know that their employer has applied for the JobKeeper payment. The ATO and Services Australia are working together to share information to identify instances of the incorrect eligibility for JobKeeper or JobSeeker. If your employee does not report the income or cancel their JobSeeker payment, they may incur a debt that you will be required to pay back.

Which of my employees are eligible for the “JobKeeper Payment”?

Eligible employees are employees who:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer, including those stood down or re-hired (yes, this means you rehire employees you have let go as a result of COVID-19 impacts);
  • were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
  • are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020);
  • are at least 16 years of age;
  • are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

Importantly, if your employees receive the JobKeeper Payment, this may affect their eligibility for payments from Services Australia as they must report their JobKeeper Payment as income.

What are my obligations for receiving the payment?

Businesses are responsible for:

  • ensuring that each eligible employee receives at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax)
  • notifying all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment
  • continuing to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible employees employed by the business

For employees that were already receiving this amount from the employer then their income will not change.

For employees that have been receiving less than this amount, the employer will need to top up the payment to the employee up to $1,500, before tax.

For employees earning more than this amount, the employer is able to provide them with a top-up.

Click here for a guide that sets out for employers how to navigate this new subsidy with the information currently at hand.

What if I’m self-employed or a sole trader?

Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can register their interest in applying for JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.

Businesses without employees will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number and provide a declaration as to recent business activity.

People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.

Further details for the self-employed will be provided on www.ato.gov.au.

Did you know?

If you have less than 20 staff, you may be eligible for a 50% wage subsidy for each apprentice you employ worth $7,000 for the period of 1 January 2020 until 31 March 2020, which covers the period prior to the JobKeeper Payment kicking in.

If you employ an MTA apprentice through our Group Training Scheme in South Australia, the subsidy will still be passed onto you in full.

MTA apprentices will also not count towards your staff count so if you have 18 employees and 3 MTA apprentices, your staff count for apprentice wage subsidy eligibility purposes will still be 18.

For more information visit our section on apprentice support

Question: Where can I get more information about details, eligibility and the practical application of the JobKeeper Payment?

Answer: This FAQ from the government is recommended as it answers many specific questions and detail not covered on this page.

You can also use our easy to use flow chart that will assist you in determining your eligibility. Click here to access the flowchart.

JobKeeper FAQ

The Federal Parliament passed the JobKeeper Payment package of legislation on 8 April 2020, with it receiving Royal Assent on 9 April 2020 and passing into law. The Federal Treasurer has now released Rules to support the package. You can access this by clicking here.

How does my business qualify?

In order to qualify, your business must, as at 1 March 2020, carried on business in Australia and satisfied the decline in turnover tests.

What is the decline in turnover test?

The basic test is that a business’ projected GST turnover for the relevant period is 30% less than a relevant comparison period (50% reduction for large businesses with aggregated turnover of over $1billion).

The comparison is made between a calendar month that ends after 30 March 2020 and before 1 October 2020, (or a quarter that starts on 1 April 2020 or 1 July 2020) and the equivalent period in 2019.

For those who cannot meet this test, the ATO may determine an alternative test. The details of this has not yet been disclosed.

Who is an eligible employee?

An eligible employee is:

  • currently employed by your businesses;
  • as at 1 March 2020, was 16 years or over, a permanent employee or long term casual, and an Australian resident or holder of a Special Category visa.

A long term casual is one that has been employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months as at 1 March 2020.

The employee must also have given your business a nomination notice (in an approved form, not yet released), confirming they meet the criteria, that they agree to be nominated, they do not fall within the exclusions, that if they are a long term casual employee they are not permanently employee elsewhere (other than as a casual), and have not given any other business a nomination form.

Employees on paid parental leave, paid dad and partner pay or worker’s compensation are excluded while receiving those payments.

Can a sole trader or director who is not an employee qualify for JobKeeper?

A business participant actively engaged in the business, such as a sole trader, partner in a partnership, adult beneficiary of a trust, or shareholder or director of a company, can qualify for JobKeeper. Only one eligible businesses participant per entity can qualify, and no other entity is entitled for the same individual. The same nomination requirements and exclusions apply.

What reporting do I need to do?

Apart from the application process and the employee nomination forms, businesses must notify the ATO within 7 days of the end of a calendar month of the current GST turnover for that month, and the projected GST turnover for the following month.

What are the alternative turnover tests for the JobKeeper scheme?

Although we have been getting some indication of what the alternative tests might look like, we have only now received clear indication of how these will work. So, in what circumstances can you use an alternative turnover test? And what do those tests involve?

1. If the business is less than 12 months old

This alternative test applies if a business was established less than a year ago, and so cannot show a decline in turnover year-on-year.

It is available to businesses that commenced before March 1, 2020, but after the one- or three-month relevant comparison period.

The alternative test

If that business is using a one-month period, it should calculate its average monthly GST turnover, based on each whole month it has been in business.

If the business is reporting quarterly, it should take that monthly average GST turnover, and multiply it by three, to get the comparable quarterly figure.

If the business launched after February 1, 2020, and so had not been in business for a full month as of March 1, the average monthly turnover should be calculated by dividing total February turnover by the number of days the entity was in business, and multiplying that number by 29.

A second alternative test

If the business has been around for three months or more, as of March 1, 2020, the business owner can choose to use the GST turnover for the three months leading up to that date as the comparison period.

If they are comparing month-on-month, they can divide that turnover figure by three, and use that as the comparison.

Concessions to consider

There is an additional note for any businesses that qualified for the ATO’s 2019-20 bushfire lodgement and payment deferrals, or received any drought help concessions.

If you qualified for either of these benefits, then you should exclude the months covered by those from your calculations.

But, if the months in which you received those concessions are the only months you have been in business, you can disregard that, and include them all the same.

2. If an acquisition or disposal has changed turnover significantly

This applies if a business went through an acquisition or disposal process that changed its turnover, meaning a year-on-year comparison no longer makes sense.

The alternative test

Business owners in this situation should use the month directly following the acquisition or disposal event as the comparison period.

If the business is using a quarterly comparison, then the turnover of that month should be multiplied by three. The comparison period should not be the three months following the event.

If a business has been through more than one acquisition or disposal, they should use the month following the most recent event.

And, if the most recent event was less than a month before the start of the testing period (whether that’s the month of March or a three-month period), the business should use the month immediately before the testing period begins.

Concessions to consider

Again, if a business received a bushfire payment lodgement and payment deferral or drought help concessions, they should exclude any month that was covered by these concessions.

They should instead use the nearest alternative month instead. That is, unless there are no other months available to them.

3. If a business restructure has changed turnover significantly

This alternative test applies if your business, or part of it, has undergone a restructure in the past 12 months, meaning year-on-year turnover is not a suitable comparison.

The alternative test

If the business is making a monthly comparison, it should use the GST turnover for the month immediately following that in which the restructure occurred.

If the business reports quarterly, it should take the GST turnover for the month following the restructure, and times it by three.

If there is more than one restructure, the business should use the month following the second event as the comparison period. Again, if the business is making a three-month comparison, that figure should be multiplied by three.

And if the most recent restructure happened less than a month before the turnover test period, the business should use the GST turnover for the month immediately preceding that test period

Concessions to consider

Once again, if a business received the bushfire payment lodgement deferral, or drought help concessions, these must be taken into account.

Business owners should not use any month covered by these concessions as the comparison, unless there is no alternative month available to use.

4. If the business has seen substantial growth in turnover

This provision makes allowances for high-growth businesses, including startups, that may have seen a significant increase in GST turnover in the past 12 months, but still suffered a decrease caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

A business can use this test if it has seen more than 50% growth in GST turnover in the 12 months leading up to the test period.

The alternative test also applies if the business has seen 25% growth in turnover in six months, or 12.5% growth over three months, leading up to the test period.

The alternative test

If the business reports quarterly, it can use the three months directly preceding the test period as its comparison period.

If the business reports monthly, it should take the GST turnover from those three months, and divide it by three, to get a more accurate monthly figure.

Concessions to consider

There are, again, rules for businesses that received bushfire lodgement and payment deferrals or drought help concessions.

In this case, a business should not use the months in which it received these concessions as the comparison period. Instead, it should use the three months immediately before the concessions kicked in.

5. If the business has been affected by drought or natural disaster

This test applies to entities that conducted some or all of their business in a declared drought or natural disaster zone during the relevant comparison period, and who believe that had a negative effect on their turnover.

The alternative test

Businesses in this situation can simply use a comparison period from 2018, instead of 2019.

So, instead of comparing March 2020’s revenue, for example, to March 2019, they can compare March 2020 to March 2018, to get a more accurate idea of the effect the virus has had.

6. If a business has irregular turnover

A business can apply this test if their turnover is not considered cyclical.

Businesses will also have to prove a significant difference in quarterly turnover.

A business will be eligible if, over the 12 months leading up to the test period, the quarter with the highest GST turnover saw more than twice the revenue of the lowest-performing quarter.

The alternative test

In this case, a business can calculate an average monthly GST turnover for the 12 months leading up to the test period. That monthly figure will act as the comparison turnover figure.

If the business reports quarterly, that monthly figures should be multiplied by three.

Concessions to consider

If the business has received the bushfire lodgement and payment deferrals, or drought help relief, it should exclude the months in which those concessions were received from the calculation of the average.

7. If a sole trader or partner has taken leave

This allowance is for sole traders or partnerships with no employees, where an individual did not work for all or part of the comparison period in 2019, because of illness, injury or other leave. The alternative test applies if that leave caused a negative impact on revenue at the time.

The alternative test

In this case, business owners should take the month immediately following the individual’s return to work, and use this as the comparison period.

If the business is using a three-month test period, they should multiply the turnover for that month by three, rather than using an actual three-month period.

Concessions to consider

Again, if the business qualified for the ATO’s bushfire lodgement and payment deferrals, or received drought relief concessions, things are a little bit different.

If these concessions applied in the month after the individual returned to work, then instead of using that month as the comparison point, the business should use the month immediately after those concessions stopped, instead.

You only need to satisfy the fall in turnover test once – you don't need to test your turnover in the following months or quarters.

However, there are ongoing monthly turnover reporting requirements. This is not a retest of your eligibility, but rather an indication of how your business is progressing under the JobKeeper Payment scheme.

Each month you must:

  1. Ensure you have paid your eligible employees at least $1,500 per eligible employee per fortnight.
  2. Log in to the Business Portal to:
  • review the number of eligible employees for each JobKeeper fortnight
  • update your eligible employees if any of your eligible employees change or leave your employment
  • provide your current and projected GST turnover
  • re-confirm your contact and bank details for payment.

If I meet the turnover test for JobKeeper, do I need to continue to retest each month?

The basic turnover test requires comparison between a turnover month, either March or April 2020 for qualification from the start of the scheme, or a later month to qualify at a later time, provided that the turnover month is the month in which the first fortnight for which you claim the JobKeeper payment ends, or another earlier month. In other words, you will only be eligible for JobKeeper payments for JobKeeper fortnights that end on or after your turnover test period starts.

If turnover for a quarter is being used, it can be the quarter:

  • 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020
  • 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020, but only if first seeking to qualify for fortnights ending in July 2020 or later.

For the basic test, the comparison is with the same period in 2019.

When do I need to enrol for JobKeeper by?

The ATO announced on the weekend that they have extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods from 30 April until 31 May 2020.

If you enrol by 31 May, you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.

For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), we will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by you by 8 May. If you do not pay your staff by this date, you will not be able to claim JobKeeper for the first two fortnights.

Tax credits for small and medium business

Cash payments for small and medium businesses

Question: How can I get the tax free small and medium business payments of between $20,000-$100,000?

Answer: Just continue your usual monthly or quarterly reporting to the ATO either directly or via your accountant. Payments will be delivered as a credit over the next three quarters.

Question: How do I know if my business is eligible?

Answer: To be eligible, you must:

  • have an aggregated annual turnover of under $50 million; and
  • you must employ workers.
  • You must have been established as an employer prior to 12 March 2020

Question: When will I receive the tax credits?

Answer: If you lodge quarterly, you will be eligible to receive the credit for:

  • quarter 3, March 2020 (lodgment due date 28 April 2020)
  • quarter 4, June 2020 (lodgment due date 28 July 2020).

If you lodge monthly, you will be eligible to receive the credit for the lodgment periods of

  • March 2020 (lodgment due date 21 April 2020)
  • April 2020 (lodgment due date 21 May 2020)
  • May 2020 (lodgment due date 21 June 2020)
  • June 2020 (lodgment due date 21 July 2020).

South Australian Members

$10,000 Emergency Cash Grants for Small Businesses

Question: How do I know if my business is eligible?

Answer: To be eligible, businesses and not-for-profits including eligible sporting and community organisations will need to:

  • Employ people in South Australia.
  • Have annual turnover of more than $75,000 (GST exclusive).
  • Have an annual payroll of less than $1.5 million.
  • Have an ABN and were carrying on the operation of the business in South Australia on 1 March 2020.
  • Have been subject to closure or highly impacted by COVID-19 related restrictions (Businesses eligible for the Commonwealth JobKeeper payment will be deemed to be highly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions).
  • Apply by 1 June 2020.
  • Use the funds to support activities related to the operation of the business.

Question: How can I apply for this funding?

Answer: Applications are open from now until 1 June 2020. To apply, please visit https://www.revenuesaonline.sa.gov.au/?a=e&m=sbg&d=Application

Land Tax Relief

Question: What relief is available from Land Tax?

Answer: Eligible residential and commercial landlords can receive 25% reductions in their land tax bill, if they pass these savings on as rent reductions to small and medium business commercial tenants suffering as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

Outstanding quarterly Land Tax bills for 2019-20 can also be deferred for six months.

For 2020-21 Land Tax bills, if you have a significant increase due to last year’s aggregation changes, you may be eligible to receive 100% of the difference from last year’s bill through the Land Tax Transition Fund, up from the original 50%.

Question: Who is an eligible landlord?

Answer: An eligible landlord must be able to demonstrate that:

  • the land is used for non-residential (commercial) purposes;
  • the land tax is directly related to the land for which the rent has been reduced.
  • the land is used for non-residential (commercial) purposes;
  • the land tax is directly related to the land for which the rent has been reduced.

the land is being leased to a non-residential (commercial) tenant with annual turnover of up to $50 million, who has been financially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;

they have reduced the rent of the affected tenant by at least as much as the land tax reduction; and

Question: How can I apply for land tax relief?

If you are a landlord, applications for this relief will be open until the end of June 2020, with details on the application process being finalised. We will provide this information as it becomes available.

Relief for Commercial Tenants

Question: What relief is available to commercial tenants?

Commercial landlords may be able to pass on savings in their Land Tax bills as rent reductions to small and medium business commercial tenants suffering as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

Question: What are the eligibility requirements for tenants?

Eligible tenants are non-residential tenants with an annual turnover of up to $50m that experience a 30 per cent (or more) reduction in income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (ie consistent with Commonwealth JobKeeper eligibility criteria).

An eligible tenant can receive rental relief from an eligible landlord.

Question: Who is an eligible landlord?

An eligible landlord must be able to demonstrate that:

the land is being leased to a non-residential (commercial) tenant with annual turnover of up to $50 million, who has been financially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;

they have reduced the rent of the affected tenant by at least as much as the land tax reduction; and

Question: How can I apply for rental relief?

If you are an eligible tenant, contact your landlord about discuss whether or not they expect they will be eligible for land tax relief. If they are, or expect to be eligible for land tax relief, this may assist you in negotiating an overall rent reduction.

SA $650 million ‘Jobs Rescue Package’

Question: What is the $300 million Business and Jobs Support Fund?

Answer: The SA State Government announced that $300 million will be added to a ‘Business and Jobs Support Fund’ to support individual businesses and industry sectors directly affected by the Coronavirus through what it describes as a ‘rapid assessment panel’.

Question: How can I these funds?

Answer: MTA SA/NT CEO Paul Unerkov is on the Premier’s COVID 19 Industry Response and Recovery Council and is able bring forward ideas and initiatives relevant to the automotive sector.

If you have a funding proposal, please contact Industry and Government Engagement Manager, Kaes Cillessen by clicking here.

Northern Territory Members

NT payroll tax relief

Question: What relief is available from Payroll Tax?

Answer: The Northern Territory Government has introduced waivers payroll tax for six months, starting from 1 April, for small and medium-sized businesses with a payroll of under $7.5 million.

Larger businesses with a payroll of over $7.5 million will be able to defer Payroll Tax for six months.

NT utility bill relief

Question: Which utility bills reductions are available?

Answer: The Northern Territory will cut power, water and sewerage bills by 50 per cent for businesses for six months.

Question: How can I apply for Payroll Tax deferral or waiver, or utility bill reductions?

Answer: Businesses are required to register on the Business Hardship Register.

To apply to be on the business hardship register, follow these steps:

Step 1. You must read, understand and agree to the package's terms and conditions before you apply by clicking here.

Step 2. Apply online at the Smartygrants website by clickinghere.

NT Business Improvement Grant

NT Specific Question: How do I access the $10,000 from the Northern Territory Government?

Answer: Registrations for businesses to provide services will open 30 March 2020 and businesses can apply for a grant from 13 April 2020 at https://businessrecovery.nt.gov.au/businesses#section2

NT Specific Question: How do I know if my business is eligible?

Answer: Small businesses are eligible if they are:

  • A legal entity and hold a valid Australian Business Number as of the date the program is open, and
  • Is operating in the Northern Territory in either owned or leased premises, and
  • Has a significant permanent presence in the NT, and
  • Employs NT residents (this can be you if you are a sole trader).

New NT Government measures to help businesses

For Northern Territory businesses that demonstrate a substantial hardship due to the Coronavirus crisis, the NT Government will:

  • Abolish payroll tax for six months for smaller and medium-sized businesses, and defer it for six months for large businesses; and
  • Slash power, water and sewerage bills by 50 per cent for businesses for six months (for regulated utility tariffs).

This support will be effective for six months from 1 April, and businesses can apply from 1 May.

The NT Government will also help businesses who need relief on the cost of their lease, by offering extra support to commercial landlords so they in turn do the right thing by their tenants. There are however, some items to consider in regards to this including:

  • When commercial tenants demonstrate economic hardship and request rent relief, landlords will be expected to negotiate relief in line with the Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies, agreed to by National Cabinet.
  • If they do this they will also be eligible to receive payroll tax and utilities bills relief.
  • In addition, we expect them to be able to benefit from rates relief provided by local councils.
  • The Government will also waive the property activation levy for relevant landlords whose property becomes vacant due to the Coronavirus crisis.
  • However, if commercial landlords do not negotiate in good with faith their tenants, landlords will not be eligible for this relief, or any of the economic support packages recently announced by the Government
Loans and overhead deferrals

Loan payment deferrals

Question: What do I do if I’m having trouble with loan repayments?

Answer: Major banks which operate in Australia are offering 6 month loan payment deferral periods for customers with less than $3 million in total debt. Call your bank or financial institution now to access.

Question: Which banks are included in this scheme?

Answer: At this stage participating banks include AMP Bank, ANZ, Bank Australia, Bank of Queensland Limited, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, HSBC, Macquarie Bank, National Australia Bank, Suncorp Bank and Westpac.

Cheap loans

Question: What new loan products are available for my business?

Answer: The Commonwealth Government will guarantee 50% of loans up to $250,000 for a term of up to 3 years. The loans will be repayment free for 6 months, you don’t need to provide an asset as security for the loan, and there are no fees to access.

Question: How do I access these loans?

Answer: Speak to your preferred financial institution and ask them about the Government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.

Question: How do I know if my business is eligible?

Answer: To be eligible, you must:

  • have an aggregated annual turnover of under $50 million
Apprentice support

Apprentices

Question: What financial support is there to keep an apprentice employed?

Answer: Small and medium business with less than 20 employees will get a wage subsidy of up to $21,000 from the Government for each apprentice employed. This is worth 50% of their wage for a period of 9 months.

Question: How can I access this money?

Answer: Employers will need to register with an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider. A list of providers can be found at https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/search-aasn

Question: What if I employ an MTA Group Training Scheme apprentice?

Answer: If you employ an MTA apprentice through our Group Training Scheme, the subsidy will still be passed onto you in full.

MTA apprentices will also not count towards your staff count so if you have 18 employees and 3 MTA apprentices, your staff count for apprentice wage subsidy eligibility purposes will still be 18.

Question: Can I receive this wage subsidy at the same time as the JobKeeper payment?

Answer: Unfortunately if an employee is receiving the $1,500 per fortnight JobSeeker payment, they are not eligible to receive this additional apprentice subsidy.

However, if you are eligible to receive the apprentice wage subsidy, it is recommended that you still apply for it for the period of 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020, which covers the time prior to the JobKeeper Payment coming into effect.

SA Specific Question: What about if I want to take on a new apprentice?

Answer: The Government of South Australia is giving $5,000 to businesses with less than 25 employees for every new apprentice hired in SA on a paid training contract. If you have taken an apprentice since 1 March 2020, you can apply for the funding at https://www.cognitoforms.com/DepartmentForInnovationAndSkills/ApplyForFinancialSupportOptions

Commercial Leases

Question: What does the 6 month moratorium on evictions mean?

Answer: At present there is a 6 month moratorium on evictions for both commercial and residential tenancies. This means that at this stage, a tenant cannot be evicted before October 2020.

This does not mean that a tenant does not have to pay rent, and tenants and landlords are encouraged to speak with one another regarding individual circumstances.

Question: What happens if a tenant cannot afford to pay their rent?

Answer: The Prime Minister announced that a mandatory code will be legislated in each state and territory for commercial leases. While final details are to be revealed, it is expected that small and medium sized businesses with a turnover of under $50 million will be eligible for relief if they have reductions in turnover which make them eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

Under the scheme, waivers of rent must account for at least 50 per cent of the reduction in business and deferrals must be covered over the balance of the lease period and for no less than 12 months.

There will also be binding mediation processes rolled out in each state and territory.

The MTA SA/NT will keep you updated with all the developments in this space and will bring more information as South Australia and the Northern Territory implement legislation.

Instant asset write-offs

Asset purchases

Question: I’ve heard the Government has increased the threshold for asset write offs. What do I need to know?

Answer: The Federal Government will increase the instant asset write-off threshold by from $30,000 to $150,000, and expand the measure to businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million until 30 June 2020. Click here to download the Government's fact sheet.

COUNCIL MEASURES

A number of measures have been announced by councils that may assist you and your business.

Salisbury

No increase in fees or charges in the 2020/21 financial year

Residents can delay the payment of rates until December 2020 if they are suffering financial hardship

All late payment fines for rates will be waived

Playford

Penalties and fines for late rate payments have been waived from March 1

Tea Tree Gully

Rates, fees and charges will not increase in the 2020/21 financial year

Campbelltown

Rates will be frozen in the next financial year

Deferral of rate payments is available to people under financial pressure

Fines and interest on late rate payments will be waived

Adelaide

Extra advice for residents under financial hardship on how to get help, including deferring rates

Tenants of council buildings and the Central Market have had their rent waived for three months and a small business taskforce has been established

Three months rent-free for community groups in council buildings

Cancelling the Rundle Mall Marketing Levy for three months

Prospect

Residents and businesses have an extra eight weeks to pay their fourth quarter rates without incurring any penalty

Leases and fees for sporting and community clubs have been cancelled until June 30, when the policy can be extended. The same policy will apply to businesses leasing council property that have been forced to close

Walkerville

No rate relief has been offered

Onkaparinga

Residents and businesses have an extra eight weeks to pay their fourth quarter rates without incurring any penalty

Leases and fees for sporting and community clubs have been cancelled until June 30, when the policy can be extended. The same policy will apply to businesses leasing council property that have been forced to close

Norwood, Payneham and St Peters

Interest and fines have been waived for the late payment of fourth-quarter rates

Rules for proving financial hardship in order to change rate payments have been relaxed

Businesses on the Parade, which are made to pay different rates, will be given a rebate

Unley

No specific relief has been announced but the council is asking individuals to contact them if they are experiencing hardship under their policy

Burnside

Residents under financial stress can postpone the payment of their rates until December

Seniors card holders may be able to postpone their rates long-term

Late fines and interest on rates will be waived until August 31

Ratepayers can opt to move their rates on to a weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment plan

Mitcham

Rent and other fees have been waived for businesses leasing council land

Mitcham is considering a number of other measures, including waiving fines, inspection fees for businesses and offering rate rebates to residents under financial hardship

Holdfast Bay

Payment of fourth-quarter rates can be postponed until the end of August without any penalty

Seniors card holders may be able to postpone their rates long-term

Late fines and interest on rates will be waived until August 31

Ratepayers can opt to move their rates on to a weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment plan

Leases for community and sporting clubs, and commercial operations on council land, have been waived for three months and loans deferred for six

Marion

No specific relief has been announced but the council is asking individuals to contact them if they are experiencing hardship under their policy

West Torrens

Fines and penalties for the late payment of rates will not be imposed for six months

Debt recovering action on unpaid rates will be suspended for six months

Parking permit fees will be waived until the end of August

Charles Sturt

All fines and penalties for late payment of rates have been waived until the end of August

Clubs, groups and businesses leasing council land are eligible for a reduction in leases and other fees

Port Adelaide Enfield

Fines and penalties can be waived and rate payments deferred until June 30 if ratepayers contact the council

All organisations leasing council land and buildings have had their rent waived for four months

Gawler

Residents under financial stress can postpone the payment of their rates for six months

Seniors card holders may be able to postpone their rates long-term

Late fines and interest on rates will be waived until August 31

Ratepayers can opt to move their rates on to a weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment plan

Adelaide Hills

Residents can contact the council for case-by-case help if they are struggling to pay rates

A stay on fines relating to late payment of rates has been introduced

Mount Barker

All penalties relating to late payment of rates have been cancelled until September 4

Victor Harbor

Payment of rates has been extended until June 30

No fines or penalties will be imposed for the late payment of rates

Rent has been waived until June 30 for businesses on council land and outdoor dining fees have been refunded until the end of August

Loxton Waikerie

Ratepayers can contact the council to have their rates deferred if they are suffering financial hardship

Barossa

People under financial hardship can have their rates deferred for up to six months

Wakefield

Council rates will be waived for residents and businesses struggling across the Wakefield district because of the coronavirus pandemic

All ratepayers – including residents, businesses and sporting clubs – can now apply for their fourth quarter rates and all other fees to be cancelled if they can prove financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Interest and fines for late repayments will also be cancelled until September 30.

Grants of up to $5000 will be available to businesses to help them access professional support services or restructure, such as moving online.