Weekly Digest – 16 June 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Melbourne’s Lockdown Lifted

Lockdown in Melbourne was lifted on 11 June, but restrictions remain in place including a mandate to wear face masks at all times outside the home, limiting travel to within 25 km, and preventing some businesses from operating.

Although restrictions have been eased further in regional Victoria, there are still plenty of rules as the state emerges from its fourth lockdown. ABC has a summary of the new COVID-19 rules for regional Victoria and Melbourne in this article.

Victoria-NZ Travel Bubble Pause Extended

New Zealand’s quarantine-free travel bubble with Victoria was originally scheduled to resume on 10 June, but NZ public health officials have recommended extending the pause for another week. Although most of the cases in Melbourne are linked to overseas, there are at least three cases where a link has not been identified.

The travel bubble pause will be reviewed again this week.

Australia in Talks With Singapore For Travel Bubble

Singapore and Australia are currently working towards establishing a travel bubble. According to the prime ministers, infrastructure and processes for resuming travel need to be put in place, starting with recognition of vaccination certificates.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is the first foreign leader to make an official visit to Singapore since the start of the pandemic last year. He stopped in Singapore on his way to the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Britain.

Discussions between the two country leaders also included a potential fintech bridge and exploration of a green economy agreement.

Australia, UK Agree on Free Trade Deal

A major free trade agreement between Australia and the UK has been finalised, following similar UK trade deals with Japan and the European Union post-Brexit.

The deal eliminates tariffs on UK exports and tariffs on imported Australian goods such as wine, swimwear, and confectionery goods. British products including Scotch whisky, biscuits, ceramics, and cars will be cheaper to sell into Australia.

UK farmers will be protected by a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, using tariff-rate quotas and other safeguards.

Aside from strengthening economic links, the two countries also plan to improve cooperation on security, climate change, science, and tech.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment for Victoria

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is a lump sum payment to help Victorians who can’t go to work and earn an income during the 14 days they need to self-isolate, quarantine, or care for someone.

Those who are eligible will receive $1,500 for each 14-day period they need to quarantine or care for a person with COVID-19. You can claim it over the phone by calling 180 22 66 or print and complete the Claim for Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment – Victoria form. You can find more details and the eligibility criteria here.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment for Victorians

The government has announced a new COVID-19 Disaster Payment to help those affected by lockdowns and social restrictions.

This new payment will help Victorians who are unable to earn due to the COVID-19 rules. To be eligible, you must be an Australian resident, permanent resident, or working visa holder with liquid assets of $10,000 or less, and who live or work in a hotspot where the lockdown is for more than 7 days.

The government will give one payment for each period of lockdown which can be either:

  • $325 if you’ve lost less than 20 hours of work
  • $500 if you’ve lost 20 hours or more of work.

You can claim this payment through your Centrelink online account on myGov from 8 June. More information can be found here but het in touch with us if you have any questions.

New Digital Certificate Simplifies Proof of Vaccination

The COVID-19 digital certificate makes it easy for people to show their vaccination status anytime and anywhere. As soon as your provider has reported that you received both doses of an approved vaccine, you’ll be able to access your digital certificate through myGov or in the Express Plus Medicare app.

More information about how to access proof of COVID-19 vaccination can be found here.

EOFY is Fast Approaching

The end of the financial year is not just about tying up an interesting and challenging year, it’s also a chance to prepare for a successful year ahead! Below are some things you may want to consider.

Temporary Full Expensing or Instant Asset Write-Off
Small businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million can receive a full write-off for all assets. Both new and second-hand assets qualify, but these assets must be used or already installed by the end of the financial year. The immediate deduction for a car cannot exceed the cost limit of $59,136.

Pay all unpaid wages that have been processed and employee bonuses before 30 June. It’s also recommended to start reviewing and updating your employment contracts with your staff.

Consider paying Q4 (April – June) before 30 June to receive the tax deduction. The Superannuation Guarantee is scheduled to increase to 10% from 1 July, so be ready for this.

Ensure your FBT for company vehicles declaration has already been prepared and you’ve provided your odometer reading on vehicles as of 1 April.

Government Rebate for NSW
Sole traders, small business owners, and nonprofits in NSW may be eligible for a small business fees and charges rebate of $1500 for fees paid from 1 March 2021 and will be available until 30 June.

EOFY tips for small businesses

  1. Get your accounts in order in a cloud accounting system. Get in touch with us so we can recommend the right software for your business.
  2. Get in touch with your accounting advisor now to see if you can take advantage of tax minimisation schemes like the loss carry back tax offset scheme.
  3. If cashflow permits, you may consider bringing forward some expenses or purchasing capital assets that will help you save time or generate more money. This will allow you to make the most of the instant asset write-off scheme.
  4. Seek an accountant who can translate the tax jargon, COVID schemes and deadlines into plain and simple English.

We’ll help you get ready for EOFY, without the stress. Chat to us if you have any questions.

Remember JobKeeper on your tax return

If you received JobKeeper this financial year you need to include them in your tax return.

If you’re a sole trader, partnership, company or trust that has received JobKeeper payments, the ATO will contact you or your tax agent by early July to let you know:

  • the total amount of JobKeeper payments your entity received since 1 July 2020, or where you can find out
  • where to report JobKeeper payments in your tax return.

Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Superannuation Guarantee increases on 1 July 2021

The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) will increase to 10% from 1 July 2021. If you have employees, you need to be ready for this legislated increase.

What do you need to do?

  • Firstly, you should speak to your payroll software provider to make sure they are on top of this rate change. Your accountant or bookkeeper may also be able to help.
  • Review any individual agreements with an SCG rate of more than 9.5%, but less than 10%.
  • Notify your employees as they may need to review their Salary Sacrifice or after-tax contributions arrangements.
  • Update Remuneration Packages as it could mean a pay decrease for employees.
  • This is also a good opportunity to do some housekeeping to ensure your super obligations have been met (including super payments and calculations).

As an employer it’s important to ensure you pay super at the new minimum rate. There are financial penalties applied for not meeting your SG obligations. Ask us if you have any questions.

JobMaker Hiring Credit’s Second Claim Period

The second claim period of the JobMaker Hiring Credit is now open. So if you’ve taken on additional young employees between 7 January and 6 April 2021, you may claim the following payments:

  • up to $10,400 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years
  • up to $5,200 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years

Register any time until the scheme ends.

Wage Subsidy Scheme for Apprentices and Trainees

The government has announced the expansion of the wage subsidy scheme for apprentices and trainees. Under the scheme, the government will pay half the wages of apprentices up to a maximum of $7,000 each quarter for 12 months. Ask us if you have any questions.

Income Statements can be found in myGov in July

Since Single Touch Payroll (STP) came into place in 2019, payment summaries (previously called Group Certificates) now known as Income Statements can be accessed through myGov. These are no longer directly provided by employers. This will be prepared and ready for employees by 14 July if your or 31 July, depending on if the employer has 20+ employees or 19 or less respectively.

Upcoming Key Dates

Upcoming key lodgment and payment dates for businesses:

21 June

  • Lodge and pay May 2021 monthly business activity statement.

25 June

  • Lodge and pay 2021 Fringe Benefits Tax annual return if you have a tax agent that lodges your return electronically.

30 June

  • Super guarantee contributions must be paid by this date to qualify for a tax deduction in the 2020–21 financial year.

Contact us if you have any questions.

SME Recovery Loans open until 30 June

The Government’s SME Recovery Loan Scheme is open to small-medium businesses with a turnover of up to $250 million that were recipients of JobKeeper or were affected by floods in certain areas. This Scheme means the Government will guarantee 80% of the loan amount. You can find more details and eligibility criteria here, but please get in touch if you have any questions.

Eight Key Signs You Need To Hire Additional Support Staff

How do you work out when it’s time to bring on new team members? For busy business owners and those that are new to the game, it may not always be clear when it’s time to move beyond your core employees and get additional help.

In this Forbes article, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members share eight telling signs that you need more support staff. Below is an overview of the indicators you should look out for:

  • Your team hesitates to use time off
  • Employees complain of being too busy
  • Staff are behind on key responsibilities
  • KPIs and success rates begin to fall
  • Managers and employees lose focus
  • Overtime and errors spike
  • Customer service tickets pile up
  • Customers complain more frequently

Do you manage your own books? It’s best to focus on your core responsibilities as a business owner and get expert help for the financial side of your business. Book a consultation with us and let’s discuss how we can make your life easier.

Get in touch

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

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