As of 1 October 2015 Online Accounting and Taxation Solutions has changed name to Affinitas Accounting, you have now been redirected to the new page.

The Second $66.1 bn Stimulus Package: What Individuals and Families Need To Know

 

The Australian Federal Government delivered a substantially increased package available for individuals and small businesses yesterday to ease the economic downturn from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Affinitas Accounting is a member of professional associations, thought leadership groups and specialist private forums.

There have been numerous discussions across all of these as to the interpretation of how these measures will be applied. The consensus, with which we agree, is to read the legislation, before advising any on any specific strategies.

Please do feel free to reach out with any questions that you may have, and we will release updates as soon as we have more information to share. 

In Summary

Individuals

  • Early release of superannuation – individuals in financial distress may be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20, and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. The withdrawals will be tax-free and will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
  • Temporary reduction in minimum superannuation drawdown rates – superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products reduced by 50% in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
  • Deeming rates reduced – from 1 May, superannuation deeming rates reduced further to a lower rate of 0.25% and upper rate of 2.25%.

Supplements increased, access extended and eased – for 6 months from 27 April 2020:

  • A temporary coronavirus supplement of $550 will be paid to existing income support recipients (people will receive their normal payment plus $550 each fortnight for 6 months).
  • A second one-off stimulus payment of $750 will be paid automatically from 13 June 2020 to certain income support recipients (in addition to the payment made from 31 March 2020).
  • Eligibility for access to income support eased to include sole traders and the self-employed, and to those caring for someone infected or in isolation.
  • Waiting periods and assets tests temporarily waived. 

Bankruptcy safety net – temporary 6-month increase to the threshold for the minimum amount of debt required for a creditor to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor from $5,000 to $20,000.

The Government has flagged that additional stimulus packages will be required.

Sole traders and self-employed eligible for Jobseeker payment

The eligibility criteria to access income support payments will be relaxed to enable the self-employed and sole traders whose income has been reduced, to access support.

Individuals

Early release of superannuation
From mid-April, individuals in financial distress may be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. The withdrawals will be tax-free and will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
 
To be eligible to access your superannuation you need to meet one or more of the following requirements:

  • you are unemployed; or
  • you are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  • on or after 1 January 2020
  • you were made redundant; or
  • your working hours were reduced by 20% or more; or
  • if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.

For those eligible to access their superannuation, you can apply directly to the ATO through themyGov website from mid-April.

Temporary reduction in minimum superannuation drawdown rates
Superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products will be reduced by 50% in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

The upper and lower social security deeming rates will be reduced further. As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25% and the lower deeming rate of 0.25%.

Time-limited fortnightly $550 ‘coronavirus supplement’

For the next 6 months, the Government is introducing a new Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients in the eligible payment categories.
 
The payment will be made to those receiving:

  • Jobseeker payment (and those transitioning to the jobseeker payment)
  • Youth allowance jobseeker
  • Parenting payment
  • Farm household allowance
  • Special benefits recipients

Also, eligibility to income support payments will be expanded to:

  • Permanent employees who are stood down or lose their job
  • Casual workers
  • Sole traders
  • The self-employed
  • Contract workers who meet the income test

The Government notes that these criteria could include those required to care for someone affected by the Coronavirus. Asset testing has also been reduced and will be waived for 6 months. Income testing will still apply.
 
The payment is not available if you have access to any employer entitlements such as annual or sick leave or income protection insurance. 

Second $750 payment to households

The Government is now providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders residing in Australia (see the full list here). The payment will be exempt from taxation and will not count as income for Social Security, Farm Household Allowance and Veteran payments.

Payment 1 from 31 March 2020 (previously announced on 12 March): Available to people who are eligible payment recipients and concession cardholders at any time between 12 March 2020 to 13 April 2020;

Payment 2 from 13 July 2020: Available to people who are eligible payment recipients and concession card holders on 10 July 2020.

The payments will be made automatically to those that meet the criteria.

Bankruptcy safety net

A temporary 6-month increase to the threshold for the minimum amount of debt required for a creditor to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor will increase from $5,000 to $20,000. Also, the time a debtor has to respond to a bankruptcy notice will be temporarily increased from 21 days to six months.
 
Where someone declares their intention to enter voluntary bankruptcy, the period of protection from unsecured creditors will be extended from 21 days to 6 months.

More information:

Need friendly advice? Talk to our staff today about how we can help your business succeed.

Subscribe to Affinitas Accounting's newsletter for our latest updates, tips of the trade in your email inbox.

  • I’ve been dealing with Affinitas Accounting for about 3 years now and I have found them to be nothing but friendly and helpful. I’m a Bookkeeper and on occasions have been stuck with various accounting problems. Affinitas have not hesitated to spend time with me until the problem was solved. Any queries or questions have always been answered in a timely manner.

  • I highly recommend coming here for all your tax needs! They explain everything you need to know about tax thoroughly and go about there jobs professionally, always leave here with a cheery smile and satisfaction.

  • Affinitas Accounting has been so helpful with the restructure of my business. They made it an easy process and explained it in a language that was easy to understand. My ongoing tax and gst is all prepared by them, they’ve really taken the stress out of it all to let me focus on growing my business.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Rebecca & Russel Johns

    Since moving to Affinitas Accounting we have a clear understanding of companies and trusts. We have no hesitation in saying the team here will meet and then exceed your expectations! I never feel like i am annoying them. Thank you Team Affinitas

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Paul Maclaine

    Affinitas has looked after all our financial needs for our business and personal tax returns. We have been with our accountant for 10+ years. I have no hesitation in recommending Affinitas to anyone looking for an accountant or any financial advise. We have always found and received friendly professional and practical advise.

  • For the past 6 years, Tammy has been lodging our tax. The team always spend the time to explain how things will affect us and always manage to maximise our returns. We highly recommend the team to anyone we speak to and have had friends move to do their future tax with the team at affinities accounting. Couldn’t recommend them highly enough.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Kirsty Whittaker

    I’ve been using Deb from Affinitas Accounting now for many years and have found her to be excellent in looking after my taxation needs. I’m in Tasmania, Affinitas Accounting is in Queensland and distance is no barrier. She understands my business needs, everything is done in a friendly and efficient manner and I happily recommend to anyone looking for ‘down to earth’ taxation advice.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    David Williams

    We’ve been with Affinitas Accounting for over 5yrs when they were known as Online Accounting & Taxation Solutions. From our initial phone call with Brad looking for an accounting team that would meet our expectations as well as provide efficient service, we’ve been really impressed with the team’s professionalism, knowledge & expertise.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Allyson O'Connell

    Debbie is our accountant and has been for seven years. She is thorough and always does what she can to honestly get us the best return but always adheres to the ATO guidelines. We recommend her to our friends and wouldn’t take our business to anyone else. Thanks Debbie.

  • We have only been with Affinitas Accounting for the past 12 months but in this time they have by far exceeded our expectations of an accountant and far surpassed previously used accountants.
    Affinitas are not just about annual returns, BAS statements etc, they take the time to get to know you enabling them to provide advise to help you work toward personal & business goals.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Mark D’Andrea

    Can’t fault Affinitas.

    Have been coming here for years (when it was then called online tax). Deb has been happy to always go the extra mile and doesn’t mind dispensing helpful advice throughout the year.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Deagon Fixing

    I have been a client of Affinitas Accounting (previously Online) for the past 8 years. It is like a one stop shopping experience, all my needs were addressed in the one office.

    Thanks Affinitas you for all your assistance and I would strongly recommend them to anyone to use

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.