Note that the boost to the instant asset write off rules that the government put in place to help stimulate the Australian economy in the face of the COVID-19 crisis has been extended to the end of this year. Businesses with a turnover of up to $500 million a year will be allowed to continue writing off newly purchased assets worth up to $150,000.
Companies should note that the government made a determination just before the end of the financial year that permits companies to hold annual general meetings by electronic format. Also, companies may execute a document, without using a common seal, by electronic communication. The determination is to be repealed on 6 November 2020.
When assessing eligibility for JobKeeper assistance, the first question that must be answered is whether the entity was carrying on a business as at 1 March 2020. This question is of particular relevance to entities that have solely or predominantly rental income (other than input taxed supplies).
Many residential rental property owners have had their rental income affected by COVID-19. As a result of this income year not being business as usual, the ATO has provided answers to some typical scenarios that may crop up in this area for tax time.
The government has temporarily changed bankruptcy law to help protect people who are facing unmanageable debt as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19. If you are in financial difficulty, application can be made for temporary debt protection, which prevents recovery action by unsecured creditors, for six months.
There are many questions being asked lately about claiming expenses when forced to work from home over the COVID-19 period – plus a lot of concern about any consequent capital gains issues when later selling a property from which people have been coerced to work from during this time.
An alternative decline in turnover test for the JobKeeper payment scheme has now been registered by the ATO. The ATO says the alternative tests will only kick in if an entity cannot satisfy the basic decline in turnover test.
A mandatory code of conduct signed off by the National Cabinet yesterday will force commercial landlords to accept rent reductions in proportion to a tenant’s decline in turnover due to COVID-19. Landlords are required to offer tenants at least 50% of their rent relief as ‘waivers’ over the next few months and the remainder in deferrals. The ‘good-faith’ leasing principles should be negotiated individually between landlords and their tenants, and are designed to aid the management of cashflow for SME tenants and landlords on a proportionate basis, as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 stimulus and relief package also contains measures relating to the instant asset write-off, accelerated depreciation, a cash flow boost for employers, superannuation, stimulus payments to households and much more. Here are more details on each area.