December 2020 – Practice Update

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December 4, 2020

JobKeeper Update

In welcome news, the ATO is extending the due date for lodgement of the December JobKeeper business monthly declaration to Thursday 28 January 2021 (instead of 14 January 2021).  The key dates are as follows :

  • Between 4 January 2021 and 28 January 2021 – complete the December business monthly declaration (this is an extension of two weeks past the usual due date of the 14th day of each month).
  • By 31 January 2021 – entities enrolling for JobKeeper Extension (for January to March 2021) will need to enrol and submit their ‘Check decline in turnover’ form.
  • By 31 January 2021 – for JobKeeper fortnights 21 and 22 only (from 4 January 2021 and 18 January 2021 respectively), employers have until 31 January 2021 to pay their employees any Jobkeeper  top up (to meet the wage condition).

More information is available here

Victorian Small Business Digital Adaption Program

A rebate of $1,200 is now available for eligible Victorian small businesses, sole traders and micro businesses to trial and buy digital products, tools and training to build digital capability in their day-to-day operations.

JobMaker Hiring Credit passed

The government has passed legislation to establish the JobMaker Hiring Credit, specifically designed to encourage businesses to take on additional young employees and increase employment.

It does this by providing employers with a fixed amount of $200 per week for an eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years and $100 per week for an eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years, paid quarterly in arrears by the ATO.

To be eligible, the employee must have been receiving JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance (Other) or Parenting Payment for at least one of the previous three months, assessed on the date of employment.  Employees also need to have worked for a minimum of 20 hours per week of paid work to be eligible, averaged over a quarter, and can only be eligible with one employer at a time.

The hiring credit is not available to an employer who does not increase their headcount and payroll.

Employers and employees will be prohibited from entering into contrived schemes in order to gain access to or increase the amount payable.

Existing rights and safeguards for employees under the Fair Work Act will continue to apply, including protection from unfair dismissal and the full range of general protections.

STP data-sharing with Services Australia

Single Touch Payroll (‘STP’) allows the ATO to share data in real-time with other government agencies, to “help them deliver government services to the Australian community”.

As part of the ATO’s data-matching program, it has a STP data-sharing arrangement with Services Australia to help them administer Australia’s welfare system.

This means that people who are on an income support payment from Services Australia and need to report their employment income fortnightly to Centrelink will now see their employer details are pre-filled.

Hughes O’Dea Corredig now Certified Estate Planning Professionals

2020 has been a year of learning at HOC, not just the new JobKeeper legislation but also Estate Planning, which we are rolling out. Our service includes highlighting the important aspects for you to consider when it comes to building a thorough, well-informed plan.

Importantly, we address why your estate planning is not so much about you, as about your family’s future well-being, and legacy. Contact us now to discuss your estate planning needs.

Proposed FBT exemption — retraining and reskilling

The government has announced it will introduce an exemption from FBT for retraining and reskilling benefits provided by employers to redundant, or soon to be redundant, employees where the benefits may not be related to their current employment.

It is proposed that this exemption will not apply to:

  • retraining provided under a salary packaging arrangement;
  • training provided through Commonwealth supported places at universities; or
  • repayments towards Commonwealth student loans.

If enacted, this proposed measure is intended to apply from the day it was announced i.e. 2 October 2020.

 Latest SMSF Data Research
Hughes O’Dea Corredig, as the 2020 SMSF Firm of the Year, are proud to share current and up-to-date information regarding SMSF’s. Last week a research report on minimum establishment balances and fees was released by Rice Warner in conjunction with the SMSF Association. For more information on that report, click HERE. For more information on the specialist SMSF team at HOC, click HERE

Improvements to be made to full expensing measure

The government will expand eligibility for the temporary ‘full expensing measure’, which temporarily allows certain businesses to deduct the full cost of eligible depreciable assets in the year they are first used or installed. The government initially announced in the 2020/21 Budget that businesses with a turnover of up to $5 billion would be able to immediately deduct the full cost of eligible depreciable assets as long as they are first used or installed by 30 June 2022.

The government will also allow businesses to opt out of temporary full expensing and the backing business investment incentive on an asset‑by‑asset basis.

This change will provide businesses with more flexibility in respect of these measures, removing a potential disincentive for them to take advantage of these incentives.

Payroll tax deferral and new PTX Express menu item

As a result of the Victorian Government’s coronavirus payroll tax relief measure providing for the deferral of 2020-21 payroll tax, we have added a new menu item – ‘Deferral returns’ – in PTX Express.

This relief measure enables Victorian employers with payrolls up to $10 million (based on their 2019-20 annual reconciliation) to:

  • defer paying their 2020-21 payroll tax until 2021-22, or
  • lodge and pay as usual.

If you choose to defer, you must still lodge monthly returns by the 7th day of each following month, or the next business day, but do not have to pay the tax until 2021-22. It is important to lodge your returns as a record of the amount of tax being deferred.

If there are any 2020-21 monthly returns that you have not yet lodged, please do so as soon as possible in PTX Express.

The new menu item ‘Deferral returns’ provides employers with a history of the 2020-21 returns they have lodged and whether they have been paid or deferred to 2021-22. It also contains information about payment options.

Your ‘Deferral returns’ record will be updated and, from next month, a confirmation email will be sent each time you lodge a monthly return.

More information on this payroll tax deferral relief measure is available on the Victorian Government website.

Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances.

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