Recently, arguments both for and against increasing the rate of compulsory superannuation guarantee (‘SG’) have continued to be tossed around!
The SG is the compulsory amount of superannuation an employer must pay into an eligible employee’s chosen super fund.
The rate of SG has been frozen at 9.5% of an employee’s ordinary wages since July 2014, but from 1 July 2021 it is due to incrementally increase (by 0.5% each financial year) until it ultimately reaches 12% in July 2025.
As a result, the superannuation guarantee rate is currently set to increase to 10% from 1 July 2021.
Editor: At this stage, despite a lot of political rhetoric and media coverage, no change has been announced to change these set plans.
Speaking of the superannuation guarantee, time is rapidly running out for employers to apply for the SG amnesty and catch up on past unpaid super without incurring a penalty.
The ATO encourages employers to apply for the amnesty and make payments as early as they can.
Importantly, eligible amnesty amounts paid by 7 September 2020 are tax deductible!
The ATO must receive amnesty applications by 11:59 pm (local time) on 7 September 2020.
Broadly, to be eligible for the amnesty:
If an employer cannot pay in full, the ATO will work with them to set up a flexible payment plan.
Applicants will need their payment reference number (‘PRN’) to make SG amnesty payments.
The ATO has been sending employers their PRN within 14 business days of receiving their application, however, if an amnesty application has not been lodged by mid-August, they can get their PRN:
Editor: If you wish to discuss the implications of the SG amnesty and any related payment plans (or indeed anything else with respect to SG obligations and liabilities) please contact our office to discuss.
On 21 July 2020, the Government announced that the JobKeeper Payment (‘JKP’) would be extended until 28 March 2021 (i.e., for a further six months beyond its original end date of 27 September 2020).
As a result, JKPs will now be made over two separate extension periods, being:
Furthermore, on 7 August 2020, the Government announced adjustments to JobKeeper 2.0 to expand the eligibility criteria for JKP, primarily in the wake of the tougher COVID-19 restrictions recently imposed in Victoria.
These adjustments will apply nationwide, and the crucial amendments include adjustments to the proposed new ‘Decline in Turnover’ tests applicable from 28 September 2020.
More specifically, to qualify for the JKP in the two new extension periods (outlined above), businesses will now only have to demonstrate that their actual GST turnovers have decreased (in accordance with the applicable rates) in the previous quarter.
For these purposes, the applicable rate of decline in turnover required to qualify for the JKP is determined in accordance with the existing rules (e.g., 30% for entities with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less).
Specifically, to be eligible for the JKP Extension Period 1 (i.e., from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021), businesses only need to demonstrate an applicable decline in turnover in the September 2020 quarter.
This differs from the previously announced JobKeeper 2.0, where they would have been required to show that they had suffered an applicable decline in turnover in both the June and September 2020 quarters.
To be eligible for the JKP Extension Period 2 (i.e., from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021) businesses only need to demonstrate an applicable decline in turnover in the December 2020 quarter.
Whereas under the previously announced JobKeeper 2.0, they would have been required to show that they had suffered an applicable decline in turnover in each of the June, September and December 2020 quarters.
Importantly, the dual payment rate system originally proposed in JobKeeper 2.0 will remain, with the full rate of payment decreasing from $1,500 to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and then to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021.
The proposed reduced rates (being $750 from 28 September 2020 and $650 from 4 January 2021) will also remain for employees and business participants who worked fewer than 20 hours per week in the relevant period.
Additional recently implemented JobKeeper changes mean more employees will qualify for JobKeeper payments from 3 August 2020.
This is primarily because:
Importantly, as a result of these recent tweaks to the JobKeeper scheme, participating employers should have provided any new eligible employees with an employee nomination form.
The onus is on employers to ensure all of their employees now eligible for JKPs as a result of the new 1 July test are given the opportunity to be included.
The Victorian Government has announced further land tax relief for landlords and business owners, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as part of its extension of the commercial and residential tenancy relief schemes until 31 December 2020.
q An increased 50% waiver of the property’s 2020 land tax, and deferral to 31 March 2021, for landlords of residential and commercial properties who provide eligible tenants with a 50% or more outright rent waiver for at least three months.
q Owner-occupiers of commercial properties can obtain a 25% waiver of the property’s 2020 land tax, and payment of the remaining tax can be deferred to 31 March 2021, if they would be eligible under the commercial tenancy relief scheme as if they were a tenant.
Commercial landlords who apply for coronavirus land tax relief must continue to provide rent relief that complies with the requirements of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.
If you have previously applied for a 25% waiver and you want to apply for this further relief, you must make a new application through My Land Tax. If you haven’t already, register for My Land Tax.
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.Tags: ATO, Coronavirus, COVID-19, GST, JobKeeper, JobKeeper Payment, JobKeeper Payment Extension, self-managed super, superannuaction, superannuation guarantee amnesty
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