Weekly Digest – 13 October 2021

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

We’re thinking of everyone affected by lockdowns around the country and encourage you to reach out if you have any questions about your business during this time.

Sydney Reopens After Months of Lockdown

Cafes, gyms, and restaurants in Sydney opened for fully vaccinated customers on Monday after months in lockdown.

Under the relaxed rules for New South Wales, retail stores and restaurants reopened with reduced capacity, and more vaccinated people were allowed to gather in homes and attend weddings and funerals. NSW aims to hit an 80% vaccination rate in late October when more restrictions will be relaxed.

Changes for Directors starting in November: Identification Number Needed

All directors of a company will need a director identification number (director ID) from November.

The director identification number is a unique identifier that allows shareholders, creditors, employees, and consumers to know certain details about the directors of a company. All directors are required by law to verify their identity with the Australian Business Registry Services before receiving a director ID.

All directors need to apply for their own ID so while we can’t apply for this on your behalf, we can help you if you have any questions.

You can also follow the steps for application here when it’s available in November.

Single Touch Payroll Phase 2

The expansion of Single Touch Payroll, also called STP Phase 2, will minimise the reporting burden for employers who are required to report information about their employees to multiple government agencies.

The ATO will share payroll information with Services Australia in near real-time. This will help Services Australia’s customers, who may be your employees, get the right payment at the right time.

Also, you may no longer need to provide separation certificates when your employees leave. The mandatory start date for Phase 2 reporting is 1 January 2022.

Get in touch with us if you have questions about the changes.

Change in Super Rules from 1 November for Your New Employees

There’s an upcoming change that involves an extra step to comply with ‘choice of fund’ rules when a new employee starts working for you. Currently, if new hires don’t choose their own Super fund, the employer can pay Super contributions for them to your default fund.

However, starting 1 November, employers will need to request their ‘stapled super fund’ details from the ATO. A stapled super fund is an existing account which is linked to an employee, and this change in rules aim to minimise the number of additional Super accounts opened each time an individual starts a new job.

You can use online services for business to request for your new hires’ stapled super fund details. If you need help with your tax and super, get in touch with us!

Business Conditions Decline, But Sentiment Improves

NAB’s index of business conditions fell 9 points in September to 5, while its measure of business confidence rebounded by 19 points to 13. Firms in NSW looked forward to easing of stay-at-home rules beginning this week. Victoria and Canberra should start opening up later in October.

Toll Rebates and Discounted Licensing Fees for Small Businesses in Sydney

Small businesses in Sydney could claim $2000 as a support package that can now be used for tolls, licensing fees, and council rates has been expanded by the NSW government to boost economic recovery.

The rebate, which was originally worth $1500, will target tradies and other small businesses with a payroll of less than $1.2 million, who do not qualify for payroll tax.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet also announced a “stock guarantee” for businesses with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million to apply for up to $20,000 for loss of perishable stock if affected by local lockdowns. Businesses can also claim $10,000 for reduced capacity to sell non-perishable items.

Disaster Payments to Be Scaled Back

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment which gives $750 a week to people who have lost at least 20 hours of work, and $450 a week to those who have lost between eight and 20 hours, will be wound back as each state and territory hits the 70% and 80% target vaccination rates for those aged 16 years old and above.

At 70% fully vaccinated, people will have to reapply each week for the payment, instead of it being automatically renewed. Meanwhile, at 80%, the payment will be phased out entirely within two weeks.

Support for Apprentices to be Expanded

The $3.9 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program will extend support into the second and third year of an eligible Australian Apprenticeship through the $716 million Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program.

From October, eligible employers will receive a 10% wage subsidy in the second year of an eligible apprenticeship, and 5% in the third year. The government’s investment is expected to continue to support the 270,000 anticipated commencements under the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program from October 2020 to March 2022.

COVID-19 Government Support By State and Industry

Small businesses that are currently suffering from lockdowns can get financial assistance to help them get through the pandemic. You can find the latest government support schemes for each state or territory here.

The impacts of the COVID-19 restrictions vary from one industry to another. Here you’ll find the latest government financial assistance available for particular industries.

Cash Grants for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses in SA

Hundreds of local tourism and hospitality businesses in South Australia have already started receiving new $3,000 and $1,000 cash grants, as part of a joint Federal-State Government small business support package. You can find more information about support grants in South Australia here.

NSW Grants

The NSW Government will be offering financial support to businesses or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders.

NSW: Micro-business grant

The micro-business grant is a $1500 fortnightly payment for businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000.

To check your eligibility and apply, visit the Service NSW website.

COVID-19 Business Grant

A one-off payment to help businesses, sole traders or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions.

Grants between $7,500 and $15,000 are available to eligible businesses depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions. For eligibility criteria and to apply, visit the Service NSW website.

JobSaver payment

JobSaver is a fortnightly payment to help maintain employee headcount (as at 13 July) and provide cashflow support to businesses. To check your eligibility and apply, visit the Service NSW website.

Small business fees and charges rebate

If you are a sole trader, the owner of a small business or a not-for-profit organisation in NSW, you may be eligible for a small business fees and charges rebate of $1500 aimed at helping businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Applications are open and you can check your eligibility here.

You can view more NSW Government COVID-19 Support Packages here, including Jobs Plus, Sydney CBD Friday vouchers, Payroll tax support and support for the tourism industry. Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

ATO support for those affected by COVID-19 restrictions or disasters

The ATO has a range of support options to help those affected by disasters or those experiencing challenges due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions.

The ATO may be able to:

  • prioritise any refunds owed to you
  • set up a payment plan tailored to your individual situation
  • remit penalties or interest charged during the time you have been affected.

If you need help to manage your tax or superannuation obligations, please get in touch with us.

JobMaker Hiring Credit

Eligible employers can access the JobMaker Hiring Credit for each eligible additional employee they hire between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021. You may be able to 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 before the due date of the first JobMaker period you’re claiming for.

Get in touch

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

Would you like to know more? Contac us today