PAYG, JobKeeper, & Tenancy Laws
Last week marked the commencement of a number of the Federal Government’s COVID-19 financial assistance initiatives; providing greater understanding of their aim to ease pressure on businesses and employees.
As per our previous updates there are a number of initiatives that many of you will be able to access, some of the standout items being, PAYG Withholding Boost, JobKeeper and support for tenants and landlords.
As always we’re on hand to answer any specific questions you may have however we hope the information below provides greater detail around how to now access support available to you and your business.
PAYG Withholding Boost
As I am sure many of you know, this applies to all businesses who have employees. Other than having turnover of less than $50 million there are no other rules to qualify for this boost. Normally no one is in a rush to complete their BAS, however March is a very different story given the times we are in. We are working hard to complete everyone’s BAS so they receive the benefit of this package.
Surprisingly, the Federal Government has changed their position on refunds. If you are now due a refund it will not offset any prior tax debt that you have, the refund will offset any GST payable for the period and you will receive a refund if a credit still remains.
From last week businesses and not-for-profits impacted by COVID-19 can enrol to access a government-funded wage subsidy to ensure they can continue paying their employees.
Note this is different to the initial step of registering your intent to claim.
Last week also saw the date of the enrolment be extended to the 31st May, allowing reimbursements from the 1st April, assuming you qualify. After this date you will only be reimbursed for wages from the date of enrolment.
We have received many questions about qualifying for the JobKeeper payment and late last week the government released seven other criteria for those businesses who do not meet the basic turnover reduction test. This is to allow for seasonal businesses, start-ups and other businesses with different turnover cycles to access the relief package.
Remember if at any time during the next six months your turnover falls by 30% or more in a month, you will qualify for JobKeeper from that point and be paid until 27 September. It will be imperative that you stay close to your numbers over this period. Call us if you need our help to assess this!
Residential Tenants & Owners (Queensland)
The Queensland Government has introduced temporary changes to tenancy laws to protect tenants during the coronavirus crisis.
While we await further detail the following is proposed:
- Tenants can claim COVID-19 rental relief if they have lost 25% of their income.
- They also qualify if their rent exceeds 30% of their income.
- Tenants must be able to provide proof of finances.
These tests allow a tenant to negotiate their rent. Unlike the legislation for commercial tenants there has not been a stipulation of the amount of any reduction required.
Inspections & Repairs
- Virtual rental inspections will be allowed.
- Access must be given for essential repairs and maintenance.
- Property owners will be prohibited from evicting a tenant if their lease expires. It will be made retrospective to March 29.
Breaking tenancy agreements
- Tenants can break a lease with capped fees if they have lost 75% of their income.
These proposed changes come following criticism that little was being done to protect landlords whose tenants could originally claim relief without proof. The revised proposal now outlines tenants must be able to prove they have lost at least 25% of their income, or that their rent exceeds 30% of their income, to access COVID-19 rental relief measures. Again we recommend you get on the front foot and start discussions early with your tenant or landlord depending on your situation.
We will continue to update you as we receive further information regarding government support for businesses and individuals, however, should you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to contact your q4 team.
Grant Titman and Kelly Hill