Payroll & Employees

Employer Obligations during the Coronavirus Government Restrictions

This is a trying time for all businesses but especially so the employers and their employees. Many businesses have been forced to close due to the current restrictions in place, but what does this mean for employees?

 

Q. Can employees be stood down and if so do I need to pay them?

A. You as the employer would need to first discuss any other options to keep your employees usefully employed before making the decision of standing them down. If this means that they work from home then you should do all you can to allow this. However, if you can prove that they cannot be usefully employed and that there is a stoppage of work that you cannot be reasonably held responsible for then you can stand them down. If your employees are under a part-time or full-time agreement then they can access their annual leave entitlements during the stand down period. If they have exhausted their leave entitlement then they would use unpaid leave. Your employees will still be considered employed by you even if they are unpaid during this time.

 

Q. Can I reduce an employees hours?

A. You as the employer would need to first discuss any other options with your employees to continue their ordinary hours. The employee would also need to agree with the reduction of hours before commencing the new arrangement. If agreed, then you can reduce their hours.

 

Q. What if my employee has to stay home because they have or may have Coronavirus?

A. Your employee would use their personal/carers leave entitlements and then use annual or unpaid leave.

 

Q. What if I choose to send my employees home as a precaution?

A. Your employees would generally still be entitled to their ordinary pay. If you direct them to not work but they are willing and able to work then you still have the responsibility to pay them under their agreement. However, if you are forced to send them home then please read the first question and  answer again.

 

Q. What if my employee has to stay home because their children no longer have access to childcare?

A. Your employee would use their personal/carers leave entitlements and then use annual or unpaid leave. However, you can arrange your employee to work from home in this case and should still attempt to provide them with alternative work before commencing unpaid leave.

 

Q. What if I choose to terminate employees?

A. You would still need to follow the usual Fair Work laws, e.g. provide notice, redundancy pay if applicable, pay out for leave accrued if applicable. Please be careful to ensure that you are not dismissing employees because of discrimination or a temporary absence due to illness or injury.

 

 

For more information about your obligations as an employer, please see the Fair Work website at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/website-news/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws

Economic Response to the Coronavirus

 

The Federal Parliament voted last night in acceptance of the $84 billion economic stimulus package. The bills have been passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Below is the list of key tax measures and payments that are included in the package.

Business:

  • The instant asset write-off threshold is set to be increased from $30,000 (for businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million) to $150,000 (for businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million) from 12th of March to 30th of June 2020
  • Immediate 50% deduction of the cost of an eligible asset with the balance to be depreciated under current depreciation rules for assets purchased from 12th March 2020 to 30th June 2021
  • Tax-free payments from $20,000 to $100,000 for eligible small and medium businesses that employ staff based on their PAYG withholding obligations – this will be applied as a credit of 100% of the PAYG withheld when lodging an activity statement from March to June 2020 with the ATO
  • Relief from the ATO for some tax obligations for persons affected by the Coronavirus outbreak – deferral of certain lodgements and payments
  • Temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading whilst insolvent
  • Wage subsidies to support employers who pay apprentices and trainees – employers who employ less than 20 full-time employees may be entitled to apply for a wage subsidy that will cover 50% of an apprentices or trainees wages for up to nine months from 1st January to 30 September 2020 with a maximum subsidy of $21,000 for each employee

Individuals:

  • Coronavirus supplement being paid by Centrelink at a rate of $550 per fortnight for eligible individuals
  • Tax-free payments of $1500 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders
  • Temporary early release of superannuation of up to $10,000 during the 2020 financial year and a further $10,000 in the 2021 financial year – these payments will be tax-free and will not affect Centrelink payments
  • Government assistance to regions and communities that have been severely affected by the outbreak

Timing of Assistance:

  • Immediately, with deductions to be included in 2019-20 tax returns – Increased instant asset write off, accelerated depreciation
  • As soon as practicable – Support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities
  • From 31 March 2020 – First round of $750 payments to support households
  • Applications from early-April – Assistance for existing apprentices and trainees
  • Applications from mid-April 2020 – Temporary early release of superannuation
  • From 27 April 2020 – Income support and a Coronavirus supplement
  • From 28 April 2020 – First phase of Boosting Cash Flow for Employers (tax-free PAYG credits)
  • From 13 July 2020 – Second round of $750 payments to support households
  • From 21 July 2020 – Second phase of Boosting Cash Flow for Employers (tax-free PAYG credits)

For more details, please visit the treasury website at https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

December Monthly Newsletter! 

Welcome to our December Monthly Newsletter! 

We are now in December, the season of joy! We hope that all of our small business clients are able to take some time out with their families over the holiday period. Our office will be closed from Monday, 23rd of December 2019 and will re-open Monday, 6th January 2020. Please contact our office if you wish to discuss anything before we close or you require assistance with payroll and working out those annual leave payments for employees.

Monthly tax tip:

Now that Christmas is just around the corner, you will probably be wondering what to do about gifts for clients and staff members. Well we have some good news for you, majority of small gifts to staff and clients are tax deductible with just a few exceptions. Small gifts for clients are generally tax deductible if they are given in hopes of making a future profit and are not a private gift, e.g. a bottle of champagne might be gifted to your larger clients as a Christmas gift to thank them for their business – this is tax deductible but if you were to also gift a family member that happened to be a client (not considered one of your larger clients) then it would be considered a personal gift and not tax deductible.

Small gifts to employees are also tax deductible as long as they are a standard gift and not an entertainment based gift, e.g. a watch is tax deductible but a ticket to a sports game is not. If you do plan on gifting employees at Christmas time then you may also want to keep an eye on the cost – if the gift totals $300 or over then it could trigger fringe benefits tax. A way around this could be buying a gift for less than $300 and also providing the employee with a bonus in their pay cheque. Just keep note that the bonus will be taxed at the employees individual tax rates.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with us then please jump onto our website where you can see our availabilities and book a time that suits you.

Important Dates!

1 December:

Pay income tax for the 2019 tax year if taxpayer is a taxable medium/large company or superfund

Pay income tax for the 2019 tax year if taxpayer is a company or superfund and lodgement was due by 31 October 2019

21 December:

Lodge and pay November 2019 monthly business/instalment activity statement

October Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to our October Monthly Newsletter! 

Single Touch Payroll registration became mandatory on 1 July 2019, however if you were considered a “small employer” which is defined as having less than 20 employees, you had a concession date of 30 September 2019 to start reporting. If you missed these deadlines then you can apply for a deferral with the ATO but must have good reason, e.g. transitioning to appropriate software, no access to internet, etc. From our experience, the STP process is super easy and takes only a matter of minutes to become connected (if you are already using appropriate software). Lodging STP pay events are also an extremely simple process so do not be alarmed if you haven’t jumped on the band wagon yet – it’s easier than you might think! If you are unsure where to even start with this process then we suggest contacting your software provider. If you are not using appropriate software or would prefer that we manage your payroll then please contact us to discuss your options.
Monthly tax tip:
Is your business registered for GST? It may not be required to just yet (you must register once you reach $75,000 in gross revenue) but registering for this can have some great benefits! GST is a consumer tax and shouldn’t actually be paid by business’ however you will be paying for it if you are not registered for GST. When you register, you can claim the GST that was paid on expenses relating to your business. Many business owners will actually avoid registering for GST because they are worried that they will have this new tax to pay – this is a common mistake. When you are registered, you actually collect GST from your customers so it is added to your sale price – not taken from it. For example, if you are going to invoice a customer for $100 you would then add the 10% of GST which is $10, making the total $110. You would then keep the $100 that you earned and pay the $10 to the ATO. So you don’t actually have to pay any new taxes and you are refunded directly for GST that you paid on business expenses! If you are interested in this and would like more information or assistance in registration then please contact us.If you would like to schedule a consultation with us then please jump onto our website where you can see our availabilities and book a time that suits you.
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Important Dates!

21 October:

  • Lodge and pay September 2019 monthly business/instalment activity statement
  • Pay annual PAYG instalment notice. Lodge the notice only if you vary the instalment amount

28 October:

  • Make super guarantee contributions for quarter ending 30 September 2019 to funds by this date
  • Lodge and pay quarter ending 30 September 2019 activity statement if lodging by paper
  • Pay quarter ending 30 September 2019 instalment notice. Lodge the notice only if you vary the instalment amount
  • Lodge and pay annual activity statement for TFN withholding for closely held trusts

31 October:

  • Lodge and pay 2019 income tax return if not lodging through a tax agent
  • Lodge PAYG withholding annual report for no ABN withholding
  • Lodge TFN report for closely held trusts for quarter ending 30 September 2019

Are you ready to hire a new employee?

Are you ready to hire a new employee and are unsure on how to organise their first day? See the below link for some tips and tricks on how to avoid induction mistakes, increase employee satisfaction and engagement and some personal stories from employees themselves.

https://employmenthero.com/blog/hr/employee-induction-mistakes/?utm_campaign=EH+Newsletter&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–KvvwtMmguYnWDd8hDv37npmJDVexeQkswCddeZ8a4f2pSrz0UCiJP-tL2MG8JngthQT7i6yaS8N6asO_R1OgwVUARBjkLVHVFZMpiU08E6VZ4QF4&_hsmi=76465860&utm_content=76465860&utm_source=hs_email&hsCtaTracking=ba74dfcb-6f40-4fe0-9843-e67a5307c9fc%7Ca90eb2b5-7ae0-448d-ac4b-f2da7bab017e&fbclid=IwAR3FYYVdRa0jC9svF_8Xne6OtdsqBg-9KFmkv2-muW2s2LfDRe5Jp5I8dJw 

 

Claim Employee Super this Financial Year⏳

As an employer, you claim superannuation payments when they are paid – not when they are accrued, even if you report on an accrual basis for tax purposes.

However, if you wish to claim a deduction for this financial year for superannuation (quarter 4), it will need to be processed in your software by the 20th of June to allow time for the payment to be received.

If you choose to pay in July by the due date then the deduction will be claimed in the next financial year.

If you would like us to process this then please contact us as soon as possible so we can arrange a time to get this processed for you.

If you have any questions then please contact our office by phone or email. 😊

 

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