NSW Land Tax Break

Last updated 17th April 2020

NSW landlords will be able to apply for a concession of up to 25% of their 2020 land tax liability on relevant properties, but it must be passed on to tenants through a rent reduction.

What is available

The NSW Land Tax Break scheme offers a reduction of up to 25% of the land tax payable on a parcel of land in the 2020 land tax year.

Eligibility Criteria

The NSW Land Tax Break is available when:

  • Your land is used for business or residential purposes
  • You’re leasing the property to a residential or commercial tenant (turnover up to $50 million) who can demonstrate financial destress from the COVID-19 outbreak
  • You reduce the rent of the affected tenant by at least as much as the reduction

How to apply

The NSW Government are currently streamlining the application process to make it easy to apply for this reduction. Applications are not currently being taken.

We will notify you as soon as the application process becomes available.

Read more from the NSW Government website

Read more from Revenue NSW website

Refer to ABJ Solutions Blog

Working from Home Tax Deduction

Last updated 17th April 2020

The ATO have announced a new short cut method for individuals to claim a flat 80c per hour for all running expenses involved in working from home.

What is available

Covid-19 has forced people into their home offices, spiking work-related expenses that can be claimed as tax deductions.

The new arrangement allows people to claim a rate of 80c per hour for all their running expenses, rather than needing to calculate costs for specific running expenses.

Multiple people living in the same house can claim this new rate and there is no requirement to have a dedicated work from home area.

What is the benefit to individuals?

The short cut method makes claiming work related expenses simple at tax time.

Important dates and other methods to apply

The new short cut method is available from 1st March 2020 and for expenses prior to 1st March 2020 you can refer to two ways of calculating your running expenses:

Workers may claim deductions based on money they have spent on expenses directly related to earning income. Workers must keep a record to prove it.

How to apply

Individuals can apply an 80c per hour deduction for hours worked at home in their annual tax return and need to keep a record of number of hours worked from home during the pandemic.

Read more from the ATO website

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JobKeeper Payment Scheme

Last updated 16st April 2020

The JobKeeper Payment Scheme is available to small business owners to subsidise wages for each eligible employee at $1,500 per fortnight.

What is available

The JobKeeper payment is open to eligible employers, to enable them to pay their eligible employee’s salary or wages of at least $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight, via a reimbursed fixed amount of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee.

Businesses have been given until 31st May 2020 to enrol for the JobKeeper scheme. The subsidy will start on 30th March 2020, with the first payment to be received by employers in the first week of May 2020.

Eligibility Criteria for businesses

Eligible employer’s must be Australian businesses who employed at least one eligible employee on 1st March 2020 and who’s eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim (including those who are stood down or re-hired).

Eligible business have faced; 30% fall in turnover (revenue $1 billion or less), 50% fall in turnover (revenue of more than $1 billion), 15% fall in turnover (ACNC registered charities) and is not located in one of the ineligible categories.

Eligibility Criteria for employees

Your employee is eligible if they; are employed by you (including those stood down or re-hired), permanent full-time or part-time employee at 1st March 2020, casual employee for at least 12 months as at 1st March 2020, were at least 16 years of age on 1st March 2020 and were an Australian resident as at 1st March 2020.

The JobKeeper scheme operates on a one-in all-in policy. Meaning employers must offer this payment to all of their employees or offer it to none of their employees.

How to apply

From 20th April 2020, you can enrol in the JobKeeper scheme on the ATO website using an online form. Click here to enrol.

Read more from the Prime Ministers media statement.

Refer to ABJ Solutions Blog

Covid-19 and the JobKeeper Payment Scheme Updated

Covid-19 and the JobKeeper Payment Scheme Updated – Rules and Guidelines/

Covid-19 and the JobKeeper Payment Scheme

Banking Assistance

Last updated 1st April 2020

Banks are offering relief by way of payment deferrals, reduced interest rates, increased overdraft facilities, waiving of fees, restructuring of loans and / or loan extensions.

What is available

Australian Banks are currently offering personal, business and landlord assistance.

Personal assistance – banks are offering deferral of home loan repayments for 6 months. Depending on individual circumstances, help may include waiving fees, restructuring loans or other things to help you get through the pandemic. Anyone who is granted a six-month deferral will not have their credit rating affected. Read more from Australian Banking Association.

Business assistance – banks are allowing deferral of principal and interest repayment for all loans attached to business for 6 months. Interest will continue to be accrued and loans can be extended. To be eligible, businesses must have less than $10 million total debt to all credit providers. Participating banks are also offering loans, including overdrafts, at very low interest rates to help bridge the cash flow gaps. Read more from Australian Banking Association.

Landlord assistance – landlords complying with the code of conduct regarding moratorium on evictions will receive deferral of business loan repayments for six months. Read more from Australia Banking Association.

How to apply

Individuals in financial destress due to COVID-19 restrictions are urged to reach out to their financial institutions to assess what help is available to them.

Read more from the Australian Banking Association

Refer to ABJ Solutions Blog

Moratorium on Evictions

Last updated 1st April 2020

On 29th March 2020, the Federal Government announced that there will be a moratorium on evictions of individuals in financial distress for the next six months.

Leasing Principles

  • Where it can, rent should continue to be paid; where there is financial distress as a result of Covid-19, tenants and landlords should negotiate a mutually agreed outcome
  • There will be a proportionality to rent reductions based on the decline in turnover to ensure that the burden is shared between landlords and tenants
  • There will be a prohibition on termination of leases for non-payment of rent
  • There will be a freeze on rent increases (except for turnover leases)
  • There will be a prohibition on penalties for tenants who stop trading or reduce opening hours
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords passing land tax to tenants (if not already legislated)
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords charging interest on unpaid rent
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords from making a claim to a bank guarantee or security deposit for non-payment of rent
  • Ensure that any legislative barriers or administrative hurdles to lease extensions are removed, so that a tenant and landlord could agree a rent waiver in return for a lease extension

Eligibility Criteria

This Code is aimed at all tenants who are eligible for the JobKeeper scheme and those who have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.

Important Dates

This code came into effect nationwide from 3rd April 2020. Parties must adhere to “The Code” during the pandemic period, defined by the period which JobKeeper is operational.

Read more from the National Cabinet

Refer to ABJ Solutions Blog

JobSeeker Allowance

Last updated 26th March 2020

Centrelink benefits are available to eligible applicants at $1,100 per fortnight plus two $750 stimulus payments.

What is available

The COVID-19 JobSeeker allowance is available to individuals unemployed or stood down due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Eligible individuals are entitled to $1,100 per fortnight plus two $750 stimulus payments.

How to apply

Individuals new to Centrelink can create a Centrelink account online. Click here for more information on creating a Centrelink account.

Individuals with a Centrelink CRN that is linked to their MyGov account. Log onto your MyGov account and click claim a payment.

Have you registered intention?

If you’ve registered an intention to claim, you don’t need to wait for Centrelink to contact you. You can go online to set up your Centrelink online account and then start a claim.

Read more from Service Australia

Refer to ABJ Solutions Blog