OUR CLOUD SYSTEMS MEAN YOU CAN ALWAYS CONTACT US IF YOU NEED US

After considering guidance provided by the Australian Government Department of Health, Blackburn ’ Prior will be limiting the number of face to face meetings we will conduct. Where possible we will conduct meetings via telephone and web meeting facilities with effect from Friday the 20th of March.

We are putting these measures in place to contribute to the efforts being made to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The health and wellbeing of our clients, team and the broader community is paramount.

While we don’t know if we’ll be working from our office or working from our homes in coming days or weeks, we have invested heavily in the latest technology in recent years, and this means we can keep assisting you no matter what may happen.

All members of our team are able to work remotely and have access to all the technology systems and tools they use daily to assist their clients.

Please keep emailing or phoning your normal contact points at Blackburn ’ Prior when you need us, and we will be here to help you!

As a business owner, you need to face the possibility of team members being absent from your workplace, product supply issues and demand for your services and products reducing over the short term.

There are 3 urgent things you need to be aware of:

  1. Government Stimulus Package – Our Tax Planning meeting with you this year will be VITAL!
  2. Business Continuity Planning
  3. Get your Will and EPOA updated / set up NOW

1. GOVERNMENT STIMULUS PACKAGE – OUR TAX PLANNING MEETING WITH YOU THIS YEAR WILL BE VITAL!

The Australian Government has just released a $17.6 billion economic stimulus package. The package has been marketed as a measure to protect the economy by maintaining confidence, supporting investment and keeping people in their jobs.

The key tax and stimulus measures include:

Business Investment

  • From Thursday 12 March 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million) to $150,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million) until 30 June 2020.
  • A time-limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) which will operate to accelerate certain depreciation deductions. This measure will also be available to businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million, which will be able to immediately deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost. As announced, this measure is proposed to only apply to new depreciating assets first used, or installed ready for use, by 30 June 2021.

Cashflow Assistance

  • Tax-free payments of up to $25,000 for eligible small and medium businesses (i.e., with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff) based on their PAYG withholding obligations. This is not a cash payment, but it is a credit equal to 50% of the PAYG amounts withheld from salary and wages paid to employees.

Businesses that lodge activity statements on a quarterly basis will be eligible to receive the credit for the quarters ending March 2020 and June 2020. Business that lodge on a monthly basis will be eligible for the credit for the March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 lodgements.

If a business pays salary and wages to employees but is not required to withhold any tax, then a minimum payment of $2,000 will still be made. The minimum $2,000 payment will be applied to the first activity statement lodgement.

  • Wage subsidies to support the retention of apprentices and trainees – Employers with less than 20 full-time employees may be entitled to apply for Government funded wage subsidies amounting to 50% of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. The maximum subsidy for each apprentice/trainee is $21,000.

Individual Assistance

  • Tax-free payments of $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. It is estimated that around half of those who will benefit will be pensioners. These payments will commence to be automatically made from 31 March 2020.

When we have our 2020 Tax Planning meeting with you over the next few months, we will assist you with opportunities to restructure how you pay yourself to that you can receive the maximum cashflow assistance amounts from the Government.

Contact us TODAY if you would like to meet with us earlier to ensure you receive your maximum cashflow assistance from the Government.

2. BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING

As a business owner, now is the time to plan for employees being away from your workplace, shortages of supply, reduction in sales, and the possibility of your workplace being closed for a short period of time if everyone is being forced to self-quarantine.

In the next few days you will receive an email from us detailing how we can assist you in planning for the impact of COVID 19 over the coming months. The email will include more information on the COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan we have developed, which includes practical action points to assist you and your business during the current crisis.

3. GET YOUR WILL AND EPOA UPDATED / SET UP NOW

If you have to self-quarantine or are admitted to hospital, if you don’t have an EPOA then no-one else can make important business or financial decisions on your behalf.

As a business owner, it is 100% essential that you have an up to date EPOA and Will, and that your family know where these are stored.

We have close relationships with a number of legal firms who can assist you with these documents in a timely manner. Please contact us if you require any assistance with these documents.

NEXT STEPS

These are times when we need to stay calm and rely on reliable news sources and information from State and Australian Government websites. What you see on social media may be panicky and unreliable information – stay away from this!

Our team at Blackburn ’ Prior are here to help you. Please phone us on 02 6621 2257 Lismore or 02 6681 1720 Ballina if you need any assistance.

Regards,

Andrew Lowrey
Director

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