Confused about JobKeeper?

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• Alpine Tax’s Sam Marotta gives his advice on the JobKeeper scheme.

BOTH federal and state governments have sprung into action providing Australians grappling the effects of the coronavirus financial aid but many have been left overwhelmed by the paperwork and confused by the eligibility criteria.

Journalist Ashleigh Piles sat down with Alpine Tax’s Sam Marotta, who gave us his notes and advice on financial survival.

AP: What is on offer at the moment for Victorians at a state level?
SM: The State Government announced a $500 million package as a response to the coronavirus. There will be assistance for small businesses as long as they are eligible and meet the following criteria. They need to employ staff, they’ve been subject to closure or highly impacted by the shutdown restrictions and their business has a turnover of more than $75,000 and a payroll of less than $650,000. So if they are eligible then the sort of assistance that is available includes a one-off payment of up to $10,000 for small businesses, you can apply for payroll tax refund, liquor license fees to be waived and land tax deferral. They are probably the main ones from the Victorian Government but specifically that $10,000 grant is the one we are most interested in.

AP: And from the Federal Government?
SM: There have been a number of measures announced by the Federal Government and unfortunately announcements are made, changes are then announced days later and it has been overwhelming and some of the information hasn’t been very accurate. The main types of assistance offered by the Federal Government are the JobKeeper and there is also a boost in cash flow for employers.

AP: What can you tell me about the boost in cash flow?
SM: To eligible employers they are offering up to $100,000 with a minimum of $25,000. Under that scheme they will receive equal to 100 per cent of the salaries and wages withheld. It’s a little bit more complicated than that though because it’s applied as a credit on your integrated client account with the tax office and it’s paid on your business activity statement over the next three quarters. The first payments have already commenced with respect to the March quarter, there will be a further payment in the June quarter and then a final one in the September quarter. You need to lodge your business activity statement to access those payments – the amounts vary from business to business depending on the amount of salary and wages tax withheld but if a small business is eligible for the minimum then it will be paid as $10,000 with the March bass, $10,000 in June and a final payment of $5000 in September.

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