Monthly Archives: May 2021
The Victorian State Government today announced it will provide assistance to those most affected by this current lockdown.
There will not be across the board assistance to all businesses; just to those most affected.
Brief details have been announced about 3 programs:-
Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 – under which $3,500 will be paid to each venue holding an eligible licence and food certificate.
Business Costs Assistance Program – $2,500 will be paid businesses operating in industries that cannot work during the current lockdown and cannot operate remotely.
Victorian Events Support Package – $20 million will be set aside to support operators in the events industry. Further details are to be released.
It would be inappropriate not to point out that such financial support will not cover the losses for many business owners. There would be many restaurants that have been forced to throw out $5,000+ of food. It’s a straight hit to the bottom line when not being able to earn any income. And it comes on top of the losses from the Valentine’s Day lockdown and the lockdowns last year. So get out there and support your local restaurants and indeed small businesses.
What can you do now?
Applications will open on Wednesday 2nd June. You can however register for the Business Victoria Update newsletter – to do so click here.
We will keep you updated. Please though don’t hesitate to ask us any question you may have.
So back into lockdown we go!
We are most sympathetic to those businesses that will suffer financially from this latest lockdown, particularly those in entertainment and hospitality.
The Maggs Reid team is now all back at home but thankfully due to modern technology, will be able to operate almost normally. We do ask that you contact us by e-mail during this time.
The state government is yet to announce any financial assistance to small businesses. Please be assured that we will update you as soon as details are announced – but judging by one minister’s comments this morning, that, for unknown reasons that surprise me, won’t be until next week.
Compulsory QR codes
As a generalisation, businesses that deal with the public are now required to track visitors to their business electronically by using the government’s free QR service. Such businesses could use other QR services from 30th April, but as of today, must use the government QR service. You can read more at – https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/about-victorian-government-qr-code-service. Although we are not one stated industries that must use a QR system, we have adopted one as of yesterday as we believe it is a better system than manual sheets.
Survive and Thrive webinar
I take this opportunity to remind you that the next Survive and Thrive webinar will be held on Wednesday 9th June at 5:30 PM. This month, we will address tax planning actions required before the end of the year. And I’m sure all business owners will be interested in our guest speakers presentation on three legal common traps for small business owners. You can book your place at – https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_l5ZhIapvTTqDqoKSSKStxg
Like all accountants, the demands of JobKeeper, rent relief applications, Land Tax applications, JobMaker, cash flow preparations to support loan applications and so on have meant that we are still to finalise and lodge a number of 2020 Tax Returns. In fact that my accounting discussion group meeting on Wednesday night, no accountant, not one, managed to meet the required 85% lodgement deadline of last week. Please do not be concerned as the ATO are tolerant and are rubber stamping all extension requests. In managing our lodgement listing, we are cognisant of people’s positions and are prioritising those matters that require early retention. We do appreciate your ongoing patience in he most unusual period.
I should again state that we have been preparing 2020 Tax Returns using new software; software that talks to other programs. As part of this process we have been able to adopt better client portal and digital signing software. What this also means is that the existing portal will be inaccessible after 30th June. We assure you that we of course have copies of everything we have dropped into your portal. We have also saved copies of any documents that you have dropped into your portal. You may though wish to retrieve any document you want at your electronic finger tips.
Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you soon.
What’s in the Budget for you?
Probably significantly more than you think.
As what is now unfortunately the norm, there were plenty of pre-announcements before Budget night. But there is much more to the Budget that was announced on Budget night or leading up to it.
In addition to some key business announcements (extension of loss carry back company rules and instant asset write-off) there were very welcome announcements to being able to getting more money into super. Welcome I say as how can one provide for retirement with a contribution cap – which currently sists at $25,000 before being eroded by 15% tax, life insurance premiums and for some an extra 15% tax).
Also of note were the proposed changes to personal and self managed super fund residency rules. I say welcome as the existing rules are quiet archaic in context of how people today live, work and travel – mind you we still aren’t going anywhere for a while with covid.
We will explore some of the key measures in our next survive and thrive webinar. It will beheld at 5.30pm on Wednesday 2nd June and you can book here – https://tinyurl.com/reg0206
We will also flesh out some opportunities in upcoming blogs.
But having said all that, please keep in mind that:-
A Budget is only ever a series of announcements,
They still have to be legislated,
They may be changed slightly and
Many have start dates form July 2021 – and we may have a change of government before then.
Please though don’t hesitate to call us if you any questions.
Do you employ any casual employees?
If so, recent changes to the Fair Work Act require your attention.
In late March the Fair Work Act was amended to require an employer to convert the employment basis to either full or part time where:-
Employee has been employed for more than 12 months and
During previous 6 months, there has been a regular and systematic pattern of working hours.
Employers are required to make the offer of either full or part time employment the later of either:-
Before 27th September 2021 or
Within 21 days after an employee’s 12 month anniversary
There is however a provision to not make such an offer where there a “reasonable business grounds” not do so. Unfortunately, this is a test that will be analysed in hindsight, so documentation of this decision will be imperative.
It should also be noted that many modern awards already stipulate a conversion from casual employment.
It must be said that casual employment is often misunderstood. If someone works regular days then they are not a casual employee. A casual is one who may be called upon the work on a Friday and Saturday night at a function, not the next week and then the following Saturday. That said, there are many shades of grey.
You can read more at The Fair Work website here including the definition of an casual employee.
You can download the casual employment information sheet here.
Employment law is truly a specialist area. Please let us know if you would like a referral.