Coronavirus (or COVID-19) is affecting all of us.
You are not alone, we are here to help.

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There are a few urgent items you should have on your to do list:

  1. Government Stimulus Packages – Our Tax Planning meeting with you this year will be VITAL!
  2. Business Continuity Planning – cash flow tracking and management
  3. Your financial position should be up to date. FY19 tax complete. FY20 figures ready for March BAS. Forecast to the end of FY20.

Our staff are ready to answer questions and help you fully utilise the government stimulus and tax changes.

For more information and resources visit our blog and a designated covid resources page.

Be sure to download the Cashflow scenario planner to get a clear picture of your current business position.

WHAT TO EXPECT

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 or in some cases lost over the short term. Cashflow may be tight. Business Continuity planning at this time is crucial.

Our technology to work with you remotely is in place so we will continue to provide you with the assistance you need in an efficient and effective manner.

Our phones, email and accounting system will all appear unchanged to you.

BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN

It’s vital that you build a cash “war chest” which will let you keep trading through the coming difficult months.

We want to help you to protect the health of your employees and customers / clients.

Porters CA have a COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan (BCP) that addresses these 7 key areas that affect you:

  1. Cash Flow
  2. Protection of your Assets – including personal assets like your family home.
  3. Banks and Funding
  4. Management Team planning
  5. Your Employees
  6. Customers & Suppliers
  7. Mental Health Support

A Business Continuity Plan can give you great assistance to keep your business alive and give you and your team a framework for the support you need during this COVID-19 crisis.

There are 2 options where we can immediately help you take action.

  1. Provide you with a personalised COVID-19 BCP.  With this option, we provide you a BCP for you to review in your own time and choose which actions to implement.
  2. Have a one hour Assistance Meeting with us via a Zoom video call, where we review your personalised COVID-19 BCP and guide you through the best actions to take.

 We realise times are challenging, which is why we have and will continue to invest time and resources to deliver the information and support you need.

This Business Continuity Plan pack may be the most valuable investment you make this year in order to protect your business, your family assets and to help keep employees in jobs so you can grow and prosper when this trial is over.

If you don’t get value from your personalised COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan, let us know and we’ll refund your investment.

ATO RESOURCES AND ASSISTANCE 

Stimulus and support covers a number of options:

  1. PAYG Withholding rebates for employers link here
  2. PAYG Instalment options to vary one or more of your instalments to nil – providing the option for a cashflow injection
  3. Payment arrangements with the ATO
  4. The Instant Asset Write Off provisions have been increased and extended
  5. JobKeeper support to keep your employees paid – we won’t know exact details until legislation has passed. The ATO are specifically requesting NO phone call requests as they are not prepared with resources or answers.
    Register your interest with the ATO Jobkeeper register here and refer to the Treasury fact sheet for employers.

Your year end tax planning and March quarter BAS are vital. There will be more issues to consider than usual, however the benefits to you will be significant. We will help you assess your position and determine the best option for you.

PAYG withholding has some complicated mechanics to it, so we love this tool to access how the tax rebates may flow in practice.

Payment arrangements can be created – deploy your cash where it is needed most (hint – the ATO is not the best place for your cash right now)

A picture tells a thousand words. Thanks to Michael Armstrong for this graphic. Original with links on each section can be accessed here.

Tax Incentives 30032020

INVESTMENTS 

Your investments have gone down in value. At some stage they will go back up in value. They always have and they always will – it is just a matter of when. See Financial planning update from Knight Financial Advisors

Stockmarket Wall Of Worry
Stockmarket Wall Of Worry

Areas of Support

ATO SUPPORT 

The ATO has been efficient and effective in responding to business downturn relating to the pandemic.

Our client liaison team have many years of experience with the ATO to get the best outcomes for clients in a short space of time. Please let us know how we can assist you.

We’re not suggesting that we have all the answers, but it is important for us to work with you and help you and plan for what will happen in the weeks and months ahead.

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!

Some of our blogs with more details:

Assistance for Business -Coronavirus Effects

The Australian Government Stimulus and your business.

Risk management in uncertain times

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF AND STAY POSITIVE

Your health and wellbeing is essential. Reach out for help. Support others. RUOK is a great question to ask yourself and others. The RUOK  website has some great resources.

Practical positivity is essential. Being an entrepreneur, business owner or now unemployed isn’t easy. A positive approach and an open mind won’t solve everything, but it will help. See more on Practical Positivity.

WORKING FROM HOME

You can claim expenses for working from home. Helpful if you are quiet and if reducing tax is your first priority however the numbers won’t move the dial. The simplest method is to claim at the ATO allowed rate of $0.52 per hour.

We recommend you focus first on being productive, making a plan, delivering value, creating new ideas.

ATO claim your home office expenses

BANKING – HOME LOAN AND BUSINESS LOAN RELIEF

Each bank has their own relief package in place supported by government assistance. We have some links below for more details.

Most banks do not have capacity to manage the volume so rather than sit on hold all day, find their contact email on their website and send your details (remain cyber aware and don’t put too much personal financial information over email). If you want specific support on finance options, we work closely with Mike Doyle at Vertex Finance so contact us and we’ll put you in touch.

home loans and mortgage repayments

Are banks freezing mortgages? Here are the banks putting payments on hold amid coronavirus

NEWSTART BENEFITS

First step is we DO NOT recommend joining a long line at Centrelink. See what you can achieve online.

Try this easy to navigate explanation / user guide from ABC news. We understand there is a backlog online as there is in Centrelink offices. This may take patience and time while the ATO recruit more workers to meet demand. Centrelink says payments will be back-paid to Monday 23 March, due to the hold up. 

Cash flow from Newstart will take a while. The Corona Virus supplement isn’t due for a month while the ATO gets their systems updated to meet new requirements.   More information

TRAINEE & APPRENTICESHIP SUPPORT

Employers with less than 20 full-time employees, who retain an apprentice or trainee who was in training with the employer as at 1 March 2020, may be entitled to Government funded wage subsidies equal to 50% of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. The maximum wage subsidy over the nine-month period will be $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee.
Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020. Employers will be able to access the subsidy after an eligibility assessment is undertaken by an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (‘AASN’) provider.

apprenticeships and the stimulus

EARLY RELEASE OF SUPERANNUATION

Early access to super finishes 24/9/2020. Must be done via myGov. The system has not yet been built so nothing can be done before mid-April. It will self-assessment.

Make sure if you request $10k refund (or less) you have enough in the superfund they choose to take it from. You can apply again on or after 1/7/2020. The $10k deduction cannot be made over 2 funds – if this is an issue you should consolidate NOW.

ATO guidance on early access to superannuation.

Australian resources

 

THANKS AND RECOGNITION

Behind these resources is a community of tax and legal experts and people who has shared their ideas and expertise. In no particular order and probably not complete, we’d like to thank and recognise:

  • Robyn Jacobson and the Tax Banter team
  • Michael Armstrong (creator of the infographic above)
  • Timothy Munro and David Boyar and the team at Change GPS
  • all the contributors at Small Business Accountants & Advisers Brain Trust, Australia Facebook Group with an honourable mention to Stephen Drinkwater
  • James Ashford, the GoProposal Team and the GoProposal Facebook Group
  • NTAA
  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
  • Tracey Dunn, tax director at RSM
  • HHG Legal
  • MKT Taxation Consultants
  • Knight Financial Advisors
  • Mike Doyle at Vertex Finance
  • Jason Andrew
  • Nexia
  • the ATO (yes, they have been helpful)
  • all of our team at Porters CA who put the ideas into action
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