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Learn more about tax areas and issues that may impact you.

6 March 2020
HIGHER STAMP DUTY RATES MAY APPLY TO DISCRETIONARY TRUSTS FROM 1 MARCH 2020
The Victorian State Revenue Office (SRO) has announced that from 1 March 2020, the "practical approach" currently given to discretionary trusts with potential foreign beneficiaries will be withdrawn and no longer applied.

The "practical approach" meant that foreign purchaser additional duty was not charged where it could be shown that no foreign persons have benefitted from the trust and there is no intention that a foreign person would benefit from the trust.

The SRO will continue to apply the "practical approach" to dutiable transactions where contracts of sale are entered into before 1 March 2020.

However, from 1 March 2020, the SRO will now strictly apply the foreign purchaser additional duty provisions to all discretionary trusts (including family discretionary trusts), so that if a discretionary trust has any potential foreign beneficiary, the trust will generally be treated as a foreign trust for duty purposes.
13 March 2020
Federal Government unveils coronavirus stimulus package
The Federal Government has announced today a $17.6 billion economic stimulus package, in a bid to keep Australians in jobs, as the economy will likely be severely impacted by the coronavirus.
19 March 2020
Government released more details in relation to businesses impacted by COVID-19
Since the Federal Government announced the economic stimulus package, some more details have become available in relation to some of the concessions available.

We must note that full details are still unknown, at this time, as the stimulus package will be legislated in four separate parts and Parliament does not sit again until 23 March 2020.
20 March 2020
Response to Impact of COVID-19
The business disruption of COVID-19 is real and moving fast. We understand the social and economic implications this is causing and the importance of implementing management policies and strategies to get through this crisis from a financial and operational perspective.
24 March 2020
Victorian Government announces "concessions" for Payroll tax, Land tax and Liquor licence fees
The Victorian Government has announced a range of concessions to support small and medium sized businesses and help these businesses retain employees in response to impact of COVID-19
24 March 2020
Banks announce "deferral" of loan repayments for up to 6 months
Australia's banks have announced that small businesses who are affected by COVID-19 will be eligible to have their loan repayments (principal & interest and interest only) "deferred" for six months, starting Monday 23 March 2020.

At the end of the deferral period, small businesses are not required to pay any lump sum as a catch-up payment; it is a clear six month deferral.
25 March 2020
Government Stimulus Stage 2 - Early Release of Super
The Federal Government released Stage 2 of its Stimulus Package this week and the measures have now been passed into law.

In particular, two superannuation concessions have been announced, to assist individuals which have been financially impacted by COVID-19, including:

Introducing a new concession to expand the circumstances where an individual can access their superannuation early; and
Temporarily reducing the superannuation minimum drawdown amounts for account-based pensions.
26 March 2020
Government Stimulus Stage 2 - Business Cash Flow Assistance
The Federal Government released Stage 2 of its Stimulus Package this week and the measures have now been passed into law.

In particular, some of the concessions announced as part of Stage 1 of the Stimulus Package have now been expanded and increased, to provide cash flow assistance for eligible businesses (to manage cash flow challenges and to help businesses retain employees), in the form of:

Specific payments that are based on the amount of PAYG withheld from salary and wages paid to employees (and other similar payments such as termination payments, director's fees and payments to contractors that are subject to voluntary withholding arrangements); and

Wage subsidies paid to eligible employers who retain an apprentice or trainee.
27 March 2020
COVID-19 Tax Concessions, Key Dates & Fact Sheets
We understand that since 12 March 2020, when the Federal Government announced Stage 1 of its Stimulus Package, there has been an extraordinary amount of technical information released in relation to the various concessions available to assist individuals and businesses during these unprecedented times.
30 March 2020
Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses in response to COVID-19
The Australian Government has announced temporary amendments to defer financially distressed businesses being bankrupted or wound up.
31 March 2020
Government Announces New JobKeeper Payment
The Federal Government announced yesterday another assistance program to help businesses and employees who have been (or will be) impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The JobKeeper Payment will be made available to businesses, in the form of a subsidy from the Government, to assist them to continue paying their employees. For employees, this should mean they can keep their job and earn an income, even if their hours have been cut.

The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary subsidy program (for up to 6 months) open to businesses and the self-employed, and will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee.

The program will be managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and details will be verified via the Single Touch Payroll (STP) payroll reporting system.
31 March 2020
Victorian Government Launches $500M Business Support Fund
The Victorian Government has launched the $500 million Business Support Fund to help small businesses survive the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and keep people in work.

Funding of a one-off grant of $10,000 per business is available and allocation will be made through a grant process.
2 April 2020
Tips to Assist Businesses to Prepare for Impact of COVID-19
As you are aware, our business landscape is rapidly changing as the impacts of COVID-19 expand. Not only are we concerned for the personal health (of business owners and employees), but also the direct commercial impacts of either Government restrictions, supply chain restrictions or the overall economic slowdown.

In short, COVID-19 will impact many businesses, which could place their immediate future in serious jeopardy, and the duration of this impact is currently unknown.

As part of any business risk management plan, there are numerous actions you should consider taking now, to prepare your business for COVID-19
3 April 2020
JobKeeper Payment for Self-Employed and Sole Traders
On Monday, the Federal Government announced details of the new JobKeeper Payments program, and sole traders and self-employed people will need to consider if they are eligible to access the wage subsidy program.

Sole traders and self-employed people are included in the group of eligible employers, and the available $1,500 per fortnight subsidy will start flowing to eligible employers and employees from the first week of May.

We have prepared the following Q&A to help explain the details which are currently available.