Our commitment to business
These are challenging times for business with events changing quickly and with this the need to adapt to new circumstances. AustralianSuper is committed to supporting you throughout with accessible online services, regular updates on government assistance and help when you need it.
This COVID-19 information hub for business covers frequently asked questions about the government stimulus package, your super obligations along with additional resources you may find useful.
- Learn about what’s happening in investment markets
- Browse our COVID-19 information resource for members
- Access webinars on a range of super and planning topics
We’re also using LinkedIn, email and social media to keep you updated.
FAQs on government assistance for business, super obligations and insurance
Government cash flow assistance for employers
The Federal Government’s Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure will give temporary cash flow support to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not-for profits with employees.
From 28 April, your business may be eligible for two sets of tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 - delivered as credits when you lodge your business activity statements (BAS).
What businesses are eligible?
Any small or medium business, not-for-profit, sole trader, partnership, company or trust that has an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million, held an ABN on 12 March and made eligible payments you are required to withhold from, (even if that amount is zero) is eligible.
Is there any assistance in terms of my own salary?
Employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld (up from 50 per cent), with a maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000 and the minimum payment increased from $2,000 to $10,000.
An additional payment is also being introduced equal to the total of all the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments received. This means that eligible businesses will receive at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000 under both payments.
Not-for-profit entities will also be eligible.
How do I apply for this support?
You won’t need to apply as the cash flow boost will be calculated by the ATO when you lodge your BAS.
For more information about the cash flow assistance for businesses, visit treasury.gov.au
What is the JobKeeper Payment?
It’s a payment intended to help businesses and not-for-profits retain employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presently, you can claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 for each eligible employee for a maximum of six months, until 27 September 2020. This payment applies even if your employee has already been stood down or earns less than $1,500 a fortnight (before tax). If your employee earns more than $1,500 per fortnight, you can use the payment to subsidise their wages.
From 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021, JobKeeper will remain for businesses and not-for-profits most significantly impacted, payment rates will be stepped-down and there will be two tiers of payment over that period. Your eligibility will be assessed with reference to your actual turnover.
For more information about the JobKeeper extension, visit treasury.gov.au.
How do I know if my business is eligible for the JobKeeper payment?
To qualify for the extension from 28 September to 3 January, you need to reassess your eligibility and demonstrate that your business meets the relevant continuing decline in turnover test for the June and September quarters 2020.
Further reassessment will be required in January 2021 to show you have met the relevant continuing decline in turnover test to receive JobKeeper for the March 2021 quarter.
For more information about the payment, visit treasury.gov.au.
To register your interest for the JobKeeper Payment, visit ato.gov.au.
What should my employees do if they applied for the JobSeeker Payment when they were stood down?
Your employees will need to contact Services Australia let them know they’re receiving income from you.
Super guarantee payment requirements
Do I make my Super Guarantee (SG) payments as usual?
Yes, there are no changes to the SG payment obligations of businesses.
You won’t have to make additional SG contributions for employees whose income is higher under JobKeeper. Government regulations state that salary or wages paid under JobKeeper that don’t relate to performance of work are excluded for SG purposes from 20 March 2020.
My business won’t be able to make the entire payment. What can I do?
The ATO has advised business to pay as much super as possible by the due date, as this will reduce the super guarantee charge. You won’t pay a penalty if you lodge a SG Charge Statement with the ATO and pay the charge within one month.
If you can’t pay the SG charge, you can find out how to set up a payment plan with the ATO here.
Early release of super for individuals and sole traders impacted by Coronavirus
The Federal Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020, and a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.
What are the eligibility requirements for sole traders?
Sole traders are eligible provided you satisfy the requirements which include on or after 1 January, your business is suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.
What’s the application process?
AustralianSuper members, including sole traders, can apply online for early release of super via MyGov, certifying that you meet the eligibility criteria. After the ATO has processed and approved the application, they’ll issue AustralianSuper with a determination to enable the fund to release the money to you. The ATO will also provide a copy of this determination to the employee.
The ATO will also be providing the applicant’s bank details to their chosen super fund to streamline the process, to ensure payment without delay.
Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
Is there any support for businesses facing financial distress as a result of this crisis?
The Federal Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond.
This measure is intended to lessen the threat of actions that could push a business into insolvency and force it to wind up.
What if I only need temporary assistance?
The ATO has committed to working with you as an owner or director of a business to find a solution that suits your situation, including the temporary reduction of payments or deferrals, or withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notices and wind-ups.
For more information, visit business.gov.au
Supporting apprentices and trainees
Are there any initiatives that will help me keep my apprentice employed?
The Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy is available to support businesses. It’s a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage that’s available to eligible businesses for the period from 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2021.
Is my business eligible for this subsidy?
Small businesses with less than 20 employees can apply from the wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage over the period from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020 (up to $7,000 per quarter).
For the period from 1 July through to 31 March 2021, the wage subsidy is extended to include both small and medium businesses with less than 200 employees.
For more information about the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy, visit treasury.gov.au
Instant asset write-off and depreciation deductions
There has been an increase to the instant asset write-off (IAWO) threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 for almost all businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $500 million) until 31 December 2020.
Are there any guidelines on which assets are eligible?
The threshold applies to purchases of assets each costing less than $150,000. They can be new or second-hand assets – as long as they’re first used or installed ready for use before 31 December 2020.
For more information, visit treasury.gov.au
What is the Federal Government’s Backing Business Investment (BBI) initiative?
The BBI initiative is an investment incentive to support business investment by bringing forward depreciation deductions on new assets that are used or installed by 30 June 2021 (depreciated under Division 40 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997).
If your business is eligible, you can apply for a deduction of 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation and then existing depreciation rules apply to the balance.
Businesses with aggregated turnover below $500 million are eligible.
For more information about the BBI initiative, visit business.gov.au