Boosting Cash Flow for Employers
Boosting Cash Flow for Employers
With many quarterly BAS due over the coming month it is important to consider the Government is providing temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses that employ staff during the economic downturn associated with COVID-19. This will be done through two sets of cash flow boosts delivered from 28 April 2020 to support employers to retain employees.
Importantly, eligible businesses do not need to apply with a separate form.
Upon lodgment of their activity statement, the first amount will automatically be credited to the business’ account, but no earlier than 28 April 2020. A business that lodges early will not receive the cash flow boost before this date.
Businesses will be eligible to receive the cash flow boost provided they are a small or medium business entity, including not-for-profit organisations, sole traders, partnerships, companies or trusts, that:
- held an ABN on 12 March 2020 and continues to be active;
- has an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million (generally based on prior year turnover); and
- made eligible payments that the business is required to withhold from (even if the amount required to be withheld is zero).
Eligible payments include:
- salary and wages
- director fees
- eligible retirement or termination payments
- compensation payments
- voluntary withholding from payments to contractors.
In addition, the business must also have either:
- derived business income in the 2018–19 income year and lodged its 2019 tax return on or before 12 March 2020; or
- made GST taxable, GST-free or input-taxed sales in a previous tax period (since 1 July 2018) and lodged the relevant activity statement on or before 12 March 2020.
Timing - Initial cash flow boost
The initial cash flow boosts will be delivered as credits in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020. If a business lodges early, it will not receive the cash flow boost before this date.
If the business lodges:
- quarterly, it will be eligible to receive the credit for:
o quarter 3, March 2020 (lodgment due date 28 April 2020)
o quarter 4, June 2020 (lodgment due date 28 July 2020).
- monthly, it will be eligible to receive the credit for the lodgment periods of:
o March 2020 (lodgment due date 21 April 2020)
o April 2020 (lodgment due date 21 May 2020)
o May 2020 (lodgment due date 21 June 2020)
o June 2020 (lodgment due date 21 July 2020).
Timing — Additional payment
Eligible entities who received initial cash flow boosts will receive additional cash flow boosts, for the periods June to September 2020, equal to the total amount of initial cash flow boosts received. This will be delivered in either two or four instalments depending on the reporting period.
Calculating the cash flow boost — initial cash flow boost
The initial cash flow boost is based on the amount of a business’ PAYG withholding.
Eligible businesses that withhold tax on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a credit equal to 100% of the amount withheld, up to a maximum of $50,000. The minimum credit will be $10,000, even if the amount required to be withheld is zero. However, businesses will not be eligible to receive any more cash flow boosts until their PAYG withholding exceeds $10,000 over the relevant periods.
Monthly lodgers will receive a credit that is calculated at three times the rate (300 per cent) in the March 2020 activity statement to align with quarterly lodgers. The total of all initial cash flow boosts across all of the relevant periods cannot exceed the maximum limit of $50,000.
Calculating the cash flow boost — additional cash flow boost
The amount of additional cash flow boosts that a business is entitled to is based on the value of initial cash flow boosts the business received.
If the business lodges quarterly business activity statements it will receive 50% of its total initial cash flow boosts for each activity statement lodged in for the June 2020 and September 2020 quarters.
If the business lodges monthly business activity statements it will receive 25% of its total initial cash flow boosts for each activity statement from June to September 2020.