Weekly Digest – 1 May 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting nearly every aspect of our lives and will be remembered as a pivotal time in history. Like any other event that impacts the world, we don’t know what the future will be like, but we do know that the other side of this will require resilience and creativity from all of us.
The Mukiwa team has embraced supporting through the changes and challenges that COVID-19 is presenting, and we remind you that we are always here to help.
This week our team has been focusing on enrolling clients for JobKeeper whilst also preparing and lodging BAS returns so that the CashFlow Boost credits can start to flow through to clients. If we haven’t gotten to yours yet, please bear with us and rest assured we haven’t forgotten you.
This weeks wrap up is centred around the latest JobKeeper updates, adapting to the new world we live in, and a reminder to Take Care of Yourself and to reach out for help if needed. As always we like to end the week with a dose of Good News.
This has been a hot topic over the past week and here are some recent updates on the JobKeeper scheme.
JobKeeper Alternative Eligibility Tests
Late last week the government announced the alternative tests for businesses that don’t meet the basic JobKeeper eligibility test (a 30% decline in turnover). The alternative tests are good news for startups, those who have restructured, been affected by drought or have irregular revenue.
JobKeeper Deadline Extended
The deadline to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods has been extended from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.
If you enrol by 31 May 2020 you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.
JobKeeper Top-Up Payment Deadline Extended
In further good news, the ATO has also extended the deadline for making JobKeeper payments and top-ups to employees for the first two fortnights of April 2020.
Therefore, for the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), the ATO will accept that the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid on time, provided it is paid by 8 May 2020. So, the bottom line is that if you do not pay any top-ups to your staff by this date, you will not be able to claim JobKeeper for the first two fortnights i.e. April 2020.
If you have any questions about JobKeeper, please let us know. We are working hard to help many individuals and business owners through this time and appreciate your patience and support.
How Can I Pay Staff While Waiting for JobKeeper?
This is a very topical question at the moment. If you’re worried about finding the money to pay staff, whilst waiting for the first JobKeeper payment, please chat to us about your options. We’re not going to advise a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but you may need to speak with your bank to get a short-term funding arrangement in place. We will also happily review your current cash flow and give you some useful tips as to how you might improve your cash position i.e. re-negotiating your rent with your landlord.
Some state governments have announced plans to slowly start lifting coronavirus restrictions. The relaxed restrictions would potentially allow specific activities to begin again. PM Scott Morrison confirmed no national restrictions would be lifted until at least May 11, when they will measure key statistics.
It’s still early days but good news that our country has done well to ‘flatten the curve’, if not crush it!
Are you Adapting?
Businesses that use the Coronavirus setback as an opportunity to adapt, innovate and improve are the ones that will thrive. You may need to modify your offerings, look into offering online services and see what you can do differently.
We recommend you use this time to do those things you’ve been putting off because you didn’t have enough time. Can you improve some internal processes, conduct staff training, complete that new website project or look at your marketing efforts? How about developing a plan for when you can reopen?
Time for Some Good News
The pandemic has caused many people to adjust. We have seen innovations born out of necessity, such as hands-free door openers and rapid development and manufacturing of ventilators and masks. There’s also interesting news of video gamers being called to help develop COVID-19 treatments.
Google is offering $340 million in Ads credits for those who have spent with them in 2019.
Take Care of Yourself
We know that this is a hard time. Everyone is throwing words around like “uncertain” and “unprecedented”, while business feels more stressful than ever. Please take some time today to look after yourself and reach out to the many support services available. We will get through this together.
Thanks again for your patience and for continuing to place your trust in us. We’re working extremely hard to ensure we look after you, in the hope that we exceed your expectations. Again, please get in touch with us if you have any questions.
From everyone here at Mukiwa, have a great weekend.