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Business owners throughout Australia are continuing to face new challenges as a result of COVID-19 and financial planners are no exception. If you’re running a financial planning business, here's a round up of some of the support you may be able to access to take the pressure off and see you through this challenging time.
At our recent FPA Together events, we surveyed members about a whole range of issues they’re currently facing. Among the questions in these polls, we asked: ‘Have you applied for any of the below business support due to COVID-19? While 44 per cent of members said they had, the majority (56 per cent) were yet to apply for assistance.
When you’re a time poor business leader with many responsibilities to juggle, it’s useful to know where to look for help. To get you started, here are some of the options for financial support available:
The following information is correct as of Wednesday 10 June 2020:
Boosting cash flow for employers
Through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Government will provide tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible businesses. These are delivered as credits when you lodge your activity statements. According to our poll, 14 per cent of members surveyed have accessed these payments for their business.
Cash flow boosts will generally be equivalent to the amount you withheld from employee wages for each monthly or quarterly period from March to June 2020. An additional cash flow boost will apply when you lodge activity statements from June to September. These credits will be equal to the total boost credits from March to June 2020.
If yours is an eligible business, this is a payment you should receive automatically when you lodge your monthly or quarterly activity statements for the periods from March to June 2020 and from July to September 2020.
The new JobKeeper payment is designed to help your business afford to keep employees in the workforce. It will provide a $1,500 per fortnight payment for each eligible employee to your business if your turnover has been reduced by COVID-19. At the time of writing, JobKeeper payments will continue until 27 September 2020.
The Government has introduced a range of measures to help businesses who rent a premises. This includes a temporary hold on evictions and a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by coronavirus. The code includes guidance on rent reductions that take account of any decline in turnover for your business.
According to our poll, 6 per cent of members surveyed have applied for commercial tenancy relief from their landlord. To access tenancy relief under the new code, you’ll need to enquire through your state or territory government.
A temporary increase to the instant asset write-off has been introduced from 12 March 2020 to 31 December 2020. During this time your business can immediately deduct purchases of eligible new and second hand assets each costing less than $150,000. The Government has also expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million, up from $50 million.
According to our poll, 4 per cent of members surveyed have already accessed the instant-asset write-off.
Under the Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital. If your business has a turnover of up to $50 million you will be eligible to receive these loans for amounts up to $250,000 and for a loan term of up to three years.
Many financial institutions are also offering relief on business loans in the form of reduced or deferred payments.
According to our poll, 3 per cent of members surveyed have applied for loan relief, either from their existing lender or the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.
For planners who may be experiencing impacts from increased workload and greater uncertainty, as well the challenges of working from home, FPA Wellbeing offers practical advice and support, including access to one-on-one counselling and fact sheets.
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