ATO and COVID-19 stimulus extensions announced

Businesses and individuals are really feeling the challenges as a result of COVID-19 so it will be a relief to some with the extensions that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released around the JobKeeper stimulus and ATO lodgement deadlines.

Income tax lodgement and payment extensions

The ATO have extended lodgement deadlines for 2019 Income Tax Returns that are due on 15 May 2020, to 5 June 2020.

The extension also applies to company tax payments which means businesses will now have until 5 June to make payment of any income tax liability.

JobKeeper stimulus extensions

The ATO has announced that the enrolment deadline for the month of April 2020 JobKeeper Stimulus has been extended from 30 April to 31 May 2020, as well as extending the time in which employers need to pay employees for JobKeeper fortnights 1 and 2 until 8 May 2020. Employers have also been provided with an extension for obtaining the Employee Nomination Form from eligible employees from 30 April 2020 until the date of the lodgement of their enrolment.

One of the key requirements of the JobKeeper Scheme is that employers must first pay their employees before they can apply to receive JobKeeper Payments. Originally, a concession was available that allowed employers to make the payments for JobKeeper fortnights 1 and 2 by 26 April 2020 (being the end of fortnight 2). The ATO then extended this to 30 April 2020. However, under this new announcement, a further extension has been granted until 8 May 2020 providing employers with additional time to ensure they have paid each eligible employee $3,000 for JobKeeper covering fortnights 1 and 2.

As a warning, employers must be aware that, despite the fact they can now pay their employees as late as 8 May 2020 and still be eligible for JobKeeper Payments for fortnights 1 and 2, they are still required to pay their employees a further $1,500 by 10 May 2020 in relation JobKeeper fortnight 3 (which ends on the same date). At the current time, no extension to this date has been announced, and it would be unwise for employers to anticipate that there will be one.

Next steps

If you foresee financial difficulty in your business with making JobKeeper payments, it’s best to act early and contact your bank as well. The Big 4 banks have established dedicated Hotlines for employers to call in relation to accessing bridging finance while the impact of COVID-19 is prolonged. These hotlines are:

  • Westpac – 1300 731 073
  • NAB – 1800 562 533 (1800 JOBKEEPER)
  • CBA – 13 26 07
  • ANZ – 1800 571 123

Although the JobKeeper enrolment deadline has been extended we do strongly recommend that you register as soon as possible to assist with your business’ cashflow. If you require further assistance or have any questions about your lodgement and payment deadlines, please contact your usual Mazars advisor or alternatively can contact one of our specialists:

Brisbane – Jamie Towers 

Melbourne – Evan Beissel

Sydney – Gaibrielle Cleary

+61 7 3218 3900

+61 3 9252 0800

+61 2 9922 1166

Published:  6/05/2020

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