COVID-19 Business Update – 24 February 2021

COVID-19 Business Update – 24 February 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Second Shipment of Pfizer Vaccine Arrives in Australia

The second shipment with about 166,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived late Monday, as Australia entered the second day of a nationwide immunisation drive.

Total weekly doses will be increased to 80,000 next week, from 60,000 doses this week. When CSL Ltd. begins to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine locally, this number is expected to hit 1 million per week by the end of March.

JobSeeker Rate Increases by $50 a Fortnight

The JobSeeker rate will increase by $50 a fortnight from April 1 after the government scraps its coronavirus supplement.

Currently, those eligible with no children are paid $715.70 a fortnight– of this, $565.70 consists of the JobSeeker payment and $150 accounts for the coronavirus supplement.

When the coronavirus supplement ends on 31 March 2021, the new JobSeeker rate will be brought to $620.80 a fortnight, equating to $310.40 a week, or just over $44 a day.

$143 Million Cash Boost For Victorian Businesses

The Circuit Breaker Support Package worth a total of $143 million will be given to businesses in events, tourism, hospitality, and accommodation to help return revenue lost over the five-day lockdown.

The travel voucher scheme has also been expanded to offer 40,000 $200 vouchers for travel in greater Melbourne, along with an additional 10,000 for travel in regional Victoria.

Beware of Scammers Impersonating the ATO

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is warning about a new batch of scammers impersonating the ATO who are claiming they’ve suspended their target’s tax file number (TFN) following suspected fraudulent activity.

While the number of people falling victim to this scam is low, the large amounts being lost per person is alarming, according to Assistant Commissioner Trent Jakubowski.

So remember, the ATO does call taxpayers but will never:

  • send unsolicited pre-recorded phone messages
  • use aggressive or rude behaviour, or threaten you with immediate arrest, jail or deportation
  • suspend your TFN
  • request direct transfers of money to a personal bank account
  • project their number onto your caller ID

If you receive a suspicious call, email, or SMS, report it to ato.gov.au/reportascam or call the ATO’s dedicated scam line 1800 008 540 to check if it was legitimate.

Upcoming Key Dates

Upcoming key lodgment and payment dates for businesses:

28 February

  • Activity statements
    Quarter 2 (October–December) activity statements – final date for lodgment and payment, including electronic lodgment.
  • GST
    Annual GST return or Annual GST information report – final date for lodgment and payment (if required) if you do not have an income tax return lodgment obligation.
  • PAYG instalments
    Quarter 2 (October–December) instalment notices (forms R and T) – final date for payment, and lodgment if varying the instalment amount.
  • GST instalments
    Quarter 2 (October–December) instalment notices (forms S and T) – final date for payment, and lodgment if varying the instalment amount.
  • Income tax
    Lodgment and payment due date for self-preparing entities that were not due at an earlier date (if you don’t lodge your previous financial year return on time, your income tax return for the current financial is due by 31 October.)

Contact us if you have any questions.

Upcoming Superannuation Deadline

Here’s an upcoming due date you need to look out for:

28 February

  • Lodge and pay quarter 2 (1 October–31 December) Superannuation guarantee charge statement – quarterly if you did not pay your contributions on time.
  • You can choose to offset contributions you’ve paid late to a fund for each employee against the super guarantee charge for the quarter for those employees.
  • You cannot claim an income tax deduction for the super guarantee charge.

If you need help with your taxes or superannuation, drop us a message.

Government-backed COVID-19 Loans Extended

The government is extending its small business COVID-19 loans scheme until June 2021. If you need help to access these loans or you want to find out if you are eligible, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Business Finances On Track

Small steps can lead to a tremendous ripple effect on your business. Here are some simple things you can do to better manage your finances.

  • Record all transactions, whether big or small. Expense tracking technologies can help you avoid errant spending.
  • Make it a habit to keep your business and personal expenses separate.
  • Reconcile what you know from your books with what your business bank accounts reflect. Do this financial reality check on a regular basis.
  • Create a budget for new projects you’re planning to define its relative value from other projects and the ongoing expenses within your business.
  • Work closely with your bookkeeper/accountant. Communicate regularly and ensure that important messages don’t get lost in the cracks.

Accounting and bookkeeping are integral aspects of business growth. However, many business owners loathe these tasks. If you need expert assistance for the finance-side of your business, get in touch with us today.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

Contact us