As expected, the $1,500 per fortnight wage subsidy that was the major part of the last Federal Government stimulus package passed Federal Parliament last night without any changes. Although the Opposition challenged whether the subsidy should be extended to all casuals rather than just those with over 12 months service, the importance of the subsidy for Australians was prioritised and the Bill was passed with no formal opposition.
Earlier this week Prime Minister Morrison provided further details on the relief available to retail and commercial tenants under changes made to the Commercial Tenancies Code. This Code provides the guidelines which will be then legislated into the relevant state laws shortly.
The Australian Banking Association has announced it will be extending the terms of the loan relief available for businesses. An extra 30,000 business are estimated to now be eligible for this relief with the maximum loan balance being increased from $3 million to $10 million.
Although the latest $1,500 wage subsidy is yet to be legislated, further guidance has come from Treasury, the ATO and the Tax Practitioner Board (TPB) over the last 24 hours regarding the stimulus packages offered by the Federal Government.
After the rush of measures being released, the last few days have been relatively quiet, which has been a welcome change for advisors who have been scrambling to both fully understand the new measures and communicate these to their clients.
The ATO has released guidelines which indicate a welcome relaxation of the strict superannuation regulations which threatened to cause issues for trustees of self-managed super funds (SMSF). As a result of COVID-19, many funds are struggling to pay minimum pensions and many related party businesses are struggling to meet their rental payments to the SMSF.