Business Update – 23 June 2021

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

NSW Records 16 New Local Cases, New Restrictions Reimposed

NSW recorded 16 new cases of COVID-19 since the last time health officials spoke at 11 am on Tuesday. There’s also one mystery case where authorities still haven’t identified the source of COVID-19 detected in a nine-year-old child from Sydney’s east.

Starting 4 pm on Wednesday, new measures will be imposed for people in Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour. You can find a summary of the rules here in case you missed it.

NZ Resumes Travel Bubble With Victoria

New Zealand has resumed its quarantine-free travel bubble with Victoria starting midnight on Tuesday. This comes after Victoria recorded only one new locally acquired COVID-19 case on Monday.

Travellers will no longer be required to have a pre-departure coronavirus test. However, New Zealand has urged all travellers to continue monitoring for symptoms and check the Victorian Health website for updates on exposure sites.

NZ Pauses Travel Bubble with New South Wales

New Zealand has temporarily paused its travel bubble with NSW due to the increasing COVID-19 cases in the state. The pause came into effect at 11.59pm NZT on Tuesday and will be reviewed on Thursday.

Treasurer: Lockdowns Dent Confidence, Cost Jobs, and Hurt Investment

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says a decline in unemployment to 5.1% reflects the resilience of the country’s labour market but warns that lockdowns negatively affect confidence and jobs. This unemployment decline was better than expected, and the government is aiming to get it below 5%.

Since May, nearly 1 million new jobs have been created.

Prime Minister Promises More COVID-19 Shots to States

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australian states and territories will get more doses of vaccines soon as the COVID-19 cluster in Sydney continues to grow.

Officials expect to ship 2.3 million Pfizer doses to states this month and 3.4 million next month. At present, only 4% of Australia’s adult population of 20 million have been fully vaccinated and more than 25% have had at least their first dose. About 6.5 million shots have been administered so far.

Australian Researchers Begin Trials of COVID-19 Nasal Spray Vaccine

Australian researchers are starting clinical trials of a new type of COVID-19 vaccine that comes as a nasal spray.

Scientists at Brisbane’s Nucleus Network believe that this could potentially be more effective than the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. According to researchers, the nasal spray could be available in a year or two.

$26 Million to Boost headspace Services for Young Australians

The government is investing an additional $26 million in headspace that will make mental health services more accessible to young Australians.

headspace provides free or low cost youth-friendly support in four key areas: mental health, related physical health, substance misuse, and social and vocational support. This additional funding will help headspace services expand its services; refurbish, expand, or relocate headspace facilities; and deliver new strategies such as triage and a walk-in single session approach.

There are 40 headspace service facilities located in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory that will benefit from grants of up to $1.8 million each.

EOFY is Fast Approaching

The end of the financial year is not just about tying up an interesting and challenging year, it’s also a chance to prepare for a successful year ahead! Below are some things you may want to consider.

Temporary Full Expensing or Instant Asset Write-Off
Small businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million can receive a full write-off for all assets. Both new and second-hand assets qualify, but these assets must be used or already installed by the end of the financial year. The immediate deduction for a car cannot exceed the cost limit of $59,136.

Payroll
Pay all unpaid wages that have been processed and employee bonuses before 30 June. It’s also recommended to start reviewing and updating your employment contracts with your staff.

Superannuation
Consider paying Q4 (April – June) before 30 June to receive the tax deduction. The Superannuation Guarantee is scheduled to increase to 10% from 1 July, so be ready for this.

FBT
Ensure your FBT for company vehicles declaration has already been prepared and you’ve provided your odometer reading on vehicles as of 1 April.

Government Rebate for NSW
Sole traders, small business owners, and nonprofits in NSW may be eligible for a small business fees and charges rebate of $1500 for fees paid from 1 March 2021 and will be available until 30 June.

EOFY tips for small businesses

  1. Get your accounts in order in a cloud accounting system. Get in touch with us so we can recommend the right software for your business.
  2. Get in touch with your accounting advisor now to see if you can take advantage of tax minimisation schemes like the loss carry back tax offset scheme.
  3. If cashflow permits, you may consider bringing forward some expenses or purchasing capital assets that will help you save time or generate more money. This will allow you to make the most of the instant asset write-off scheme.
  4. Seek an accountant who can translate the tax jargon, COVID schemes and deadlines into plain and simple English.

We’ll help you get ready for EOFY, without the stress. Chat to us if you have any questions.

Remember JobKeeper on your tax return

If you received JobKeeper this financial year you need to include them in your tax return.

If you’re a sole trader, partnership, company or trust that has received JobKeeper payments, the ATO will contact you or your tax agent by early July to let you know:

  • the total amount of JobKeeper payments your entity received since 1 July 2020, or where you can find out
  • where to report JobKeeper payments in your tax return.

Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Superannuation Guarantee increases on 1 July 2021

The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) will increase to 10% from 1 July 2021. If you have employees, you need to be ready for this legislated increase.

What do you need to do?

  • Firstly, you should speak to your payroll software provider to make sure they are on top of this rate change. Your accountant or bookkeeper may also be able to help.
  • Review any individual agreements with an SCG rate of more than 9.5%, but less than 10%.
  • Notify your employees as they may need to review their Salary Sacrifice or after-tax contributions arrangements.
  • Update Remuneration Packages as it could mean a pay decrease for employees.
  • This is also a good opportunity to do some housekeeping to ensure your super obligations have been met (including super payments and calculations).

As an employer it’s important to ensure you pay super at the new minimum rate. There are financial penalties applied for not meeting your SG obligations. Ask us if you have any questions.

JobMaker Hiring Credit’s Second Claim Period

The second claim period of the JobMaker Hiring Credit is now open. So if you’ve taken on additional young employees between 7 January and 6 April 2021, you may claim the following payments:

  • up to $10,400 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years
  • up to $5,200 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years

Register any time until the scheme ends.

Wage Subsidy Scheme for Apprentices and Trainees

The government has announced the expansion of the wage subsidy scheme for apprentices and trainees. Under the scheme, the government will pay half the wages of apprentices up to a maximum of $7,000 each quarter for 12 months. Ask us if you have any questions.

Income Statements can be found in myGov in July

Since Single Touch Payroll (STP) came into place in 2019, payment summaries (previously called Group Certificates) now known as Income Statements can be accessed through myGov. These are no longer directly provided by employers. This will be prepared and ready for employees by 14 July if your or 31 July, depending on if the employer has 20+ employees or 19 or less respectively.

Upcoming Key Dates

Upcoming key lodgment and payment dates for businesses:

25 June

  • Lodge and pay 2021 Fringe Benefits Tax annual return if you have a tax agent that lodges your return electronically.

30 June

  • Super guarantee contributions must be paid by this date to qualify for a tax deduction in the 2020–21 financial year.

Contact us if you have any questions.

SME Recovery Loans open until 30 June

The Government’s SME Recovery Loan Scheme is open to small-medium businesses with a turnover of up to $250 million that were recipients of JobKeeper or were affected by floods in certain areas. This Scheme means the Government will guarantee 80% of the loan amount. You can find more details and eligibility criteria here, but please get in touch if you have any questions.

Five Strategies For Building Customer Loyalty

Gaining customer loyalty can add significant value to your business. However, small businesses encounter challenges when it comes to keeping their customers. This Forbes article shares some effective strategies to acquire loyal customers.

  • Know the values of your brand. Use effective marketing strategies to commercialise your brand and communicate your values in the initial phases.
  • Offer excellent customer service. Create a good first impression to build a sense of trust among the customers.
  • Establish a loyalty program. Start a loyalty program to prove to customers how much they matter to your business. You can set up a points system and offer coupons or purchase cards.
  • Take customer feedback seriously. Both good and bad customer feedback is crucial. If you’re not receiving any, start asking for feedback from your customers and implement valid suggestions.
  • Create an online community. Social media is a vital aspect of modern businesses, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So encourage your customers to follow your social media pages and create engaging content, including those that increase transparency in your business.

Returning customers are more likely to spend more into your business. So if you need some expert guidance on how to run your business better, book a one-on-one consultation with us today!

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

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