April 2020 Newsletter

An awful lot has occurred over the last month so this will be a larger than normal newsletter. We encourage clients with any queries about these articles or any other financial matters to give us a call. Contents:

  • Full Summary of the Economic Stimulus Package
  • Cybersecurity in an era of working from home
  • Trust distributions from a discretionary trust: A simple explainer
  • Agreement can minimise property co-ownership risks
  • Super changes in COVID-19 measures — what it means for SMSFs
  • Paying more for the privilege of less health insurance benefits
  • I have tickets to a now cancelled event: What can I do?
  • Coronavirus: Can my boss force me to take sick leave?
  • 4 tips to feel more financially secure
  • The pros and cons of ‘buy now, pay later’
  • Announcements

Full Summary of the Economic Stimulus Package

Using the simplified depreciation rules, assets costing less than the relevant instant asset write-off threshold are written off in the year they are first used, or installed ready-for-use. This threshold applies to each asset irrespective of whether the asset is purchased new or second-hand.  
 
 
 

Coronavirus update: Cybersecurity in an era of working from home
As government-mandated lockdown comes into force, there are some existing risks to small business that could be felt more acutely if precautions aren’t taken. That’s right, it’s time to rethink your cybersecurity protocols.

 

Trust distributions from a discretionary trust: A simple explainer

Distributions from trusts and the taxation of those distributions is complex. This is an attempt to simplify the topic for any of your curious clients. The purpose of a trust is to separate the legal and beneficial ownership of assets. The legal ownership of the asset rests with the trustee. The beneficiaries benefit from the income that flows from the assets.
 
 

Agreement can minimise property co-ownership risks

Trustees wanting to invest in property with co-owners through their SMSF should engage in a special agreement to increase the funds available to invest and to minimise a range of risks, according to a law firm. In a blog, DBA Lawyers director Daniel Butler and lawyer Shaun Backhaus said the tenants in common (TIC) agreement is a prudent way to ensure that each owner’s rights and obligations in respect of various events are considered and clearly set …  
 

Super changes in COVID-19 measures — what it means for SMSFs

The government has announced it will make major changes to superannuation in its second stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with administrators analysing what it all means for self-managed funds. Early release of superannuation Individuals in financial stress as a result of COVID-19 will be allowed to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019–20 and a further $10,000 in 2020–21.
 

Paying more for the privilege of less health insurance benefits

The consumer watchdog has raised an alarm on the fact that nearly 60 per cent of private health insurance policies now have exclusions embedded into them that consumers may not be aware of. In its annual report into the private health insurance industry, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has outlined that more than 57 per cent of hospital treatment policies held by Australians had notable exclusions attached.
 

I have tickets to a now cancelled event: What can I do?

The consumer watchdog has provided some helpful advice for Australians hoping for refunds as mass event cancellations occur as a result of COVID-19 concerns. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a handy guide on the latest information consumer rights surrounding event cancellations.
 
 

Coronavirus: Can my boss force me to take sick leave?

As Australia battles to contain the spread of coronavirus, workplaces are taking extreme measures – and not all of them are legal. As with any contagious illness, the presence of coronavirus in your workplace could have a serious impact on the health and wellbeing of yourself and your colleagues, as well as the business itself. Employers are entitled to take reasonable precautions.
 

4 tips to feel more financially secure

Savvy Australians are looking to get on the front foot and prepare for the financial uncertainty caused by coronavirus through cutting back discretionary spending and increasing savings, an industry survey has found.

According to Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker, one in 10 is feeling insecure about their current job, while half of working Australians are living paycheck to paycheck. 

The pros and cons of ‘buy now, pay later’

Gen Zers and Millennials are the biggest users of “buy now, pay later” services in the 12 months leading up to September 2019, according to Roy Morgan’s research.

As at September 2019, Australians 14 to 35 years of age are the largest number of buy now, pay later system users at 55.9 per cent. Of which, 25 to 34-year-olds accounted for 33.5 per cent – twice the number of 14 to 24-year-old users.

 
 

Announcements:

This month we wish a Happy Birthday to Richard, Laurie, Katrina & Cris.
 

Richard Kemp

Laurie Liston

 

Cris Semmler

 
 

ATO Debts & Payment Arrangements

Anyone with Tax Office debts can call the Tax Office, on 131142 if they are in hardship. 
 
You will need to pass a proof of ID check by providing information from a recent Notice of Assessment or activity statement Document Identification Number. 
 
The ATO will look at the debt on a case by case basis, so no one answer for everyone. 
 
Clients can enter into a payment arrangement in the first instance, but if you can’t pay anything at all you will be asked a series of questions and maybe the debt be put on hold for an agreed period of time.

 


$500 million support package for Victorian workers impacted by COVID-19

For support for small businesses visit Business Victoria.

As part of the $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package, the Victorian Government has announced a $500 million package to assist people who have lost their jobs at this difficult time.

Under the Working for Victoria Fund, displaced workers will be eligible to apply for different types of work. This presents opportunities for paid work and an opportunity to contribute to Victoria’s ability to manage this event and support the community.

Some displaced workers will have skills that can be readily transferred to new roles. The Government can also assist skills development or help people in obtaining immediate accreditation to commence work.

The Government will work across the public sector, local government, the not-for-profit sector and key private sector employers to facilitate job matching. Businesses that need workers can get in touch at business.vic.gov.au.

To register your interest in receiving more information, please provide your contact details here: https://www.vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria

 

 
 

AUSkey set to be turned off!

Now is the time to move to myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). You will not be able to use AUSkey after 11.59pm AEDT on Friday 27 March.
 
 
All the best from the Watts Price Team!