As the impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives continues to evolve, it’s important you are aware of the economic stimulus measures that may be available to you.

We’ve put together a quick video highlighting some tax-time measures to be aware of as we approach EOFY, as well as some information on the continuing stimulus measures going into next financial year.

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Payments to Low-Income Households and Pensioners
Temporary Access to Super
JobSeeker or JobKeeper?

During these tough times, it’s important to have someone to talk to, so we urge you to contact us if you any concerns about your financial circumstances.

We are here to offer support in any way we can.

Kind regards,

Neil & Martina


Payments to low income households and pensionersAs part of the Government’s series of measures to support the economy and individuals through the Coronovirus crisis, Newstart recipients, age pensioners and veterans were provided with a one-off payment of $750 in April.

While most working Australians didn’t receive this payment, the theory is that this tightly targeted payment provides maximum bang for buck in terms of stimulating the economy.

Pensioners (who have not been eligible for JobSeeker or JobKeeper) will receive an additional support payment. On top of the first $750 payment, an additional $750 will be paid to any eligible recipients, as at 10 July 2020, receiving the Age Pension, Veterans Pension or eligible concession card holders.

If you have any questions about your entitlements to government payments, please don’t hesitate to call.

Information in this article has been sourced from https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/households


Temporary access to superAs part of the measures taken by the government to support those impacted by COVID-19 some people were able to access up to $10,000 of their super before 1 July 2020, and will be able to access a further $10,000 in the first three months of the 2020-21 financial year, tax free.

Those who are eligible include the unemployed, people receiving JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit. People who’ve been made redundant, had their work hours reduced by 20% or more or sole traders whose turnover has reduced by 20% or more since 1 January this year are also eligible.

Applications can be made online using myGov and applications will self-certify that they satisfy the eligibility criteria.

While this provides an additional safety net for individuals and families who face the loss of a job or a significant fall in income, we do urge our clients to consider accessing their super as a last resort.

Taking a chunk out of your retirement savings now, after a big market fall, would not only crystallise your recent losses but it also means you would have less money working for you when markets recover.

So before you do anything, speak to us and we can help you review other income support measures that may be applicable to your situation.


JobSeeker or JobKeeper?In a rapidly evolving response to the spread of COVID-19, the Federal Government announced in March a new suite of welfare packages to help Australians who’ve found themselves out of work. Among them are the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments. Here’s a rundown of how they work:

JobSeeker

This initiative was devised in mid-March, prior to the JobKeeper changes, to support those who find themselves out of work and seeking a job. The payment is available to out of work employees including sole traders, self-employed, casual workers and contract workers who meet the income test as a result of the economic downturn due to the Coronavirus. The asset test and the one week waiting period has been waived.

The full JobSeeker payment is about $1100 per fortnight, including a six-month $550 fortnightly coronavirus supplement payable from April 27, but it does depend in your income and your partner’s income. The partner income threshold has been increased from $48,100 to $79,762 per annum to qualify.

If you qualify for JobSeeker benefits, you may also receive rental assistance, an energy supplement, pharmaceutical allowance and family tax benefits. All amounts are before potential tax.

JobKeeper

This is an initiative to assist employers retain employees if still operating or to stay connected to employees if their business has closed

The JobKeeper payment is $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee.

While the government believes around six million eligible Australians may end up receiving the payment, it is restricted to staff who were working for an eligible business on March 1 and are at least 16 years old. Casual workers will need to have been working for the company for at least one year to receive the payment. Eligible sole traders can apply for this payment.

Your employer needs to apply for the payment through the ATO in order to be able to receive it. Payments commenced in the first week of May 2020, but were backdated to 30 March 2020. To qualify, businesses with turnover of less than $1 billion need to have lost at least 30% of their revenue, and businesses with turnover of $1 billion or more need to have lost at least 50% of their revenue. In both cases, the business must keep the worker employed, and the payment must be passed onto the employee if they earn less than $1500 per fortnight.

Payments were intended to continue for 6 months from 30 March 2020, but this be reviewed by government in the coming months.

Contact us if you would like assistance in determining your eligibility for either of these initiatives or if you have any other questions we can assist with.

MFP Wealth Creation Pty Ltd (AR 1250984) T/A Mansfield Financial Planning, Neil Sonneveld (AR 1251279), and Martina Sonneveld (AR 297377) are authorised representatives of Nextplan Financial Pty Ltd (AFSL 452996). This advice may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice that has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information. Investment Performance: Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns as future returns may differ from and be more or less volatile than past returns.

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