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March 2020 – Government Stimulus Round 1

February 18, 20230

Government Stimulus Round 1

Firstly we’d like to apologise for the number of emails you may be receiving from Vantage at this time. We find ourselves in unchartered territory but we’d like to think that generally we only email our clients in relation to important news/events.

We suspect this won’t be the last of our emails given more stimulus is being earmarked for business. What we do know is that more needs to be done to help business with their biggest costs, such as wages and rent. Hopefully the next wave of assistance addresses those issues.

For now, we have outlined below the most recent measures for small business but we will start with mentioning the banks. They have been slow to respond in our opinion. Businesses, especially those in hospitality have been hurting for weeks. However we do now see a flurry of news around the assistance that Banks are offering from say:

  • Pausing repayments.
  • Reducing interest rates on some loans
  • Offering further loans to business

Each bank is different so we would urge all clients to:

  • Check the news regularly on these issues
  • Contact your bank for assistance if required. It’s unlikely they will call you, so you need to call them
  • Inform your friends and family about this. The more people that can be assisted promptly, the better
Deferring BAS’s

There will be an option to defer for UP TO 4 months the payment date due for the upcoming BAS’s and any income tax. This still means you must prepare and lodge the BAS. The concession applies solely to the payment. Now in order to qualify it’s our belief that you need to call the ATO and have it approved. It sounds absurd that you need to do that as we think it should just automatically apply, but that’s what the current guidelines suggest.

Adjusting PAYG Instalments for business

This has limited application for many clients, other than trading companies & sole traders (not trusts). It effectively allows an eligible business to vary their PAYG instalment to NIL, and potentially claim back any PAYG instalments paid in the September & December quarters. At this stage it appears that you can simply do this on the March BAS, so for clients that have their BAS prepared by our office, there is nothing you need to do here. We will analyse this when preparing the BAS & discuss further with you what scope we may have to vary. For clients that self prepare, you will need to make adjustments on your end.

Remitting interest & penalties.

The ATO has advised it will remit any interest & penalties incurred on or after the 23rd January 2020. Thankfully this seems like something that will automatically happen and hence you don’t need to apply for it.

Payment plans

It goes without saying that the ATO will now be far more responsive to payment plans than ever before. So if you have any outstanding debts or future debts with them, the ability to negotiate a very flexible payment plan will be greater.


The ATO has been very clear here. Employers will still need to meet their obligations. It would have been helpful to allow employers to postpone such payments but we doubt this will occur. It seems people’s retirement is more important than their immediate needs.

Emergency Support Infoline

The ATO has set up a hotline where they are ready to discuss your situation.
The number is 1800 806 218.

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Copyright by Vantage Tax & Business Services. All rights reserved.

Copyright by Vantage Tax & Business Services. All rights reserved.