JobKeeper 2.0 is about to begin: here’s what you need to know

Like most sequels, JobKeeper 2.0 won’t be as big a blockbuster as the original. But that’s not to say it won’t help many SMEs navigate the difficult times ahead. Today we’ll cover what you need to know about making the transition for your business.

It’s hard to believe that JobKeeper 2.0 is due to begin next week.

But it’s actually been half a year (or 13 fortnightly payments) since the scheme was first launched, over which time around 42% of small businesses have accessed it, according to a MYOB survey.

Today we’ll look at whether your business might be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0, and if not, some other potential options that might be worth considering instead.

28 September 2020, JobKeeper extension 1 starts

The first extension will cover seven JobKeeper fortnights between 28 September 2020 and 3 January 2021.

The rates of the JobKeeper payment in this extension period are:

Tier 1: $1,200 per fortnight (for eligible employees or business partners who worked 80+ hours within a four week designated period)

Tier 2: $750 per fortnight (all other eligible employees and eligible business participants).

To claim JobKeeper payments for this period, you will need to show that your GST turnover has declined in the September 2020 quarter relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019).

But here’s the good news just in: if the quarter ending 30 September 2019 is not an appropriate comparison period, you may be able to use the alternative tests, the ATO has just confirmed.

These alternative tests are broadly in line with the original seven alternative test circumstances, and cover businesses that started after the comparison period, had a substantial increase in turnover, had an irregular turnover, or were affected by drought or a natural disaster.

The key difference this time around, however, is that the tests must be applied on the basis that the turnover test period is a quarter (rather than the choice between a month or quarter, which you had for the first version of JobKeeper).

What if my business is no longer eligible for JobKeeper?

If your business is no longer eligible for JobKeeper, please know there may be other financing options available to assist you through the coming period.

One option to explore is the federal government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, which allows lenders to provide eligible SMEs unsecured loans more cheaply and more freely than regular business loans.

Another potential option is something like invoice financing, which brings forward payment of your invoices so you have cash in hand sooner, rather than having to wait for your client/s to cough up the cash.

But to be honest, there’s a whole range of possible routes available, some of which might suit your business, others that won’t.

To discuss your options, your best bet is to get in touch with us today so we can sit down with you and see if we can help you work out a path moving forward.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

You might have heard that the federal government will give eligible Australians $25,000 to build or substantially renovate homes as part of the new HomeBuilder scheme. Today we’ll look at who exactly can qualify for the initiative.

The $680 million program, which is part of the federal government’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, aims to support more than 1 million builders, painters, plumbers and electricians across the country.

It’s also a win for many Australians wanting to buy a new home or begin an overdue reno, as the $25,000 grants are non-taxable and will complement existing state and territory first home owner grant programs, stamp duty concessions and other federal schemes.

So, without further ado let’s see whether or not you might be eligible.

Eligibility details

To access HomeBuilder, owner-occupiers must:

– be an individual, not a company or trust;

– be aged 18 years or older;

– be an Australian citizen; and

– have an income of less than $125,000 per annum for an individual applicant, or $200,000 for a couple (income caps are based on 2018/19 tax returns or later).

Additionally, you must enter into a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 to either:

– build a new home as a principal place of residence valued up to $750,000 (including land); or

– substantially renovate your existing home as a principal place of residence, with renovations valued at between $150,000 and $750,000, and with the dwelling not valued at more than $1.5 million before the renovation.

Construction must be contracted to commence within three months of the contract date.

Other eligibility details

All dwelling types – including houses, apartments, house and land packages and off-the-plan dwellings – are eligible.

However, HomeBuilder cannot be used for additions that are unconnected to the principal place of residence, such as swimming pools, tennis courts, outdoor spas and saunas, and detached sheds or garages.

HomeBuilder is also not available for investment properties or to owner-builders.

A few final important details

The $25,000 grant will go directly to the applicant, not the contractors.

Renovations or building work must be undertaken by a registered or licenced building service contractor.

To help protect against inflated quotes and pricings, the registered or licensed builder must be able to demonstrate that the contract price for the new build or renovation is no higher than the cost of comparable works done back in July 2019.

To find out more about what the HomeBuilder grant might mean for you, check out the case studies at the bottom of this Treasury HomeBuilder factsheet.

They run through scenarios involving a house and land package, a renovation, an off-the-plan apartment, knocking down and rebuilding a house, and building on a vacant block.

Get in touch

So, that covers the scheme’s eligibility details. If you’ve ticked the above boxes, the next thing to tackle is financing the project.

And that’s where we can help.

If you’d like help obtaining finance to pay for the new home or reno of your dreams, get in touch with us today – we’re here to help make your HomeBuilder dreams a reality.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.