Sky Update – December 2021
SME Recovery Loan Scheme
On the 15th of December 2021 the Government notified Amended Scheme Rules that expand the SME Recovery Loan Scheme.
Under the SME Recovery Loan Scheme (2022 Scheme expansion), participating lenders will offer loans on the following terms:
- Government guarantee: 50% of the loan amount
- Commencement: 1 January 2022 (and ending on 30 June 2022)
- Loan value: up to $5m
- Loan purpose: a broad range of business purposes, including to refinance existing debt
- Loan terms: up to 10 years with repayment holidays of up to 24 months
- Security: loans can be either unsecured or secured
- Interest rates: capped at approximately 7.5% (t&c’s apply)
The Scheme offers a great opportunity to either refinance existing loans on more favourable terms, or to raise additional funding to support the business.
If you are interested in the SME Recovery Loan Scheme and want to learn more, please get in touch.
Payroll Tax & Service Fee Arrangements
A common set-up for professionals is to operate under a “tenancy & agency model”. This is particularly common in the medical, dental & allied health industries.
Under a tenancy and agency model, the professional enters an arrangement with the operator of a practice to collect fees from clients/patients on their behalf.
The practice then periodically remits those fees to the professional, less a service fee for use of facilities and other services rendered. For example, access to consulting/treatment rooms and reception/administration services.
A recent NCAT case in NSW has looked at this type of arrangement and has found that Payroll Tax is payable on the amounts remitted to the professional.
This decision reinforces the earlier Victorian Supreme Court decision in the Optical Superstore case that had similar findings.
In particular, the NSW decision dispenses with the view that the Optical Superstore case could be distinguished from typical arrangements due to some of the peculiarities that existed in that situation.
Whilst this is a NSW decision, there is sufficient consistency with the rules that apply in other States and Territories for this to be considered by practices right throughout Australia.
We recommend that practice operators that utilise service fee arrangements review their Payroll Tax obligations.
If you have questions about how your practice may be affected, please get in touch.
Australian Consumer Law Consultation
Treasury is currently seeking stakeholder feedback on options aimed at improving the consumer guarantee and supplier indemnification provisions under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
Consumer guarantees are intended to provide consumers, suppliers and manufacturers with a way of addressing problems with goods and services by establishing a minimum level of protection for all consumer goods and services across Australia.
The intention of the Treasury consultation is to consider stronger incentives for businesses to comply with their obligations to provide consumers with a repair, replacement, or refund where there is a problem.
Additionally, the supplier indemnification options are intended to provide stronger incentives for manufacturers to reimburse sellers for costs incurred where the manufacturer is at fault.
Any changes made could have notable implications for manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services covered by the ACL.
Interested parties are encouraged to consider making a submission prior to the 11 February deadline.
Australian Taxation Office Annual Closure
The ATO will be closing on the 24th of December and re-opening on the 4th of January.
During this time, processing of tax returns and issuing of tax refunds will be paused.
Additionally, the ATO will be undertaking scheduled maintenance that will affect a number of systems, including:
- SMSF verification service (SVS)
- Fund validation service (FVS)
- Small business superannuation clearing house (SBSCH)
These systems will be unavailable from 11.30pm AEDT Monday 27 December 2021 to 7.00am AEDT Tuesday 4 January 2022.
Fair Work Ombudsman Holiday Season Update
The Fair Work Ombudsman has recently issued an update touching on many of the common issues that arise during the holiday season, including working on a public holiday and requiring employees to take annual leave during a shutdown.
Employers are encouraged to ensure that they are across the rules and obligations that apply to some of the more unusual situations that tend to crop-up at this time of year.
If you need help to understand your businesses requirements, please get in touch.
Quote of the Month
As the end of yet another tumultuous year draws near, we are reminded of the sense of optimism and renewal that a new year brings.
We think that the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson put it well when he wrote “hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’”.
As we write this, we are preparing to take a short break. We will be closing our offices on the 23rd of December and look forward to catching up when we are back from Monday the 10th of January.
In the meantime, we would like to wish you all the very best for the holiday period. May 2022 be a watershed year of health, happiness and prosperity!
Phone: 1300 328 855
Office Address: 902 Howitt Street, Wendouree, Victoria 3355, Australia
Postal Address: PO Box 2234, Bakery Hill, Victoria 3354
Phone: 03 97444522
Sunbury Office Address: Suite 13, 33-35 Macedon Street, Sunbury, Victoria 3429, Australia
Gisborne Office Address: 45 Hamilton Street, Gisborne, Victoria 3437, Australia
Postal Address: PO Box 270 Gisborne Victoria 3437