In this Sky Update, we bring you all the latest tax news along with some other items that may pique your interest.
JobMaker Hiring Credit
In our last SkyUpdate we included an update on the JobMaker Hiring Credit announced in the recent Federal Budget.
Under JobMaker, employers will be given a credit when they create new jobs and hire young people who have been receiving JobSeeker income support payments in at least one of the three months before they were hired.
Since that update the Economic Recovery Package (JobMaker Hiring Credit) Amendment Bill 2020 has been passed by Parliament and has received Royal Assent.
Following on from the passage of that legislation, Treasury have published an Exposure Draft of the official scheme rules. With the consultation process concluding on the 27th of November, we hope to have the final scheme rules very soon.
Business will then be in a position to properly assess their eligibility to participate in the scheme.
Updates to Casual & Overtime Clauses in Awards
Updates have been made to casual and overtime clauses in 97 different awards. These updates apply from the first pay period on or after the 20th of November 2020.
Amongst the awards affected are the:
- Building & Construction General On-site Award;
- Clerks Private Sector Award;
- General Retail Industry Award;
- Health Professionals & Support Services Award; and
- Medical Practitioners Award.
For full details of the affected awards, please see the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
Whilst the updates are different in each award, common examples of how awards have been updated include clarifying:
- how casual and overtime loadings interact;
- whether casuals are entitled to overtime; and
- the hours when overtime applies.
These updates will mean changes to overtime pay rates for casual employees in some awards.
We recommend that you review the list of affected awards to determine if your business is affected. And if so, take steps to ensure that your arrangements remain compliant.
If you need assistance, please get in touch.
RBA Interest Rate Decision
On the 3rd of November, the RBA made a decision to reduce the cash target rate to 0.1%
In the statement released by the Governor of the RBA, it was noted that the decision has been driven by the RBA’s commitment to support job creation and the recovery of the economy post pandemic.
With official interest rates now at all time lows, it is important to ensure that your loan is competitive.
We are seeing examples where our clients have been able to either re-finance or renegotiate their loans to achieve significant savings and benefits.
If you would like assistance to review your loans, please get in touch.
New South Wales & Victorian State Budgets
The New South Wales Budget was handed down on the 17th of November. In delivering the budget, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has sought to underpin the state’s recovery from recent drought, devastating bushfires and the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Budget contains a range of measures and spending designed to stimulate the state’s economy, including:
- A reduction in the Payroll Tax rate to 4.85% and an increase in the threshold;
- A “Jobs Plus Program” to incentivise businesses to relocate their head offices and expand their workforces in New South Wales;
- Digital vouchers for SMEs that do not pay Payroll Tax to meet government fees and charges; and
- An overhaul that will allow property buyers to opt for an annual property tax as an alternative to stamp duty.
More detail on the Budget announcements can be found at the official budget website.
Hot on the heals of New South Wales, Treasurer Tim Pallas handed down the Victorian Budget on the 24th of November.
Like it’s New South Wales counterpart, the Victorian budget is a big spending budget designed to support the state on the path to post Coronavirus recovery.
The Victorian government plans to spend-up on a range of housing, infrastructure, industry, skills, schools, hospital and tourism projects/initiatives.
The budget also includes:
- A Payroll Tax credit for businesses with payroll of less than $10 million whose Victorian taxable wages increase in 2020-21 and 2021-22 years;
- A 50% land tax discount for eligible build-to-rent developments, including an exemption from the absentee owner surcharge;
- Bringing forward the 50% Stamp Duty concession for commercial and industrial properties in regional Victoria; and
- A Stamp Duty waiver of up to 50% on purchases of residential property in Victoria with a dutiable value of up to $1 million.
For more detail on the Budget announcements, please refer to the official budget website.
And of course, feel free to get in touch if you have any questions on how the budget announcements may affect you.
Quote of the Month
“Fake news” is a term that has entered the lexicon in recent times. And we have certainly heard it a lot throughout the pandemic and as we have watched the US presidential election circus unfold.
Now more than any time in history, we can publish and disseminate news and views to large audiences. This is of significant benefit to us all in being able to access important information and diverse perspectives.
However, it does present us with the challenge of identifying who and what to believe.
In facing this challenge, it is useful to keep in mind the words of the philosopher Bertrand Russell, who said that “the whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts”.
Beware those who are overly confident in their knowledge or point of view. There is a chance that they have failed to fully appreciate the complexity of the matter. Conversely, don’t be too quick to dismiss those who show a lack of certainty or conviction. They may well understand things at a deeper level than the rest of us.
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