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COVID-19 and Sole Traders

COVID-19 and Sole Traders

If you’re a sole trader, learn what your business can get and where to go for help.

https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/Support-available-for-sole-traders

If you’re a sole trader you are eligible for:

JobKeeper Payment

You may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if your turnover has been reduced because of the coronavirus. Following registration by the eligible business, the Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee until 27 September 2020.

The JobKeeper Payment is available to eligible employers, businesses including companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders, not-for-profits and charities.

The intent of the JobKeeper Payment is to enable any eligible self-employed person get a wage subsidy regardless of what business structure they use, where:

  • the business operates through a sole trader structure – one owner can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment
  • the business operates through a partnership – one partner can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment
  • the business operates through a company – one director can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment
  • the business has shareholders who provide labour to the company and receive dividends in lieu of wages – one such shareholder can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment
  • the business operates through a trust – one individual beneficiary (that is, not a corporate beneficiary) can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment

Learn more about the JobKeeper Payment.

The increased instant asset write-off

Under normal circumstances, individual assets less than $30,000 are eligible for the instant asset write off. The Government has lifted this threshold to $150,000 for assets that are either installed or ready for first use by 30 June 2020.

Read more about the increased instant asset write-off .

Backing Business Investment (BBI)

A time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.

Learn more about Backing Business Investment.

Increased and accelerated income support

The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months.

Find out about the increased and accelerated income support.

Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries

The Government has created an initial $1 billion support fund to provide assistance to industries and regions severely affected by the economic impacts of Coronavirus.

Read more about the assistance for affected regions, communities and industries.

SME Guarantee Scheme

This will provide businesses with funding to meet immediate cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit. Businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans.

Learn more about the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.

Early access to superannuation

You can access up to $10,000 of your superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from mid-April 2020.

Read more about early access to your superannuation.

Tax support

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. Contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline for businesses on 1800 806 218 for more information or to request this help.

JobSeeker Payment

The Government also temporarily expanding the eligibility criteria for the JobSeeker Payment to support sole traders if their income is negatively affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus.

For example, as a member of a couple you could receive up to $1060.80 per fortnight through the JobSeeker Payment and Coronavirus supplement, although the precise amount will depend on the amount of income you and your partner continue to earn.

Receiving the JobSeeker Payment may also make you eligible for other Government payments like Rent Assistance and the Energy Supplement.

Go to the Services Australia website to learn more about the JobSeeker Payment.

Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

The Government will make a number of changes to the Bankruptcy Act 1966. The threshold for the minimum amount of debt required for a creditor to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor will temporarily increase from its current level of $5,000 to $20,000. This will apply for 6 months.

Failure to respond to a bankruptcy notice is the most common act of bankruptcy. The time a debtor has to respond to a bankruptcy notice will be temporarily increased from 21 days to 6 months. The extension will give a debtor more time to consider repayment arrangements before they could be forced into bankruptcy. This will apply for 6 months.

Learn more about the temporary relief for financially distressed businesses.