The good news is that we’ve almost made it to the end of 2020! Between the global pandemic, stock market volatility, lockdowns and economic downturn, many individuals and businesses have experienced uncertainty and financial hardship this year.
We take a look at some of the key moments from 2020, including state and federal government responses to the coronavirus crisis.
Federal Government announces stimulus packages
No wrap up of 2020 would be complete without addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our economic landscape. The Federal Government swung into immediate action with two successive stimulus packages, aimed at supporting individuals and businesses. Income support, tax concessions, rent relief measures, superannuation changes, and cash flow and investment support for business featured heavily.
Read our recap of the first phase of Federal government stimulus.
Read our recap of the second phase of the Federal government stimulus.
We also took a look at superannuation changes for workers and retirees.
Victorian Govt rolls out survival strategies for business
Victorians endured longer lockdowns and tighter restrictions than any other state or territory during 2020. Accordingly, the Victorian state government rolled out a range of measures to support businesses during the pandemic, including a $500 million support fund offering grants to businesses. The Victoria Government also announced tax relief support measures and developed a $3 billion Business Survival and Adaptation Package for businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
Read our recap of the Victorian government’s Business Support Fund.
Read our recap of the Business Survival and Adaptation Package.
Treasurer Frydenburg delivers the Federal Budget
Treasurer Josh Frydenburg delivered one of the most significant Federal Budgets in living memory this year. With their much-anticipated surplus blown out of the water by the COVID-19 crisis, the Budget included JobMaker credits to stimulate employment, lower taxes for business and changes to insolvency laws. The Budget also announced a range of changes to the superannuation system in order to ensure transparency, with super funds undergoing an annual performance review.
Read our recap of the 2020 Federal Budget.
Hiring Christmas staff in the COVID-19 workplace
The unpredictability of COVID-19 makes it more difficult to plan around hiring. If businesses are looking to onboard staff, there are additional considerations to think about. Businesses should aim to meet safety requirements around staff numbers and practice safety when onboarding, conducting interviews and staff training online where possible. Businesses should also conduct regular checks of employee health and restrict employees to one location, in order to avoid infection to multiple facilities.
Do you need to pay FBT on gifts for your employees?
‘Tis the season to deliver gifts to your employees! As a general rule, gifts less than $300 are exempt from FBT. Five different criteria need to be considered when determining whether it would be unreasonable to treat the gift as a minor benefit.
- More frequent and regular benefits are more likely to be considered minor;
- Greater total of minor benefit means less likely to be considered minor;
- Greater total value of other associated benefits, less like to be considered minor;
- Practical difficulty in determining the notional taxable value of the minor benefit; and
- Unexpectedness of event and whether it can be considered as remuneration.
If the above criteria is met, the gift is likely to be classified as a minor benefit and exempt from FBT.
Ready for the holidays? Review your final “to-do” list
It's almost time to power down your computer and tidy your desk before enjoying a well-deserved break over Christmas. There's just a few important things to take care of before you do...
- Review last year’s revenue goals
- Run year-end financial reports
- Update employee and payroll information
- Update vendor information and files
- Checking physical inventory
- Back up your data sources
- Update your website with holiday messaging
- Consider potential staffing needs
It’s time to celebrate! Have a COVID-safe Christmas party
COVID means that our staff Christmas parties might look a bit different this year. You’ll need to know the locations where employees are coming from, and stay up-to-date with areas of recent community transmission. To limit risks, businesses should try to limit the number of people invited to Christmas events, opting for outdoor venues where possible. It’s also important to restrict food-sharing, wear masks and use hand sanitiser. But most importantly - have socially-distanced fun!
We’re closing over the Christmas and New Year period
Thank you for all of your support during this challenging year. We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our clients and their families a very happy Christmas and New Year. Our team will be taking a short break over the Christmas period.
OUR CLOSING DATES ARE:
22nd Dec 2020 - 11th Jan 2021
We look forward to seeing you again in the new year.