The JobKeeper Payment helps employers to cover the costs of their employees’ wages, so more Australians can retain their jobs and continue to earn an income during COVID-19. Your employer will notify you if they intend to claim the JobKeeper payment of $1,500 per fortnight on your behalf.
Early release of superannuation
Eligible citizens and permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand can submit one application, through ATO online services in myGov, for up to $10,000 between 1 July and 24 September 2020. However the government has announced they will extend the application period to 31 December 2020.
Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not be taken into account under any income or means tests.
Reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates
For many retirees, the significant losses in financial markets as a result of COVID-19 are having a negative effect on their account balance of their superannuation pension or annuity.
The minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products have been reduced by 50% for 2019–20 and 2020–21. Some funds may automatically reduce the minimum drawdown rate. It is important you contact your fund to let them know if you want to reduce your minimum drawdown amount. They can make any change you authorise.
Working from home
As the situation around COVID-19 continues to develop, we understand you may now be working from home. To make it easier when claiming a deduction for additional running costs you incur as a result of working from home, special arrangements have been announced.
A simplified method has been introduced that allows you to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for all your running expenses, rather than having to calculate the additional amount you incurred for specific running expenses.
This simplified method will be available to use from 1 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. You may still use one of the existing methods to calculate your running expenses if you would prefer to.
Tax on employment payments
If you take leave, are stood down or lose your job because of COVID-19, there are different tax consequences for payments you may receive from your employer.
Gifts and donations
You may wish to make a donation to assist people and business affected by COVID-19 or to fund COVID-19 related research. To be tax deductible you must donate to a deductible gift recipient (DGR) and must not receive a material benefit.
You should keep records of all tax-deductible donations you make.
Residency and source of income
Due to COVID-19, you may need to determine:
- if your residency status has changed
- whether you need to lodge a tax return
- whether your salary or wage income is Australian sourced
- if there are double tax agreement implications.
Residential rental property
Due to COVID-19, some new circumstances affect tax outcomes for residential rental properties, including:
- when tenants can’t pay
- back-paid rent
- insurance for lost income
- reduced demand for your short-term rental accommodation.