Business Update – 17 November 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Australia Hits 90%, Single-Dose Mark

Australia has hit a new milestone, with 90% of those who are 16 years old and above have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This makes every state and territory on track to hit 80% fully vaccinated by the end of 2021.

Australia Aims to Vaccinate Children Under 12 Years Old

Australia will likely start administering the shots for children under 12 years old in January. According to Health Minister Greg Hunt, medical regulators are still reviewing the health and safety data for the vaccinations and are unlikely to decide this year.

Just this month, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech shot for use in the five to 11 age group, after it was authorised by the Food and Drug Administration.

Potential Travel Bubbles with South Korea and Japan

Australia had a two-way travel bubble with New Zealand earlier this year until Delta broke out in Sydney. A similar arrangement with Singapore is in place from 21 November.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he hopes South Korea and Japan would formalise arrangements in the coming weeks.

Parts of Northern Territory Shut Down

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced additional measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the Northern Territory.

Under these new rules, parts of the territory will be shut down until 6 pm on 18 November. This move comes after the Northern Territory recorded nine new cases on Tuesday.

FBT Implications of Christmas Parties

As the end of the year is fast approaching, businesses are getting ready for their Christmas party and are organising gifts for their staff. With this, it’s important to be aware of the fringe benefits tax (FBT) implications of these.

Because there is no separate FBT category for Christmas parties, here are some ATO guidelines to keep you on track:

  • Exempt property benefits– The costs associated with such events are exempt from FBT if they are provided on a working day, on your business premises, and consumed by your employees.
  • Exempt minor benefits– It can be regarded as a minor benefit and exempt if the cost of the party is less than $300 per employee and certain conditions are met.
  • Christmas gifts– Christmas gifts to employees may be a minor benefit that is an exempt benefit when the value is less than $300.

If you need help with your FBT, get in touch with us today to avoid running into problems with the ATO.

Google to Invest $1 billion in Australia

Google has announced that it will invest $1 billion in Australia over the next five years to build a research hub, increase its cloud computing capacity, and fund partnerships with local organisations.

The Digital Future Initiative is expected to create 6,000 jobs and supports 28,000 overall.

JobMaker Hiring Credit Payments for 3rd Period

JobMaker Hiring Credit payments can be claimed by 31 October 2021 for additional eligible employees hired between 7 April 2021 and 6 July 2021. Eligible businesses can claim for up to a year for each additional eligible employee hired between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021. Get in touch with us for assistance in your claim.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) Quarterly Reporting Due Dates

From 1 July 2021, small employers must report any closely held payees through STP. Reports can be done every payday or quarterly. Also, STP quarterly reporting concessions for micro employers are only available to those who meet certain eligibility requirements, including the need for exceptional circumstances to exist.

We can help you apply for this concession on your behalf. Those who haven’t started reporting through STP and don’t have a deferral or exemption must start reporting now.

Upcoming Key Dates for November 2021

Here are the upcoming key dates for the month of November:

22 Nov 2021

  • October monthly BAS due

29 Nov 2021

  • September quarter SG charge statement due

Change in Super Rules from 1 November for Your New Employees

There’s a change that involves an extra step to comply with ‘choice of fund’ rules when a new employee starts working for you. Currently, if new hires don’t choose their own Superfund, the employer can pay Super contributions for them to your default fund.

Starting 1 November, employers will need to request their ‘stapled super fund’ details from the ATO. A stapled super fund is an existing account that is linked to an employee, and this change in rules aim to minimise the number of additional Super accounts opened each time an individual starts a new job.

You can use online services for businesses to request your new hires’ stapled super fund details. If you need help with your tax and super, get in touch with us!

Changes for Directors starting in November: Identification Number Needed

All directors of a company will need a director identification number (director ID) from November.

The director identification number is a unique identifier that allows shareholders, creditors, employees, and consumers to know certain details about the directors of a company. All directors are required by law to verify their identity with the Australian Business Registry Services before receiving a director ID.

All directors need to apply for their own ID so while we can’t apply for this on your behalf, we can help you if you have any questions.

You can also follow the steps for application here.

Support for Apprentices to be Expanded

The $3.9 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program will extend support into the second and third year of an eligible Australian Apprenticeship through the $716 million Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program.

From October, eligible employers will receive a 10% wage subsidy in the second year of an eligible apprenticeship, and 5% in the third year. The government’s investment is expected to continue to support the 270,000 anticipated commencements under the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program from October 2020 to March 2022.

COVID-19 Government Support By State and Industry

Small businesses that are currently suffering from lockdowns can get financial assistance to help them get through the pandemic. You can find the latest government support schemes for each state or territory here.

The impacts of the COVID-19 restrictions vary from one industry to another. Here, you’ll find the latest government financial assistance available for particular industries.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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