Here’s What To Do If Your Income Was Affected By Coronavirus

By Emma Edwards
30th Mar 2020

financial advice coronavirus

Right now, it feels like things are getting bleaker by the day as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, and Aussie freelancers and small businesses are left suffering. Despite the initial financial support package announced by the Australian Government looking like another kick in the guts for those running their own show, fear not. There is financial support available for freelancers, sole traders and biz owners who have lost income as a result of the Coronavirus—and we’ve rounded ‘em all up for you to digest over a well-earned glass of vino.

Access To Job Seeker Payment

The most glaring hole in the Government’s initial package was that freelancers weren’t eligible for the newly increased Job Seeker Payment. The $550 booster sees those out of work entitled to as much as $1115.70 per fortnight (singles) or $1162 (single with dependents). Thankfully, that has now been updated to include freelancers and sole traders—yaaaas! Find all the entitlement details here, and then hop onto your MyGov account to get your paws on the cash.

Access To JobKeeper Payment

Different to the Job Seeker Payment, the JobKeeper Payment is for businesses who have been impacted by the coronavirus and acts as a subsidy to help employers continue to pay their employees. Basically, employers can claim up to $1500 per fortnight, per person, for up to six months, to bolster that person’s income to what they were earning (or as close as they can get to) pre-COVID-19. There are quite a few eligibility requirements, so head here to find out more.

Instant Asset Write Offs

The instant asset write off has been increased to $150,000 (from $30,000) and eligibility has been expanded to businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500million (up from $50million). The increased limit applies until 30 June 2020, so if you’ve been meaning to invest in some big ticket equipment or tech for your biz, now’s the time. Find all the details here.

Early Access To Superannuation

Ever see your super balance and wish you could just borrow a little bit from future you to get through tough times? Well, all it took was a global pandemic to change the rules. Aussies will now be able to access $10,000 from their superfund during the 19/20 tax year, and another $10,000 during the 20/21 tax year. Plus, payouts will be tax-free, and won’t affect Centrelink or Veterans’ payments. Hurrah! Sole traders and freelancers are eligible providing your income has reduced by at least 20%. Find out all the details here, and then head to MyGov to begin your access request.

SME Guarantee Scheme

Small businesses that turn over less than $50million per year may be eligible for business loans of up to $250,000. With an initial six month repayment holiday, the credit available under the SME guarantee scheme may get you through periods of absent revenue, and help keep your staff in employment. Find all the details here, and then contact participating borrowers to get moving.

Backing Business Investment

If your small biz has an aggregated turnover of below $500million, you could be eligible for a 50% deduction of the cost of eligible assets upon installation—with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset thereafter. Just make sure your assets were acquired after the announcement of the package (22 March 2020). Assets must also be used or installed by 30 June 2021. Find all the info here.

Looking for some new revenue streams in tough times? Check out these simple ways to make money online.

Emma is a finance blogger at The Broke Generation and a reformed spendaholic. She shares hot tips on saving, property, tax, career and investing for millennials who want to break the spending cycle and get on top of their money.

Image Credit: Azamat Zhanisov

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