Support available for sole traders

The following information is for sole traders without employees.

If you are a sole trader, you may be eligible for:

Federal Government support

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

Find out more

JobSeeker Payment

The Government is 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. 

Find out more

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 use by 30 June 2020.

Find out more

Backing Business Investment (BBI) / Accelerated depreciation deduction arrangements

For a time-limited 15-month period investment incentives are now in place to support business investment, by allowing accelerated depreciation deductions.

Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of asset’s cost.

Find out more

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 more

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.

Find out more

Small to Medium Enterprise Guarantee Scheme

This scheme will provide businesses with funding to meet immediate cash flow needs, but 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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

Tax support

The Australian Tax Office is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak, on a case by case basis.

Find out more

Banking institutions

The Australian Banking Association has announced that Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months.

Find out more

Temporary relief or financially distressed businesses

The Australian 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.

Find out more

NSW Government support

Payroll tax relief

Payroll tax customers whose total grouped Australian wages for the 2019-20 financial year are no more than $10 million will have their annual tax liability reduced by 25 per cent when they lodge their annual reconciliation, which is due on 28 July 2020.

For those who lodge and pay monthly and whose total Australian wages will be no more than $10 million for the current financial year, no payment for the months of March, April or May 2020 will be required.

Payroll tax customers whose total group Australian wages for the 2019-20 financial year are over $10 million, will have the option of deferring the payment of payroll tax for up to six months.

These businesses will not need to make their payment for the March period, normally due on 7 April 2020.

Find out more

Payroll tax threshold increase – 2020-21 financial year

The tax-free threshold will increase from $900,000 to $1 million for the financial year commencing on 1 July 2020

Find out more

Waiving of a range of fees and charges for small businesses

The Government is waiving a range of fees and charges for small business including bars, cafes, restaurants and trades. Keep an eye out on the following websites for more information:

Amendments to the Long Services Leave Act 1995

NSW Parliament has amended the Long Services Leave Act 1995. The key amendments are:

  • waiving the one-month notice period for taking leave (by mutual agreement between employee and employer), and
  • greater flexibility for employees to take this leave in shorter blocks if they wish (rather than traditional monthly blocks)

The legislation will have effect for six months (from 24 March 2020).

Small business COVID 19 support grants

The NSW Governing is providing financial support to ease the pressures on small businesses as a result of COVID-19. If your small business or non-profit organisation has experienced significant decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for the small business support grant of up to $10,000.

This grant supports the ongoing operations of small businesses highly impacted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds may only be used for unavoidable businesses expenses that are not supported by other government funding. These expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • utilities
  • Council rates
  • telecommunication charges
  • insurance payments
  • professional advice
  • wages for an employee not eligible for JobKeeper payments
  • franchise fees
  • paying creditors, if your business is closing.

Find out more

Lax tax break to support commercial tenants and landlords

The NSW Government is working to give legal effect to the National Cabinet Code of Conduct for x, which will operate for a temporary period during the pandemic, and include the following key measures:

  • Landlords must negotiate rent relief agreements with tenants in financial distress due to COVID-19 by apply the leasing principles in the Code
  • A ban on the termination of a lease for non-payment of rent, and
  • a freeze on rent increases.

The Code will apply to business tenants with a turnover of less than $50 million that experience a 30 per cent (or more) reduction in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with the Prime Minister’s announcement on 7 April.

Find out more