Business owners have been left completely confused by what they can apply for to help them survive through and recover from the 2021 Greater Sydney Lockdown. Initially Federal Government support via Services Australia was made available as a Covid Disaster Payment (CDP). Service NSW announced business support for all businesses with turnovers in excess of $30,000 annual turnover who meet the criteria.
Change since this video. The ‘matter of policy’ has changed and as a sole trader you now can switch from CDP to business support. However only for businesses with over $75k turnover is it really worth doing as CDP = the Micro-Business Grant payments now at $750 a week or $1500 a fortnight.
For company director employees there has been further confusion because people have reported different outcomes from Service NSW when asking if they were entitled to business support for their company and CDP as an individual employee. This video addresses all the scenarios which apply to help you know why different people have been told different things.
Check out full business support details on our comprehensive page: NSW Business Support including updates as can now compare as standard to same 2 weeks in 2019, same 2 weeks in 2020 or the two weeks prior to lockdown 12th – 25th June.
Below the video is a transcript with time stamps, so you can find what you’re looking for and jump ahead to the right part of the video. Or you can click through to YouTube here with just the time stamps.
Video – what employee company directors can apply for – NSW Business support and Covid Disaster Payments 2021
Video Transcript Employee Company Director business support and Covid Disaster Payment Eligibility and Q&A
Thanks for coming along today. I just wanted to come on and advise a couple of things, specifically regarding questions around directors payments, because there’s been a lot of confusion and a lot of people have been calling Service NSW and getting completely different answers. And I want to explain to you why that’s been happening and why you need to understand that your scenario is not going to be exactly the same as everybody else’s. So everyone is operating differently and they will have different cases.
00:28 Met with NSW Treasury and voiced concerns on behalf of clients
But what I’m actually finding that the biggest issue today is actually not to do with that. It’s the fact that the questions we’re asking are not the same. For instance, we had a meeting yesterday. So I am one of the Business Connect Advisors. We had a meeting yesterday with New South Wales Treasury, which don’t worry I let rip! I’m incredibly frustrated on behalf of my clients at the uncertainty out there. So I let that rip and found out a few interesting things yesterday.
00:58 Spoke with Service NSW and found a major issue
And then today I’ve spoken with a guy from, one of my really good contacts at Service NSW who’s quite high up, and I spoke with him today and it ended up in a heated discussion, because he couldn’t see that his answer to me was not a great answer. And I’m going to go through why that is.
01:17 You can’t ask the right question if you don’t know what that is!
So I kind of hope he watches this video so he understands why I was getting frustrated at him, because it really comes down to the questions you’re asking, but you can’t answer the right question if you don’t know what the question needs to be. And that’s where there’s a massive issue.
So feel free to ask questions as we go. Now, I’m just going to give you this little bit of background first about understanding how people think and why everyone’s getting different answers when they think they’re asking the same question and they’re just not. So I’m just going to get through that first and then we’re going to look at the actual specific examples for all the director cases and we’ll hopefully cover all your situations off. This is what’s going on.
01:54 Disclaimer we are not financial advisors or Service NSW!
But just to let you know, background disclaimer, the information presented today is generic and may not apply to you. I am not a financial adviser. I’m not working for Service NSW. So please make sure after you hear this that you go away and you speak to Service NSW and your accountant about your scenario. But hopefully what I’m doing today is giving you enough clarity, so that you can get the correct answer for your situation, because you know exactly what to ask for and how to frame it to make sure you’re getting the right question and answer happening.
02:26 Who is Jane Tweedy and FAQ Business Training
So who am I? I’m Jane Tweedy. I am a business owner myself. I have FAQ Business Training and a few other businesses. I’m also a Business Adviser with the NSW Government Business Connect Program, and we have been under clear instruction in that programme to direct people to Service NSW. Which obviously has been incredibly frustrating when we’re deflecting them to somebody that is not picking up the phone, is not answering the questions, the way you want them answered, and is generally just not answering anything out there. I understand that frustration.
02:58 These grants went through quickly – there will be issues
On the flip side, though, this stuff has gone through incredibly quickly. You think about when you put in a major project or a major system, it takes time to get things in. This is done rushed. It’s going to have mistakes. It’s going to have errors. It’s going to have situations they just didn’t think about. So please, as much as we can be, try and be patient. I know people are in a world of hurt.
03:21 Be nice to the call centre staff
I was speaking to a lady today, and because of something she did, it potentially means she loses you know, twenty thousand dollars. So I understand what you’re going through, but we need to kind of at least look for the other side. And one thing I will say to you as much as possible, although I know like I said, I did have a bit of an argument with Service NSW this morning. Do try to as much as possible, you know, be nice to the people on the phone.
They are not the ones causing the problem. So please don’t have a go at them. Be really nice to them because they’re having a really shitty time too, so you know, they’re doing their best. So the first thing I just want to cover, why are people getting different answers to the same question? So we’re going to step away from this topic of directors first. You might think, why the hell am I doing this? But I want you to understand this.
04:07 Quick introduction to Whole Brain Thinking®
So why do people get different answers to the same question. Honestly, it’s because we all think differently. What we see is different. What we hear is different. What we feel is different. We are different people. We have different feelings. We have different thinking patterns. And one thing I’ve been doing at the moment is a thing called Whole Brain Thinking® And it leads to a thing called the HBDI® profile. And basically what Whole Brain Thinking® is saying, there’s four quadrants of the brain that we think with, our analytical and logical mind.
Our big picture, entrepreneurial mind. And let’s face it, a lot of entrepreneurs are going to be in that space. We have the red feeling/people side, and then we have the green, which is the organised, planning and detailed side. Now, you might be able to switch around all these things and you may do. But what I’m finding is that this is becoming really apparent. And in the discussion I had today with Service NSW, it was very obvious that I thought I’d ask the right question and he thought I’d asked a completely different question. And therefore we got a completely different answer. I’m going to go through that scenario in a second.
So I want to show you an example. If I bring up this image of capsicums. And I asked you, what do you see in this picture or do you not see in this picture. Now, everybody’s going to answer this different. So somebody might say, oh, it’s a graphic of a capsicum. Some might say, well, that’s a very red capsicum.
05:34 All the answers are correct but they’re not the same
Some might say there’s two capsicums, some might say the capsicums floating in the air, some might say you know whatever. But the key thing I might have wanted to know from you was that there was a shadow under the capsicum. OK, well, if you don’t know that, that’s what I want to know you’re not going to tell me that. Most people would not say that as a response to that picture. They would say all these other things about these two red capsicums. The red capsicums look like they’re floating in the air or whatever. They’re on a plain background. They might give me that information, but they’re unlikely to tell me about the shadow.
What I’m finding from Service NSW today, is that the questions you’re asking is why are you getting different answers? So, for instance, when I spoke to Service NSW this morning, I said, I just want an answer to this specific question. Can you just tell me?
06:24 Why do people get different answers to the ‘same’ questions?
Because yesterday I had people telling me that that had yes, no and maybe answers, and then no’s that changed to yes when they had further conversation. Or they pushed it further and it went escalated. Now, the reason for that is because of this issue. So, for instance, I said to the guy this morning, I said, OK, if I’m a director, employee of a business that’s heavily impacted, like a hairdresser, well I actually said a beautician, can I get the Covid Disaster Payment?
That was what I asked him. I thought that was pretty self-explanatory and pretty detailed. OK, I’ve said I’m a director. I said I’m an employee, OK? I said, you know, that they’re in an industry that’s heavily impacted. I thought that would be enough to get the answer to the question. The answer I received was no, okay. Then he proceeded to carry on and tell me about oh but, you know, individuals can get Covid Disaster Payments, i.e. other individuals, can get Disaster Payments, blah, blah.
And I went but yeah wait a minute, if that hairdresser or that beautician is the owner of the business, but they’re also an employee in the business, aren’t they entitled as a separate legal entity employee to get the money? And he’s like, well, yeah, if they’ve lost more than 20 hours, then they can get the money. I’m like, okay, so now you’re saying yes, because you just said really adamantly before no. And he was going, well, yeah, but that’s a different question.
I’m like thinking, oh it’s not. I just haven’t, you haven’t asked me the extra details. Did the person lose 20 hours or not? So the thing is, if they don’t ask you those questions, you’re not thinking necessarily to tell them all these extra facts or you may not have actually instigated these extra bits and pieces which you would if you knew that that was an issue.
08:15 To get the right answer you need to share ALL the information
So, what you basically need to say to get the right answer to the question is I’m a director who was also employed by the hairdressing, construction, whatever business that I have as a company. Okay so you need to be clear, it’s a company and I’ve been forced to close. I’m still doing some operational work, so I’m still working. Clearly, you’re on the phone to Service NSW, you’re working, but you have been stood down for at least 20 hours or you’ve lost at least 20 hours worth of work. Am I entitled to CPD, the Covid Disaster Payment. Then the answer to that question is yes. Because as an employee of that business who’s lost over 20 hours work, you are entitled to claim the Covid Disaster Payment as the director of a company that’s also an employee. Okay.
09:04 Let’s look at the different scenarios because they do get different answers
So this is where the scenarios are different and therefore you get different results. So when I go through the scenarios, because this discussion led me to go, okay, I get why some people got, you know, maybe now. So we are going to go through the different scenarios. Now, I wanted to focus this on the directors, okay? So I’m just going to touch on sole traders very briefly. I’ll come back to sole traders in questions if anyone’s got any. I just want to raise that first and then we’ll focus on directors.
09:32 Sole traders
Okay so as sole traders, you and your business are the same legal entity. You can’t extract the two. You’re the same thing. So therefore you can claim for one of either the micro-business grant if you’re eligible. The JobSaver and Covid Business Grant if you’re eligible. So the under seventy-five, over seventy-five thousand thing, OR the Covid Disaster Payment from Services Australia, okay? You cannot claim for both.
10:03 For sole traders it’s one or the other ONLY
If you claim a business support payment, you cannot claim the other. So that’s whether you’re claiming the other as a casual employee somewhere else, whatever. You cannot claim it in your business. Now your business has to be your primary source of income [to claim a business support payment]. So for some people, the business is still the primary source of income, but they are a casual employee somewhere else and have been stood down. So they therefore have the choice. If you were a permanent part-time employee somewhere else, if you were a full-time employee, it’s the same sort of rules as last year.
You won’t be able to claim it for the business, okay. But regardless of employing or not, you have to make a call, one or the other. Now, what I was told yesterday at the meeting we had yesterday with NSW Treasury was something I was very disturbed to hear, was they were basically saying you couldn’t switch, you couldn’t say, I want to do I’ve taken a Covid Disaster Payment because I had to, to feed my family. I want to switch over now to do the micro-business grant or the [Covid Business] Grant and JobSaver. [In September they changed this and now allow you to switch although for those under $75k turnover it’s probably not worth it.]
No longer valid. Updated. 11:05 Currently as ‘a matter of policy’ you can’t switch CDP to business support
They were saying, “as a matter of policy”, you couldn’t do that. I said, that’s ridiculous. And gave him a scenario. So one of my clients, for instance, she claimed the first three weeks, the eighteen hundred dollars from the first three weeks of the six hundred dollars a week payments, because she was in a shit situation, she needs to feed her family. Okay, so she claimed that. By claiming that and that was the only thing that was available when she was claiming that remember.
11:32 Services Australia refer to a period – appears to give more flexibility
Once the other information came out, she would be far better off with the other things because she’s over seventy five thousand [turnover per annum]. She could claim fifteen thousand dollars from the grant, because she was over 70 per cent down and she could claim JobSaver as well at a higher level than what she’s getting on the government, the Covid Disaster Payment. So the problem is technically she’s not allowed to switch. Now, Services Australia, if you look on their website, on their payment notes, it says it refers to a period.
So it says you can’t claim the business support payment and the Covid Disaster Payment at the same time. We all know that. We know you can’t double dip. So that’s fine for a sole trader. But you should be able to switch. And that’s not telling you, you can’t switch. So that one there, as a matter of policy, they’ve said that. But they’ve also acknowledged that that’s a really bad situation and that they will look at getting the policy changed. So you can change that.
On the flip side, a lot of people are going to just do it anyway. And to be honest, because Services Australia and Service NSW, are federal and state, they don’t talk to each other. It’s not going to come out for a long time, right. So that’s going to be a bit of an issue. So Elisa’s asking, what if you’re a director of a business but you do not get a wage?
Can you get JobSaver? When JobKeeper was in place, we were entitled to that payment. So I’m going to talk about that in a second. Okay. So this was just the sole traders. So sole traders, that’s it for you guys, okay. So we’re going to come back to that if you’ve got any questions, we’ll come back to that. Like I said, I want to focus on the directors of the company. Because this is where people were getting completely different answers, whereas sole trader was kind of clear cut. It’s either one or the other. And that’s it. That’s the way it is at the moment. Okay.
13:16 Company directors – you and your business are separate legal entities
So directors of a company. You and your business are different legal entities. Okay. So Jane Tweedy is one legal entity, FAQ Business Pty Ltd is a completely different legal entity, okay. For a start we have two legal entities. So that’s different from sole traders, okay. The second thing we look at is how are you paid for by your business?
13:40 As a company director how are you paid by your company?
And this comes to your question, Elisa. So, how are you paid by your business? So as a company, remember, we’re talking about directors of the company here. So as a company, are you paid as an employee? As in, you get regular pay, it goes through the payroll system, you pay PAYG on it, you do super on it and you report it through STP. Okay. And it then shows up in your BAS statement.
14:09 Employee versus receiving dividends only
If you were doing that, you are an employee of your company. Okay. So you are definitely an employee. Therefore, we can look at you, as a person that’s an employee and you, as a director of a company. The company will be able to claim for business payments potentially if you are paying yourself through other means. For instance, you are paying yourself dividends, you are not paying yourself salary. You will not be eligible for Covid Disaster Payments because you are not an ’employee’. Okay. You are not an employee, you can’t claim Covid Disaster Payments.
14:50 As a company director getting dividends only you are not an employee
So in that case, Elisa, if you’re a director of your business, as in a director of a company, I’m going to make sure I’m using the right words here, you’re a director of a company, and you don’t get a wage because you don’t take it for whatever reason, you just get dividends whenever, then you are not entitled to Covid Disaster Payment because you haven’t lost anything [as an employee].
15:09 Company eligible for grants and JobSaver Business Support
However, you could claim the Micro Grant or you could claim the JobSaver/Grant. Okay, if you’re a non-employing business, you’ll get the lowest amount that they talk about on each of them. If you’re an employing business, then on JobSaver, you’ll get that 40 percent of the wages figure, okay, which we can talk about separately soon. [Note there is a minimum and maximum for this.]
15:35 As a company employee are you still paying yourself?
So, if you are an employee of the company, the next question is, are you paying yourself? So some people have still been paying themselves for wages. Okay. If you’re paying yourself full wages, you can’t claim the Covid Disaster Payment because you haven’t lost any hours.
15:53 Stopped paying yourself?
You’ve paid yourself your full wage, okay. If, however, you’ve stopped paying yourself completely, clearly, you’ve cut hours for yourself. Okay. So what you need, what ideally you need to do just to make sure that this is crystal clear, is that you write yourself a little letter, as you would for any other employee and you say, Dear Jane, you are stood down and I want you to work 16 hours a week and 20 hours a week or twenty two hours a week, whatever we are not paying you at the moment. Please stand down.
16:26 Employee, lost hours can claim Covid Disaster Payment
If you do that, that employee, yourself Jane, Jane, can go and claim Covid Disaster Payment if she is eligible. Okay. So that means she’s lost more than 20 hours. She can go claim that. She is me. Under FAQ Business Pty Ltd, I can then apply for any relevant payments. So if I’m over seventy five thousand and I was effected in the first three weeks, I can check all the criteria for the grant, the business grant and go yep, I meet those criteria. I can apply for it. And then after week three, from week four on, I can apply for JobSaver.
If you’re paying yourself, that’s what you need to do. So can I stress, if you are not cutting your wage, you won’t be able to claim the Covid Disaster Payment? So this is why some people are getting the yes, no, maybe answers. So they’re getting the yes answer if they give the full information.
17:20 Be clear of your situation when asking about it
My business is shut down, I’ve reduced my hours by over 20, I’ve stopped paying myself, blah, blah, blah. Then you can claim under Covid Disaster Payment and claim the business support stuff from Services NSW at the same time.
17:37 Another but – do you have other business expenses?
There is one further ‘but’ though, you can’t claim that money if you don’t have additional things to spend it on. So when you look at the grant money that’s coming out, the grant and JobSaver, they talk about, the BAS, 40 per cent of the BAS [wages], so JobSaver talks about 40 percent BAS [wages].
17:57 Head count, standing down employees and payroll
So with the JobSaver being 40 per cent of BAS [wages], it’s the 40 per cent of the pre Covid BAS [wages]. So, for instance, your March BAS. So if your March BAS, if you do quarterly BAS, your March quarter BAS, it will be 40 per cent of the wages paid for that quarter, the average weekly wage. So that’s what you’re looking at for your payment. So some people are getting confused with the idea of headcount and you know 40 percent of wages, they’re thinking they still have to pay their employees. No, you don’t.
You can stand down your employees. If you’re closed, if you’re a hairdresser, if you were a construction worker last week, you could have stood down your employees and paid them nothing. As long as they’re still on the books. So this is what the headcount means. They must be on the books. You can’t terminate them. You can’t get rid of them. They can go and claim from their Covid Disaster Payment. Any employee that’s arms length can claim a Covid Disaster Payment, whether you’re a sole trader or whatever, as long as they’re arm’s length.
So remember you as a sole trader are definitely not arm’s length. You, as a director of a company aren’t necessarily arm’s length either. So then you’ve got to look at the forty per cent of money that you’re going to get. So say that the amount you’re going to get is three thousand dollars a week. When you get that three thousand dollars a week, there’s only certain things you can spend that money on, so business operational costs, rent and wages that you’re still paying.
Less, but you can’t pay wages if you’re already getting the wages money from Services Australia. So this is where you’ve got to make sure that you’re thinking about what money might actually physically paying out. So make sure you’ve still got the expenses going through your books. Because if you don’t, you can’t claim the business support payment. So, Sandie, says agrees it’s ridiculous you can’t switch over. Yeah, like I said, that’s a policy thing, which when I pointed out the scenario yesterday, they just went, yeah, maybe it’s a policy we need to look into. So they have acknowledged that that’s not right.
19:50 Service NSW call backs
Elisa says on a waitlist for a call-back. Absolutely. There’s plenty of people on a waitlist for a call-back. Unfortunately, a lot of people called too early and the information simply wasn’t available. Some people are calling and like I said, getting different answers because you’re not asking the full picture question. So please make sure when you’re asking the questions, give as much detail as you possibly can, because if you’re not giving the detail, then you won’t get the answer. Okay. So you’ve really got to make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row.
20:21 Aren’t you double dipping?
Janine says you’re double dipping with JobSaver and [Covid] Disaster Payment. No, you’re not dipping, double dipping, if you genuinely have lost 20 hours work. So Janine works in retail. She’s genuinely lost 20 hours worth of work or whatever. So as long as you’re stood down for 20 hours with work, you have stopped paying yourself for those 20 hours worth of work as an employee. Then you as an employee did lose that money.
20:46 Other business expenses
So as long as your business is incurring other expenses, and you have a shop, so you’ve got a shop front, you’re still paying rent, you’re still paying the costs, the operational costs, you’re still paying your website costs, you’re still paying your accountant fees and all that stuff. As long as that gets over that, the money that you’re getting in, that’s fine, you can claim both. You can’t claim both if you don’t need to. Like if there’s no excuse for it, no reason for it. But as a sole trader, absolutely, you would be considered to be double dipping and you’re not allowed to do it. Okay. So just say if there’s any questions on there.
21:20 Take a cut in wages employee directors can get CDP
So Maree says, I’ve been telling my clients to answer as an employee and forget they’re a Director. My clients take a proper wage, through the BAS. So exactly that Maree, as long as the client is taking a proper wage through the BAS, through STP, they’re doing all that stuff. Then and like I said, as long as they drop their wages. So if they’re still paying themselves full wage, they can’t claim Covid Disaster Payment. They must take the cut in wages, absolutely must do that. So just make sure that that’s happening.
21:51 Can you top up employee wages or have them work part-time?
Can I say just to clarify, you can claim JobSaver for the 40 per cent wages and then the employees can apply for additional reduced hours if you’re working, part-Time, instead full-time. Absolutely. So with your employees, you give them a notice of stand down and you say we’re standing you down. We only want you to work 15 hours instead of 35 or whatever or 38. Remember, 38 is the full time amount, not 40, because some people are getting confused over that.
So you say to them, that as long as they’ve lost the 20 hours they can go to Services Australia and claim from Services Australia the 20 hours that they’ve lost. So that takes the pressure off you. If you choose to continue to pay them some additional money, so if you choose to pay them up to, say, 17 hours, just make sure, you’re nowhere near the threshold of thirty eight. If you pay them 17 and they go for the payment for 20 hours+, that’s fine. They’re okay. It’s only where you are crossing lines that you have an issue. Hopefully that answers that Cara.
22:51 Watch your numbers and remember full-time is 38 hours a week
So yep. You can, they can definitely do both as long as they’re not then exceeding what they were getting before. So for instance, a part time worker, if they were only part time, 14 hours a week, then they can’t suddenly claim that they’re getting cut back by over 20 hours or anything. So remember, there’s two levels for the Covid Disaster Payment. There’s the eight to twenty hours, 8 – 19 hours and then 20 hours and over is the higher payment. So just make sure when you’re doing your numbers for yourself and for your employees, you’re considering both, okay. That you’re remembering the numbers. So we don’t want to screw anyone up or do anything silly. Then that’s fine, so that answers you.
Is there any more questions on this? But basically the key is when you’re communicating, just make sure that you are reviewing your situation properly and that you are answering all of the questions, okay. So in the end, you’re potentially still going to have to contact Service NSW, like there won’t be any way around that and you also need to contact your accountant.
23:53 Accounting toolkit
Now with the accountants. Some of them have been given a toolkit from Services NSW. The toolkit effectively is just some additional Q&A type questions. But what I’m finding is that it hasn’t been sent out to all accountants its been sent to some of the accounting bodies, not all of them. And those accounting bodies may or may not sent it out to their accountants, their BAS agents, their tax agents.
So your accountant may or may not have full information, which is a little bit problematic. Do bear in mind that you only need to get a letter from your accountant in certain situations. So make sure you check the criteria, because some people have to have it because they are alternative circumstances. They have to get a letter. Some don’t. So if you don’t need a letter, you don’t need to contact the accountant necessarily.
24:42 Accountants and even Service NSW do not know it all (nor me!)
You might want to just check with them, to confer with them what’s going on. But what I do stress you exactly what happened last year. The accountants don’t know at all. And I know, for instance, Maree is an accountant. She’s on here today. I know another lady’s contacted me and suggested accountants have a look at what I’m putting out. Service NSW was sharing my post the other day, some of their staff. So they don’t know all the information. They don’t necessarily have everything available either. So please just bear that in mind when you’re talking to people. We’re trying our best to try and answer the questions.
25:14 Alternative circumstances – supporting information
So the alternative supporting documentation for employing businesses eg they had hired new employees. Okay, so Erin says do you know what the alternative supporting documentation is for employing businesses, e.g. hired an employee on the 1st of July, so obviously no BAS history. That was your very first employee, Erin. If that was the case, then you’re not going to make the cut-off dates.
So what you’re probably going to have to do is do it as a non-employing business, unfortunately, because you won’t have the numbers. You could try to speak to your accountant or Service NSW and explain your scenario, that you had an employee that started before the 13th of July because 13th July is the headcount date, so you could still try and get that through and see if they’ll approve that? Possibly. That’s definitely one of the odd situations.
26:00 Payments for JobSaver
The Payments for JobSaver, they indicated yesterday they thought that some of them had started going out, but I haven’t seen or heard anyone that said that they’ve got them. So they’re potentially coming out soon [were paid from 31 July 2021].
26:13 Missing $4500 from the Covid Business Grant
The people that applied for the Covid Business Grant, I know some of you only got $10,500 dollars. Carla did you end up, have you received the other $4500? So they got the $10,500. And the $4500 was delayed while they were checking thing etc., because the extra $4500 had some additional terms on it that were required, and they were paying them separately.
But what they’re doing now is the full $15,000 is actually being paid in one hit. So that’s interesting that you haven’t, so chase that up because they’re now paying it in one go. So I’m like, I don’t know why the people that did it early still are waiting on the second part , the $4500. So just make sure that you’re following up your situation.
26:56 Micro-Business Grant versus Covid Disaster Payment for Sole Traders
Q: So I do an IAS not a BAS as I’m a sole trader so only earn about 10 per cent of what I would normally earn in July. So unfortunately, Barbara as a sole trader, sole traders are currently only allowed to claim one or the other. So if you haven’t claimed Covid Disaster Payments, you are far better off going for the Micro Grants. Sorry, the Micro Grant is kind of either or, but if you haven’t claimed the Covid Disaster Payment, you’re better off going for the Micro Grant because you can backdate that to 26 June if you were effected from 26 June, but with the Covid Disaster Payments, they’ve got weekly cut offs.
So the first weekly cut off has already passed. So you would miss out on that first payment. So definitely go for the business support grants rather than the other one. And if you are over $75,000 then you’d be eligible for JobSaver, Barbara but you’d get the lowest amount as a non-employing business, so you would apply for that one.
27:56 Decline in turnover is it cash or accrual based like the BAS?
Erin says a decline in turnover calculated based on how you report BAS cash or BAS accrual. Yes, it is Erin. So that has come up a few times in Tradiewives and stuff like that. So basically, if you report your BAS as cash, then you have to do your calculations as cash. If you report your BAS as accrual, you have to do your calculations as accrual.
28:16 Timings for the 2 weeks due to accounting methods and late receipts
And some people are going, oh no, I’ve missed out blah blah blah, because I’ve got a payment. I’m like, no, you haven’t missed out. So what’s happening is, say, for instance, a tradie. So a tradie has been shut the last two weeks and say on Tuesday, last week they got a payment and that was, from you know, months ago. But they received a payment last Tuesday and they go oh, no, I can’t claim for it because of the last two weeks. But okay, you got that payment, but you’ve just done no work for two weeks. So when would that normally get paid? Maybe not till next Thursday or Friday or whatever are you going to get another payment from anybody. So therefore you still would have a two week period. You just got to ignore those first few days and go for a two week period.
So please bear in mind that a lot of people that are bleating about ‘I’m not going to get anything because payments came in late’. Just make sure that you’re not writing yourself off, because a lot of people are writing themselves off and saying, oh, we can’t get anything. It’s like, yes, you can. Just give it a few more days and let yourself see. Because remember, it’s only 30 per cent down.
29:16 If you have a few weeks 100% down you surely must be able to get to 30% over a few weeks?
So if you’re a tradie or a hairdresser or whatever, when you’re a hundred percent down, like you’ve got no work coming in, you’re not invoicing anybody, then clearly a two week period with only 30 per cent down has got to be possible. You know, you’re not receiving all of these payments suddenly from all the past. It should be, you know, everything’s delayed. Everything’s flowing through. It should happen. So just make sure you please check it.
29:41 The Covid Business Grant was only if effected the first 3 weeks of lockdown
So Rebecca the grant. Okay so I really wish they hadn’t used these terms. They’re really dumb terms, because it’s confusing people. The Covid Business Grant was the first thing that was put out for businesses over $75,000. For that one, it was initially said that you had a date range for the two weeks of 26 June to 26 July. But they always said that that particular grant was only there for the first three weeks. So it was only for people affected by the first three weeks.
30:13 Tradies for the most part only effected from week 4 so no Covid Business Grant
Tradies for the most part were only affected from like week four. So they shouldn’t have been eligible for the first three week grant. That was why they changed the date. Which is really sucky for the people that actually genuinely were shut earlier. And now they, because of their cash flow situation, yes, there is a few people that will miss out on that particular grant, which does suck. But the tradies and that honestly, most of them weren’t entitled to it anyway, because they weren’t affected in the first three weeks.
30:41 The Grant was a quick measure till JobSaver could be sorted
Bear this in mind that, again, I mentioned earlier about this, that putting the stuff in place is complicated and long and hard to do. And so what they did was they put a Grant in that was something quicker and easier to do. They didn’t have to worry about fluffing around about what people’s wages were and what the headcount was, and all this complexity. They put in something simple quickly, well, supposedly quickly. But as we know, it took a bit of time to get out there, but it was in there quickly, which meant that they put it out.
31:10 Still eligible for the week 4 on payments
And so because obviously the lockdown went longer than they first thought, they’ve had to then cut the date back to make sure that they kept it only to the first three weeks. So tradies are entitled, like everybody else, if they were over $75,000 [turnover] to JobSaver. So just bear in mind, if you’re under $75,000 [turnover] Micro Business Grant is yours. If you are over $75,000 [turnover], then you’ve got the Covid Business Grant plus JobSaver. Okay.
31:38 Different scenarios apply, some were impacted earlier
So just bear that in mind. It’s a different scenario for each person. But please tradies and that stop going on we missed out on the grant because they changed the date. You were never entitled to the grant if you weren’t affected in the first three weeks. Now I know some tradies were, because the people they were working from that had pulled jobs and stuff like that. But most tradies were only affected from week four, therefore they were never entitled to that grant. Okay so that was why the date was changed. So hopefully that makes that clear.
Okay, so I think that’s all of the questions so far. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to download this video, I’ll put it up on YouTube and put it on my page that I’m keeping all the details on. So please keep referring to that page because I do make sure I keep it updated as good as I possibly can, because this situation is horrible. It keeps changing all the time.
I know you guys are stressed. For God’s sake I’m stressed. Not helped by the fact I found out I’ve got this anaemia thing, so I have to get blinking shots in my arm and stuff now. So that was awesome. Good timing in the middle of all this crisis.
32:41 Don’t write yourself off!
But anyway, so just make sure that you’re please not writing yourself off. Please if you get a no from either an accountant or Service NSW, you know, just double check that again, because it might not be a no and it might be if you rephrase the question, you might get a yes.
32:59 Look into the details before making calls
So particularly when you think you’ve looked into it, look into all the nitty gritty details of why you think it’s a yes and then make sure you go okay but this is my scenario. Okay I have dropped twenty hours. I’m not paying myself for those twenty hours. You know like really get specific and then hopefully you’ll get the answer that you should have gotten in the first place.
Yeah, I do try and put it in plain language, so I do hope that this is done. And as Maree said, okay, you know, part of this is I have voluntarily and completely, you know no cost to anyone doing this in my own time because I’m just so frustrated about, you know, the answers not being out there. And that’s why I do it. So and I know the accountants are completely rushed off their feet, which is crappy for them. Good in one respect bad for others.
33:46 The cost of the Accountant’s Letter
And I just want to also just mention again about the letter and I’ve put it on my page, I’ve mentioned this previously, but the accountant’s letter, if you are requiring those, bear in mind they will come at a cost, okay. And the accountants have every right to charge you for those letters. If it’s a straight forward letter, really, really straightforward because the accounting information is all in Xero, or whatever, they just have to press a few buttons, then that should be a very cheap letter, a few hundred dollars, whatever is fine.
I’ve heard some people have been quoted a flat rate of a thousand dollars. That’s not fair if it’s straightforward. However, if it’s complicated, they’ve got to do a whole bunch of special numbers and they have to go and compare stuff, all sorts of different periods, that maybe they’re earning the money. So just bear that in mind. You will have a fee for these accountant’s letters, and it’s totally expected that you would.
34:33 Okay to question if the fee seems too high
So please don’t bark at your accounts or whatever they’re doing their job too. But do question them if you think the fee seems a little bit exorbitant. So if they’re charging you a thousand dollars, twelve hundred dollars for a letter, just say to them, can you just let me, you know, what actually that is for? Because they might say it’s worth you know five hours of their time, but if they can’t justify it, then don’t do it.
34:54 Service NSW
So the thing with Service NSW as well, some of you are waiting contact from them, for things that they still don’t have answers to. Once they do, then you’re basically triggered to be called. So some of you will still be on the call-back list. Do also remember that the service line is open 24/7 at the moment, so you can try them in a different time of day and just see if you’re getting better responses? [Although full support is typically only available during business hours.]
Q: Where on myGov do we find the Micro Business Grant? You don’t even go through myGov. Just go through, just follow the instructions on the Service NSW site is probably the easiest thing to do.
35:26 My website has a lot of information with clickable links
So I’ll just quickly, this is the page on my website. So what I’ve done is I’ve put links in here. So all of these bits in purple are all clickable. So if you click on that, it’s going to jump down to the impacted industry list bit of information. So just to let you know about that.
35:42 ABN error issues
There was some issues with ABN’s. So if you’re having those kind of issues, there were two issues. One was just a glitch in the system and the other one was where you’re not registered for GST. Sometimes that actually does cause a problem. The third scenario is that where your ABN has actually expired. Sometimes they cancel ABN’s. So just be really careful that your ABN hasn’t actually been cancelled. So doing some quick checks like that before you contact Services NSW will just save that waste of time phone call. So that you’ve got information there.
36:11 Turnover main test of what you can apply for
And then I say what you’re eligible for based on the size of your turnover. And obviously, like I said, I’ll put this video on there so that that will be available to about the director stuff. And I will also just put a little summary like this.
36:23 New businesses need a different comparison date
So the alternative circumstances. We do have the new business one. So as I said, some of the accountants received a toolkit yesterday, which I believe was meant to include some of the information, but it hasn’t all been, unfortunately, put out publicly yet. I was told by Service NSW some stuff had been put up on the website. But when I looked before, I couldn’t see it. So I’m not quite sure whether it was still going through or checking process, quite possibly. Just check back. They are meant to be adding some information to the website about some of the alternative application stuff. So just make sure you check there or check with your accountant. They hopefully have additional information. I’ll just double check, if I can see, yes, so they still don’t have the full information. So I just want to point out this is where you go to. [It was eventually added the morning after their first webinar – refer our main Business Support page].
37:09 Guidelines – part 6 alternative circumstances
So in the guidelines, there is a part in here. Part six, I think it is. Part six, evidence in support of eligibility. So what you can do is look here and see that the alternative circumstances area. And there is some information in there and they’re going to add to that, I believe. Okay, so just make sure that’s in there.
Cool, glad that you found that, Barbara. So, yeah, just check the alternative circumstances. Don’t forget about that one, because a lot of people seem to be forgetting about the alternative circumstances. They’re saying ‘I’m a new business. I don’t get it’. It’s like, yes you do. You do. Seriously, you need to only be started by the first of June to actually be eligible potentially. So they just need to agree what period you need to compare your numbers to. [3 dates for comparison were added as STANDARD criteria, so for some it means you no longer even have alternative circumstances].
37:53 Alternative circumstances – growing businesses
If you are a growing business, you started out in 2019 or thereabouts and you started, but it was a really slow year to start with. And then you’ve grown since like I know a number of my customers have. You know, they’ve done good things, they’ve grown their business. So all you need to do is get a different period to compare with. So again, at the moment we have to contact Service NSW to do that. But they’re hopefully releasing information that they agreed with KPMG, which they’re putting out there. So that will come in. [Refer main business support page as can now compare as standard to same 2 weeks in 2019, same 2 weeks in 2020 or the two weeks prior to lockdown 12th – 25th June.]
The receipt thing, as I said, except for the [Covid Business] Grant, which may make you ineligible for the grant. But things like JobSaver, honestly, you should still be able to get the [JobSaver or Micro-Business] grant, because you just got to look at the later two week period. So you should be fine.
The employing business things mentioned there. And then I’ve got some other things like the application submission error. If you got that, it does save your application so you should be okay.
38:43 Different resources available
So the different pages you can go to, there’s a New South Wales page which has a summary, so nsw.gov.au. You can go there and get that and I’ll add that into the website just for completeness. And it has a list of all the places you can go for all the information that’s out there.
38:59 Appropriate leave entitlements do not include annual leave amongst others
We do have things like this. So I just wanted to point out, this is where it says you have lost hours of work and income due to a lockdown in your state and don’t have any appropriate paid leave entitlements. I did just want to mention that. The appropriate paid leave entitlements does not include annual leave. Okay, so there is a page that clicks through to and it says leave entitlements. Leave that’s not included annual leave, because some people are concerned they have to pay out annual leave before the person can get the Covid Disaster Payment. But that’s not true. So you just need to check.
Like I said, most of the information’s there. You just need to look for it and check it. Then there’s these documents. So I’m going to add these again as links to my website or so you can access them. But there’s things like this one here, support for the construction industry, which again just goes through a bit more of the detail. But it’s basically the same stuff I’ve already put out there, again, just in a slightly different format. But I’ll make those available to you.
39:51 Check the bottom of each ‘apply for’ screen for T&C, guidelines and FAQs
And then obviously for all of them, you’ve got the apply section and obviously you’ve got the apply online thing. But at the bottom of all of these grants, remember, you’ve got this bit down here which has got the terms and conditions and the guidelines and some FAQs. So do make sure you check those. Make sure you’ve read those before you contact Service NSW, because a lot of the phone calls going to Service NSW just don’t need to be going there. And if we can stop the you know calls that don’t need to go there, then hopefully we’ll get the ones that do need to go there, sorted out. So that’s that.
40:24 Small business fees and charges rebate
Elisa, for information for anyone, any additional help I was also eligible for small business fees and charges rebates. $1500. Yeah I’ve got that on my website, Elisa. So things like licence fees, rates, electricity, etcetera. Have a look. So there is a massive list of things on there.
One thing I would suggest, particularly for construction and cleaning businesses, for instance, if you pay the long service leave levy, that is one that you can get back. So there’ll be a number of you in that case, if you had any waste fees or anything like that, that you’d be able to get back, any DA type stuff. There’s a whole bunch of things in there. So Elisa is completely right. As I said, it’s mentioned on my site
Here, you can jump through to small business fees and charges rebate and there’s a section in here about it. So please make sure you do check that. And do remember that the money that you receive out of the grants or JobSaver cannot be used to pay those because you should be claiming those under the small business fee rebate.
41:23 Keep records of everything!
Do remember to keep records of everything like normal to make sure that if you ever get audited, you can get the answer back.
So that is that. So please make sure you do review your situation. Contact Service NSW and contact your accountant if you need to. And just a reminder, I do what I call tea time tips, which are on LinkedIn and Facebook like this is. And basically they just short videos, training videos and different things. So earlier this week I did one on LinkedIn, about communication and using the little video features that a lot of people don’t know about
Did one on reducing expenses. So please check that out if you are in a dire situation because there’s a lot of things you can do. So I’ve had people say I think Elisa was one, that had, she turned out she contacted her electricity supplier and realised that she that she was in advance on her electricity, so she didn’t have to pay anything for a while. I’ve had people say that they, one person approached her landlord and she got rent free for a month. They don’t have to offer that. But they did.
So things like that, the banks are all doing deferrals, so please make sure if you want some ideas for saving some money, check out that one, reduce expenses. And then there is a 30 page guide that goes with it, with 74 ways you can save money.
If you do need help, please contact Service NSW or your accountant about this particular topic. If you do need other business support and advice though, I am an adviser, as I said with Business Connect so you can reach out to me through that program.
I also do a lot of group training, webinars, etc, so please reach out to me and I can help you. So thank you for that guys. Went a bit longer than intended as usual, because I tend to talk too much. Hopefully we’ve answered all your questions. If you’ve got any more, just hashtag replay, chuck them in and we will get them answered.
But hopefully that has clarified for you. So just remember you’ve got to look at your scenario. Sole Traders it’s got to be one or the other, for a director of a company if you’re paying yourself as a wage, then you can potentially claim as an employee. But do make sure that you have got that cut in hours and it is clear to say so that it is obvious that, yes, you are entitled to make that claim. Okay.
So thank you for catching up today. Thank you for coming along you guys and for asking questions and things, and good luck and fingers crossed that we, everyone gets what they deserve and we all get out of this as soon as possible because seriously, aren’t we getting over this?
Have a great day. Enjoy your weekend. I know many of you are stuck within 5km of home. Yeah. At least enjoy yourself. Hopefully some good fresh air. It’s a beautiful day. Get outside right now and enjoy your backyard or whatever. Okay. Catch you later guys bye, bye.
I’m Jane Tweedy, the Founder from FAQ Business Training, helping you to avoid ripping yourself off!