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How the Australian government and the Australian Taxation Office assisted both businesses and taxpayers during the...

How the Australian government and the Australian Taxation Office assisted both businesses and taxpayers during the COVID 19 crisis.
In the answer, you should address questions such as:
1. What type of assistance was given to the taxpayers?
2. In your opinion, did the government act swiftly enough?
3. In your opinion, was the assistance enough or could the Government have provided more?
4. Who benefited the most from the assistance provided and who missed out?
5. Overall do you think the assistance was effective?

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ASSISTANCE GIVEN TO TAXPAYERS :-

State, territory and local government assistance

In addition to the assistance provided by the federal government, individuals and businesses may receive specific financial support from state, territory and local governments to help them respond to the impacts of COVID-19.

Payroll tax relief

Some states and territories are offering support such as increased thresholds, waivers, and interest-free deferrals of payroll tax. The tax consequences of receiving this support will depend on how it is delivered.

Payments to support business

A government payment to assist a business to continue operating is included in assessable income. This will include assistance provided as a one-off lump sum or a series of payments. For businesses operating on:

  • an accruals accounting method – the income will be derived when the right to the government payment arises
  • a cash accounting method – the income will be derived when the government payment is received.

Generally, you don’t have to pay GST on grant funding unless you provide something of value in return for the payment. Providing something of value for the payment can include entering into a binding legal obligation to do something or refrain from doing something in order to receive the payment.

Electricity rebates

Some states and territories are offering households and some businesses automatic electricity rebates. These rebates are not included in assessable income. For a business, the rebate will reduce the deduction the business can claim for electricity.

Land tax relief

Some states and territories are providing land tax relief to businesses impacted by COVID-19. The types of land tax relief being offered may include:

  • credits
  • deferrals
  • rebates
  • reductions
  • refunds, or
  • waivers.

The eligibility criteria for many of the programs require landlords to have provided rent relief to their business tenants. The taxation consequences of receiving land tax relief will depend on how it is delivered.

DID GOVERNMENT ACT SWIFTLY ENOUGH :-

Australia has avoided the worst of the pandemic, at least for now. Comparable (albeit larger and more densely populated) countries, such as the United Kingdom and United States, are mourning many thousands of lives lost and are still struggling to bring the pandemic under control.

The reasons for Australia’s success story are complex, and success may yet be temporary, but four factors have been important.

Success 1: listening to experts

The formation of a National Cabinet, comprising the prime minister and the leaders of each state and territory government, was a key part of Australia’s successful policy response to COVID-19.

Success 2: international border closures and quarantine

Australia’s decision to close its borders to all foreigners on March 20, to “align international travel restrictions to the risks” was a turning point. The overwhelming number of new cases during the peak of the crisis were directly linked to overseas travel, and overseas sources account for nearly two-thirds of Australia’s total infections.

Success 3: public acceptance of spatial distancing

Australia’s rapid adoption of spatial distancing measures reduced the risk of community transmission.

Perhaps galvanised by images of Italy’s health system on the brink of collapse, Australians quickly complied with shutdown laws. In fact, many people had already begun reducing their activity before the restrictions were imposed.

Success 4: telehealth

One of the federal government’s early moves was to radically expand Australians’ access to telehealth. This allows patients to consult health professionals via videoconference or telephone, rather than in person.

WAS THE ASSISTANCE ENOUGH OR COULD THE GOVERNMENT HAVE PROVIDED MORE :-

The assistance provided by government was enough during the needed time as pandemic was spreading fast and infecting people. In the situation government closed boundries with other nation and implemented lockdown and provided help to general public. In contrast of all these things we can say that government has done its great work. Somewhere there may be lack of help by government but it may be unintentional. Other wise government have done a really good job.

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