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Act No. 23 of 2020 as made
An Act to provide for a cash flow boost relating to the coronavirus, and for related purposes
Administered by: Treasury
Originating Bill: Boosting Cash Flow for Employers (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020
Registered 25 Mar 2020
Date of Assent 24 Mar 2020
Table of contents.

Commonwealth Coat of Arms of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Act 2020

 

No. 23, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

An Act to provide for a cash flow boost relating to the coronavirus, and for related purposes

  

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 2

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 2

3............ General administration of Act............................................................. 2

4............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 2

5............ Entitlement to cash flow boost—first boosts....................................... 5

6............ Entitlement to cash flow boost—second boosts.................................. 8

7............ Amount of cash flow boost............................................................... 10

8............ Payment of cash flow boost.............................................................. 12

9............ Overpayments etc.............................................................................. 13

10.......... General interest charge on overpayment debts.................................. 14

11.......... Time limits for cash flow boost......................................................... 14

12.......... Review of decisions.......................................................................... 16

 


Commonwealth Coat of Arms of Australia

 

 

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Act 2020

No. 23, 2020

 

 

 

An Act to provide for a cash flow boost relating to the coronavirus, and for related purposes

[Assented to 24 March 2020]

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

 

1  Short title

                   This Act is the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Act 2020.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of this Act

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

24 March 2020

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  General administration of Act

                   The Commissioner has the general administration of this Act.

Note:          An effect of this provision is that people who acquire information under this Act are subject to the confidentiality obligations and exceptions in Division 355 in Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

4  Definitions

             (1)  In this Act:

ABN has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

ACNC‑registered charity has the meaning given by the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.

agent: this Act applies to some entities that are not agents in the same way as it applies to agents: see subsections (6) and (7).

annual tax period has the meaning given by the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.

assessable income has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

assessed net amount has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

assessment has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

associate has the meaning given by the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.

business has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

cash flow boost has the meaning given by subsections 5(1) and 6(1).

Commissioner means the Commissioner of Taxation.

entity has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

general interest charge means the charge worked out under Part IIA of the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

GST return has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

income year has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

large withholder has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

medium business entity, for an income year, means an entity covered by subsection (2) for the income year.

medium withholder has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

non‑profit body has the same meaning as in section 23‑15 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.

Note:          The term non‑profit body is not defined in the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999. However, this definition ensures that the meaning of the term in this Act does not diverge from the meaning of the term in section 23‑15 of that Act.

quarter has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

scheme has the meaning given by the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.

small business entity has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

small withholder has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

taxable supply has the meaning given by the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.

tax period has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

withholding period total has the meaning given by subsection (4).

             (2)  An entity is covered by this subsection for an income year if:

                     (a)  the entity is not a small business entity for the income year; and

                     (b)  the entity would be a small business entity for the income year if:

                              (i)  each reference in Subdivision 328‑C of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (about what is a small business entity) to $10 million were instead a reference to $50 million; and

                             (ii)  the reference in paragraph 328‑110(5)(b) of that Act to a small business entity were instead a reference to an entity covered by this subsection.

             (3)  For the purposes of this Act, in determining whether an entity is a small business entity or a medium business entity for an income year, treat the entity as carrying on a business in the year if the entity is a non‑profit body during the year.

             (4)  An entity’s withholding period total for a period is the total of all amounts that the entity withholds under Subdivision 12‑B, 12‑C or 12‑D in Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 from payments that it makes in the period.

             (5)  For the purposes of this Act, in determining whether an entity must withhold amounts from payments under Subdivision 12‑B, 12‑C or 12‑D in Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953, disregard any provision that provides for an exception to the entity’s obligation to withhold such amounts.

             (6)  For the purposes of this Act, section 960‑105 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 applies in determining whether an entity is an agent of another entity.

             (7)  For the purposes of subsection (6), treat the reference in subsection 960‑105(2) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to “a provision of this Act” as instead being a reference to “a provision of this Act or of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Act 2020”.

5  Entitlement to cash flow boost—first boosts

             (1)  An entity is entitled to a payment (known as a cash flow boost) for a period covered by subsection (2) if:

                     (a)  the entity makes a payment in the period; and

                     (b)  the entity must withhold an amount from the payment under Subdivision 12‑B, 12‑C or 12‑D in Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (regardless of whether the entity actually withholds the amount); and

                     (c)  the period applies to the entity under subsection (3); and

                     (d)  any of the following requirements are satisfied:

                              (i)  the entity was a small business entity or a medium business entity for the most recent income year for which there is an assessment in respect of the entity of a kind mentioned in subparagraph (a)(ii) of the definition of assessment in subsection 6(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936;

                             (ii)  the Commissioner is satisfied on a reasonable basis that the entity is a small business entity or a medium business entity for the income year in which the period starts; and

                     (e)  the entity notifies the Commissioner, in the approved form lodged with the Commissioner, of its withholding period total for the period; and

                      (f)  either:

                              (i)  the entity is an ACNC‑registered charity at any time in the period; or

                             (ii)  the entity had an ABN on 12 March 2020, and the requirement in subsection (5) or (6) is satisfied; and

                     (g)  neither the entity nor any associate or agent of the entity has entered into or carried out a scheme or part of a scheme for the sole or dominant purpose of achieving any of the following:

                              (i)  making the entity entitled to the cash flow boost for the period;

                             (ii)  increasing the amount of the cash flow boost to which the entity is entitled (disregarding this paragraph) for the period.

             (2)  The following periods are covered by this subsection:

                     (a)  the months of March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020;

                     (b)  the quarters ending on 31 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.

             (3)  A period applies to an entity if:

                     (a)  for a period that is a month—the entity is a large withholder or a medium withholder for the month; or

                     (b)  for a period that is a quarter—the entity is a small withholder for a month that starts in the quarter.

             (4)  For the purposes of subsection (3):

                     (a)  treat an entity that is a large withholder or a medium withholder for the first month in a quarter as being a large withholder or a medium withholder for each month in the quarter; and

                     (b)  treat an entity that is a small withholder for the first month in a quarter as being a small withholder for each month in the quarter.

             (5)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(f), the requirement in this subsection is satisfied if:

                     (a)  an amount was included in the entity’s assessable income for the 2018‑19 income year in relation to it carrying on a business; and

                     (b)  the Commissioner had notice on or before 12 March 2020 (or a later time allowed by the Commissioner) that the amount should be so included.

             (6)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(f), the requirement in this subsection is satisfied if:

                     (a)  the entity made a taxable supply in a tax period that applied to it that:

                              (i)  started on or after 1 July 2018; and

                             (ii)  ended before 12 March 2020; and

                     (b)  the Commissioner had notice on or before 12 March 2020 (or a later time allowed by the Commissioner) that the entity had made the taxable supply.

             (7)  For the purposes of subsection (6), in determining whether the entity made a supply (within the meaning of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999) that is a taxable supply:

                     (a)  assume that the entity is registered (within the meaning of that Act); and

                     (b)  assume that the supply is neither GST‑free (within the meaning of that Act) nor input taxed (within the meaning of that Act).

6  Entitlement to cash flow boost—second boosts

             (1)  An entity is entitled to a payment (also known as a cash flow boost) for a period covered by subsection (2) if:

                     (a)  the period covered by subsection (2) applies to the entity under subsection (3); and

                     (b)  the entity is entitled to one or more cash flow boosts for periods covered by subsection 5(2); and

                     (c)  the entity notifies the Commissioner, in the approved form lodged with the Commissioner, in respect of the entitlement; and

                     (d)  either:

                              (i)  the entity is an ACNC‑registered charity at any time in the period; or

                             (ii)  the entity had an ABN on 12 March 2020, and the requirement in subsection (5) or (6) is satisfied; and

                     (e)  neither the entity nor any associate or agent of the entity has entered into or carried out a scheme or part of a scheme for the sole or dominant purpose of achieving any of the following:

                              (i)  making the entity entitled to the cash flow boost for the period;

                             (ii)  increasing the amount of the cash flow boost to which the entity is entitled (disregarding this paragraph) for the period.

             (2)  The following periods are covered by this subsection:

                     (a)  the months of June 2020, July 2020, August 2020 and September 2020;

                     (b)  the quarters ending on 30 June 2020 and 30 September 2020.

Note:          An entity may be entitled to a cash flow boost under subsection (1) for the month of June 2020 or the quarter ending on 30 June 2020, and also be entitled to a cash flow boost under subsection 5(1) for the same month or quarter.

             (3)  A period applies to an entity if:

                     (a)  for a period that is a month—the entity is a large withholder or a medium withholder for the month; or

                     (b)  for a period that is a quarter:

                              (i)  the entity is a small withholder for a month that starts in the quarter; or

                             (ii)  the entity is not a large withholder, a medium withholder or a small withholder for a month that starts in the quarter.

             (4)  For the purposes of subsection (3):

                     (a)  treat an entity that is a large withholder or a medium withholder for the first month in a quarter as being a large withholder or a medium withholder for each month in the quarter; and

                     (b)  treat an entity that is a small withholder for the first month in a quarter as being a small withholder for each month in the quarter.

             (5)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(d), the requirement in this subsection is satisfied if:

                     (a)  an amount was included in the entity’s assessable income for the 2018‑19 income year in relation to it carrying on a business; and

                     (b)  the Commissioner had notice on or before 12 March 2020 (or a later time allowed by the Commissioner) that the amount should be so included.

             (6)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(d), the requirement in this subsection is satisfied if:

                     (a)  the entity made a taxable supply in a tax period that applied to it that:

                              (i)  started on or after 1 July 2018; and

                             (ii)  ended before 12 March 2020; and

                     (b)  the Commissioner had notice on or before 12 March 2020 (or a later time allowed by the Commissioner) that the entity had made the taxable supply.

             (7)  For the purposes of subsection (6), in determining whether the entity made a supply (within the meaning of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999) that is a taxable supply:

                     (a)  assume that the entity is registered (within the meaning of that Act); and

                     (b)  assume that the supply is neither GST‑free (within the meaning of that Act) nor input taxed (within the meaning of that Act).

7  Amount of cash flow boost

First boosts

             (1)  If an entity is entitled to a cash flow boost for a period covered by subsection 5(2), the amount of the entity’s cash flow boost for the period is:

                     (a)  if the period is the first period for which the entity is entitled to a cash flow boost—the greater of $10,000 and the entity’s withholding period total for the period; or

                     (b)  otherwise—the entity’s withholding period total for the period.

Caps on amount of first boosts

             (2)  The amount worked out under subsection (1) must be reduced to the extent (if any) necessary to ensure that the sum of the entity’s cash flow boost for the period, and its cash flow boost for any previous periods:

                     (a)  does not exceed $50,000; and

                     (b)  if paragraph (1)(b) applies—does not exceed the sum of the entity’s withholding period totals for those periods.

Note:          This may result in that amount being reduced to nil.

             (3)  For the purposes of subsections (1) and (2), treat an entity’s withholding period total for a period that is the month of March 2020 as being 3 times the actual amount of that withholding period total.

Second boosts

             (4)  If an entity is entitled to a cash flow boost for a period covered by subsection 6(2), the amount of the entity’s cash flow boost for the period is:

                     (a)  if the period is a month—25% of the total of the amounts of cash flow boosts to which the entity is entitled for periods covered by subsection 5(2); or

                     (b)  if the period is a quarter—50% of that total.

             (5)  Subsection (6) applies if:

                     (a)  both of the following requirements are satisfied:

                              (i)  the period of the month of June 2020 applies to the entity under subsection 6(3);

                             (ii)  the period of the quarter ending on 30 September 2020 applies to the entity under subsection 6(3); or

                     (b)  both of the following requirements are satisfied:

                              (i)  the period of the quarter ending on 30 June 2020 applies to the entity under subsection 6(3);

                             (ii)  the period of the month of July 2020 applies to the entity under subsection 6(3).

             (6)  Despite subsection (4), the Commissioner may adjust the amount of the entity’s cash flow boost for a period worked out under that subsection to ensure that:

                     (a)  the total of the amounts of cash flow boosts to which the entity is entitled for periods covered by subsection 6(2) equals the total of the amounts of cash flow boosts to which the entity is entitled for periods covered by subsection 5(2); or

                     (b)  the total of the amounts of cash flow boosts to which the entity is entitled for periods covered by subsection 6(2) does not exceed the total of the amounts of cash flow boosts to which the entity is entitled for periods covered by subsection 5(2).

8  Payment of cash flow boost

First boosts

             (1)  If the Commissioner is satisfied that an entity is entitled to a cash flow boost for a period covered by subsection 5(2), the Commissioner must pay the entity that cash flow boost no later than:

                     (a)  if the entity is a large withholder for the period—the time at which:

                              (i)  the entity must pay the Commissioner, in accordance with Division 33 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999, the entity’s assessed net amount for the tax period in which the period starts; or

                             (ii)  the Commissioner must pay the entity, in accordance with Division 35 of that Act, an amount in respect of the entity’s assessed net amount for the tax period in which the period starts; or

                     (b)  otherwise—the later of:

                              (i)  the time of the notification mentioned in paragraph 5(1)(e); or

                             (ii)  the time at which the entity must notify the Commissioner of its withholding period total for the period in accordance with subsection 16‑150(1) in Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

Second boosts

             (2)  If the Commissioner is satisfied that an entity is entitled to a cash flow boost for a period covered by subsection 6(2), the Commissioner must pay the entity that cash flow boost no later than the latest of the following times:

                     (a)  the time of the notification mentioned in paragraph 6(1)(c);

                     (b)  the time at which the entity must give the Commissioner its GST return for the tax period corresponding to the period in accordance with Division 31 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999;

                     (c)  the time at which the entity actually gives the Commissioner that GST return.

             (3)  Subsection (2) does not apply if the 2019‑20 financial year is an annual tax period that applies to the entity or if the entity is not registered (within the meaning of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999). Instead, if the Commissioner is satisfied that the entity is entitled to a cash flow boost for a period covered by subsection 6(2), the Commissioner must pay the entity that cash flow boost no later than the later of:

                     (a)  the time of the notification mentioned in paragraph 6(1)(c); or

                     (b)  either:

                              (i)  if the period is the quarter ending on 30 June 2020—28 July 2020; or

                             (ii)  if the period is the quarter ending on 30 September 2020—28 October 2020.

9  Overpayments etc.

             (1)  This section applies if:

                     (a)  the Commissioner pays an amount by way of a cash flow boost for an entity; and

                     (b)  either:

                              (i)  the entity was not entitled to the cash flow boost; or

                             (ii)  the amount paid is more than the correct amount of the entity’s cash flow boost.

             (2)  The entity is liable to repay the following amount to the Commonwealth:

                     (a)  if the entity was not entitled to the cash flow boost—the whole of the amount referred to in paragraph (1)(a);

                     (b)  if the amount paid is more than the correct amount of the cash flow boost—the amount by which the amount paid exceeds the correct amount.

             (3)  An amount that an entity is liable to repay under subsection (2) is due and payable on the day on which the Commissioner pays the amount referred to in paragraph (1)(a).

10  General interest charge on overpayment debts

             (1)  If:

                     (a)  an entity is liable under subsection 9(2) to repay an amount; and

                     (b)  the whole or a part of the amount remains unpaid after the time by which the amount is due to be paid;

the entity is liable to pay general interest charge on the unpaid amount.

             (2)  An entity who is liable under this section to pay general interest charge on an unpaid amount is liable to pay the charge for each day in the period that:

                     (a)  started at the beginning of the day by which the unpaid amount was due to be paid; and

                     (b)  finishes at the end of the last day at the end of which any of the following remains unpaid:

                              (i)  the unpaid amount;

                             (ii)  general interest charge on any of the unpaid amount.

11  Time limits for cash flow boost

             (1)  Despite anything in this Act:

                     (a)  the Commissioner must not pay an amount by way of a cash flow boost after 30 June 2026; and

                     (b)  if:

                              (i)  an entity is entitled to a cash flow boost for a period (disregarding this paragraph); and

                             (ii)  the Commissioner would contravene paragraph (a) by paying that cash flow boost;

                            the entity is not entitled to the cash flow boost for the period.

             (2)  Despite anything in this Act:

                     (a)  the Commissioner must not pay an amount by way of a cash flow boost for a period if the entity fails to notify the Commissioner, in the approved form lodged with the Commissioner and by the deadline mentioned in subsection (3), of:

                              (i)  for a period covered by subsection 5(2)—its withholding period total for the period; or

                             (ii)  for a period covered by subsection 6(2)—its entitlement to the cash flow boost for the period; and

                     (b)  if:

                              (i)  an entity is entitled to a cash flow boost for a period (disregarding this paragraph); and

                             (ii)  the Commissioner would contravene paragraph (a) by paying that cash flow boost;

                            the entity is not entitled to the cash flow boost for the period.

             (3)  For the purposes of paragraph (2)(a), for a period covered by subsection 5(2), the deadline is 2 years after the day on which the entity must notify the Commissioner under subsection 16‑150(1) in Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 of an amount that it must pay the Commissioner in respect of an amount that it withheld in the period.

             (4)  For the purposes of paragraph (2)(a), for a period covered by subsection 6(2), the deadline is:

                     (a)  unless paragraph (b) applies—2 years after the time at which the entity must give the Commissioner its GST return for the tax period corresponding to the period in accordance with Division 31 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999; or

                     (b)  if the 2019‑20 financial year is an annual tax period that applies to the entity:

                              (i)  if the period is the quarter ending on 30 June 2020—28 July 2022; or

                             (ii)  if the period is the quarter ending on 30 September 2020—28 October 2022.

12  Review of decisions

             (1)  A person who is dissatisfied with a decision covered by subsection (2) may object against the decision, in the manner set out in Part IVC of the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

             (2)  This subsection covers a decision of the Commissioner under this Act that the person:

                     (a)  is not entitled to a cash flow boost for a period; or

                     (b)  is entitled to a cash flow boost for a period of a particular amount.

             (3)  For the purposes of this section, treat the reference in paragraph 14ZW(1)(c) of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 to “notice of the taxation decision to which it relates has been served on the person” as instead being a reference to “the taxation decision to which it relates was made”.

 

 

 

 

[Minister’s second reading speech made in—

House of Representatives on 23 March 2020

Senate on 23 March 2020]

 

(45/20)