The ATO is looking to make tax season a little bit easier this year, particularly in light of the unique but significant challenges that Australians have been facing over the last year, and are continuing to face. If you received a financial assistance payment, grant or scheme package during the 2020 financial year, you need to be aware of your taxable requirements. There are different tax treatments for different payments that you may have received.
Payments that were received from Jobkeeper as an employee will be automatically included in your income statement as either salary and wages, or as an allowance. Sole traders who have received a Jobkeeper payment on behalf of their business will need to include the payment as assessable income for the business.
All information will be included in your tax return (in the Government Payments & Allowances question) when ready. Lodging your return prior to the information being available will require you to add it yourself. Leaving out income will slow your return, so it is important to ensure that you have all of the information when lodging.
Stand Down Payments
If you were the recipient of a one-off or regular payment from your employer after being temporarily stood down due to COVID-19, these payments will be automatically included in your return as they are taxable.
COVID-19 Disaster Payment For People Affected By Restrictions
The Australian Government (through Services Australia) COVID-19 disaster payment for those who were affected by restrictions is a taxable payment. This must be included when lodging your tax return.
Tax Treatment Of Other Assistance Payments
The tax treatment of other assistance payments may vary according to what is required and how the income is assessed as. It is best to double-check on the ATO’s website directly to determine how different disaster payments may impact your return.
Early Access To Superannuation
If you received early access to your superannuation under the special arrangements resulting from COVID-19, you do not need to declare that amount in your tax return. Any eligible amounts withdrawn under this program are tax-free.
If you require assistance with determining what is taxable income and what is not, or you’re not sure what payments that you received may be applicable to the ATO’s different tax treatments, come speak with us. We’re here to help.