Covid-19 Grants

The COVID-19 Small Business Grant deadline is coming to a close with final applications due by June 1 2020.

The below information touches on the COVID-19 Grant eligibility criteria, documents required to prove eligibility and how to apply for the grant. We have also had a few clients receive an email fromService NSW regarding this grant so read below if you have also received one.

Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant

This is a $10,000 grant for Small Businesses open for application until June 1 2020. Applicants will likely be subject to an audit by the NSW Government or its representatives in the future, so check the criteria to determine your eligibility closely. Service NSW may ask for a combination of documents to support eligibility such as a letter from an accountant, prior BAS Statements, income tax declarations, bank statements for relevant periods and other documents where required.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Have between 1-19 employees
  • Annual turnover of more than $75,000
  • Have total Australian wages below the NSW payroll tax threshold of $900,000
  • Have an ABN as of March 1 2020
  • Based in NSW and employ staff at March 1 2020
  • Highly impacted by the NSW COVID-19 Restrictions on Gatherings Order in issue on 30 March 2020
  • Decline in turnover of over 75% over a two-week period compared to the same two weeks last year
  • Have unavoidable business costs not otherwise the subject of other NSW and Commonwealth Government Financial Assistance measures
  • Industries: accommodation & food services, administrative & support services, arts & recreation services, information, media & telecommunications, manufacturing, other services (Brothel, Hairdresser, Beautician, Laundry & Dry-cleaning services), retail, transport, rental, hiring & real estate, education & training and wholesale trade
  • Sole traders are not eligible for this grant

For more information on this grant, click here.

How to apply:
The easiest way to apply is online, through Service NSW on the link here.

If you meet all the criteria excluding the industry criteria, it is worth giving Service NSW a call on 13 77 88 to discuss your eligibility for this grant. Note that if you are a Sole Trader, you will be ineligible for this grant.

Email from Service NSW
A few of our clients have received an email from service NSW along the lines of ‘Thank you for submitting your application for the small business COVID-19 support grant. We have had a high number of applications and are working through them as quickly as possible – it may take up to 10 business days from the date of this email to assess your application and notify you of an outcome. We apologise for the delay’.

We have talked to Service NSW as most of these clients have not applied for the COVID-19 support Grant. From this conversation, we have been told that this email was a bulk email to most parties who applied for both the COVID-19 Grant and the Bushfire Grant. This is due to the delay in processing applications through both Service NSW and the NSW Treasury. Service NSW sent out a bulk email to reduce phone traffic checking on where the processing is up to for either of these grants.

Jobkeeper Update

If you were eligible for Jobkeeper from the first fortnight you will notice that payments have started to arrive in your bank accounts.

We thought this would be a good opportunity to explain how to record these payments, when each fortnightly payment is due, other key dates and steps required going forward.

The ATO have put out documents detailing the processes required with recording the Jobkeeper Payment Scheme. They have specifically requested for the payments to be recorded in an income account called ‘Jobkeeper Subsidy’. This means that you will need to set up a new income account in the chart of accounts, that is under the income category and if you are GST registered, this is BAS excluded.

The fortnightly payments to employees are due within certain timeframes to ensure compliance with the ATO. Below are the payment due dates for each fortnight:

Fortnight 1, 2 and 3 payments had to be made to employees by 10th May to be eligible for these fortnights, so if they haven’t been paid, your employees will be ineligible for the first 3 fortnights.
Fortnight 4: 24th May 2020
Fortnight 5: 7th June 2020
Fortnight 6: 21st June 2020
Fortnight 7: 5th July 2020
Fortnight 8: 19th July 2020
Fortnight 9: 2nd August 2020
Fortnight 10: 16th August 2020
Fortnight 11: 30th August 2020
Fortnight 12: 13th September 2020
Fortnight 13: 27th September 2020

The other key dates to note are: 31st May – if you are an eligible participant intending to claim wages for April and May, you must enrol in Jobkeeper by the 31st of May14th of each month – once you have completed your monthly declaration each month, preferably between the 1st and 7th of the month, you will be expecting the Jobkeeper payment to be made into your account.Steps required going forward include the monthly declaration for all entities. This is required whether you are an eligible business participant or have employees.

If you have employees, you will be required to make the minimum $1500 gross payment (if tax free threshold is claimed this is equal to $1308 net) by the above dates. If you have employees, you are best to be STP compliant and include the relevant ATO codes as created by your software provider.

If you need help understanding the importance of these dates or creating the account to allocate Jobkeeper Payments, feel free to give us a call.


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has advised that there is currently a JobKeeper Payment phone scam. These scammers will pretend to be from the ATO and will ask you to input your bank details. Whilst the ATO does communicate via email and SMS they will never ask for a reply, especially not to ask for bank account details or tax file numbers. They have also advised they will never use hyperlinks in its messages.
The ATO DOES NOT need bank details for employees as they will pay the funds directly to employers to be processed as wages. Unfortunately due to the confusing and stressful nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals have taken the opportunity to scam individuals and the rates of hacking and fraud have increased over the last few weeks.
The ATO have said that their emails and SMS include messages such as: 

  • inviting you to enrol in JobKeeper (no hyperlinks)
  • updates on the status of the JobKeeper enrolment
  • messages to help eligible businesses to apply for JobKeeper Payments via the Business Portal
  • messages advising that applications are open for early release of superannuation
  • notifications regarding the outcome of the early release of super 

If you see anything where the ATO is asking you to reply by SMS or email or asking you to open a hyperlink and input your tax file number or bank details, DO NOT RESPOND and alert the ATO to the new scam.