Menu Close

JBC News Update

Welcome to the new year and wishing you all the best for 2021. I am sure you would concur it is great to see the back of 2020 and hopefully the current Covid 19 Lockdown policy does not extend beyond this Friday evening.

In line with the Covid 19 regulations, our physical office is currently closed. All staff are working remotely and at this stage will be returning to the office next Monday for business as usual. We anticipate a return of face to face services in the coming weeks as the restrictions are gradually relaxed. In the interim, please reach out to our team who will endeavor to assist you with any queries you may have.

As we welcome in the new year, it is important to focus the attention back to the issues impacting business.

The ATO have already signaled a tougher approach to the lodgment and payment concessions which were rolled out as part of the Federal Governments response to the Covid 19 pandemic. They are also channeling significant resources into investigative areas which will lead to a significant increase in ATO Audit activity. We anticipate seeing increased activity in the ATO’s approach to enforcing debt collection with particular emphasis upon the Director Penalty Notice regime which has expanded to encompass unpaid amounts of GST.

In light of this, the life of the Company Director is becoming ever more challenging. The changes to insolvency laws offered relief for ‘distressed’ businesses, including a 6-month moratorium for insolvent trading liability which was extended until 31 December 2020. In terms of Director’s liability, the temporary provisions provide Company Directors with a ‘safe harbour’ defence to a personal liability claim for insolvent trading. These safe harbour provisions ceased with effect on 31 December 2020.

In addition, Australia’s banks will cease the loan deferral schemes brought in at the height of the pandemic, as economic stabilisation prompts a cooling off in demand for financial hardship provisions. The country’s major banks have begun stopping mortgage holidays, which were implemented industry-wide last year allowing homeowners and businesses to pause repayment obligations for up to six months. A further four-month extension was available in October to customers who were still financially damaged by the downturn. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has indicated the COVID-19 deferral period would cease by March 31, however banks have already started cutting off access to the scheme.

Finally, and with much sadness, we bid farewell to one of our original members of JBC who has taken the opportunity to change course in his career. Weilly was a fountain of knowledge to those he worked with and a highly professional and reassuring voice of reason for the clients he worked alongside. We wish Weilly all the best for the future.

As always, we encourage you to contact our office with any queries you may have in relation to not only the above, but also other pertinent matters which may be impacting upon you and your business.

From the Team at JBC

Related Posts