News & Security Advice

National

Fair Work Ombudsman – Victorian security company in court

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action in the Federal Circuit Court against the operators of a Victorian security firm.

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Annual Wage Review – 1.75% wage increase from 1 November 2020 for Security Industry Awards

From the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020, new minimum rates and allowances start in security industry awards. See The Commission's announcement of a 1.75% increase to minimum wages for more information about the 2020 Annual Wage Review.

The Fair Work Commission will issue the updated awards on 31 October 2020 and updated Fair Work Ombudsman Pay guides and Pay Calculator as soon as possible after this date.

JobKeeper payment changes from 28 September 2020

Members make sure that you’re paying your employees according to the right tier so you’re reimbursed correctly.

Don’t forget, you have until 31 October 2020 to pay your employees for the JobKeeper fortnights starting 28 September.

For JobKeeper fortnights from 28 September 2020, there are two payment rates – a tier 1 (higher) rate and a tier 2 (lower) rate.

The rate will be stepped down in two stages.

  • The first payment rate decrease starts from JobKeeper fortnight 14 (28 September 2020).
  • A further payment rate decrease starts from JobKeeper fortnight  21 (4 January 2021).
JobKeeper fortnights Tier 1 rate Tier 2 rate
28 September 2020 – 3 January 2021  $1,200 $750
4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021  $1,000 $650

Entitlement to the tier 1 or tier 2 rate is based on whether an individual meets the 80-hour threshold.

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Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement – Australian Standard for the training and use of private contracted security and detection dogs

On Monday, 21 September, SPAAL addressed the Parliamentary Joint Committee on development of an Australian Standard for the training and use of private contracted security and detection dogs.

SPAAL is a member of the Standards Australia committee developing the standard for Private Sector Patrol and Detection Dogs. Read More

Australian Cyber Security Strategy 2020

On 6 August 2020, the Australian Government released Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 (3MB PDF).

The Australian Cyber Security Strategy 2020 will invest $1.67 billion over 10 years to achieve our vision of creating a more secure online world for Australians, their businesses and the essential services upon which we all depend. It will be delivered through:

  • Action by governments to strengthen the protection of Australians, businesses and critical infrastructure from the most sophisticated threats.
  • Action by businesses to secure their products and services and protect their customers from known cyber vulnerabilities.
  • Action by the community to practice secure online behaviours and make informed purchasing decisions.

While this Strategy is an Australian Government initiative, we recognise the essential role of state, territory, local governments, businesses, academia, international partners and the broader community in strengthening Australia’s cyber security. Every part of government, business and the community has a role to play in implementing the Cyber Security Strategy 2020.

The Australian Cyber Security Strategy 2020 replaces Australia’s 2016 Cyber Security Strategy (2MB PDF).​

For cyber security assistance and further information on how to protect yourself online, see cyber.gov.au.

JobKeeper Payment Extension

On 21 July 2020, the Government announced it is extending the JobKeeper Payment until 28 March 2021 and is targeting support to those businesses who continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus.

  • The existing JobKeeper Payment will remain in place until 27 September 2020. Information about the operation of the JobKeeper Payment until 27 September 2020 is available on the ATO website.
  • From 28 September 2020, the JobKeeper Payment will be targeted to businesses that have been most significantly impacted, the payment rates will be stepped-down and two tiers of payment will be introduced.

If you currently receive JobKeeper Payment it remains unchanged and available until 27 September 2020. From 28 September 2020, businesses seeking to claim JobKeeper Payments will be required to reassess their eligibility for the JobKeeper extension with reference to their actual turnover. The JobKeeper extension will be available to qualifying businesses from 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021.

The ATO is administering the JobKeeper Payment and detailed information and guidance on JobKeeper is available on the ATO website.

Fact Sheets

2019-20 Annual Wage Review

The modern award minimum wages in the awards listed below will be increased by 1.75% from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020.

SPAAL will provide members with the new Award Pay Guides once released by the Fair Work Ombudsman..

Tax time resources for people working in the security industry

The ATO has prepared a range of resources to assist those in the security industry with their tax returns during this difficult period. As many individual’s working situations may have changed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it is now more important than ever that everyone understands how to best prepare and lodge their tax returns, to ensure they claim their applicable deductions.

Security Tax Time Poster and Office Worker Tax Time Poster – These posters provides helpful information on which expenses security guards and office staff can and cannot claim at tax time.

Take advantage of small business concessions

You may be able to reduce your tax bill if you are eligible for concessions such as instant asset write-off or immediate deductions for prepaid expenses. You may also be able to save time by estimating the value of your trading stock instead of doing a stocktake. Find out more about the different types of concessions at ato.gov.au/concessionsataglance

Follow the three golden rules when it comes to claiming deductions

You can claim a deduction for most of the costs of running your business. But it’s also important to remember the three golden rules so you only claim what you’re entitled to:

  1. The expense must have been for your business – not for private use.
  2. If the expense is for a mix of business and private use, you can only claim the portion that’s used for your business.
  3. You must have records to prove the expense and show how you worked out the business portion of an expense.

Work out your motor vehicle expenses the right way

The method you use to calculate your motor vehicle expenses depends on your business structure and the type of vehicle. For example, if you operate your franchise as a sole trader or partnership and the vehicle is a car, you can use the cents per kilometre method or the logbook method. However, if you operate your franchise as a company or a trust, you can’t use either of these methods and can only claim the actual costs based on receipts. Read more at ato.gov.au/motorvehicleexpenses

You may be able to claim home-based business expenses

If your home has been your main place of business (for example, if you have used your home as your main place of business because of COVID-19), you can claim deductions for the portion of expenses that relate to running your business. Your business structure also affects how and what you can claim. Find out more at ato.gov.au/homebasedbusiness

Remember to include all your income

Include all your income in your income tax return, including cash, coupons, EFTPOS, online, credit or debit card transactions, and income from other platforms such as PayPal, WeChat or Alipay. You may also have income from business assets, other business activities or capital gains. Getting your income and expenses right, and keeping good records of them, will also help you keep track of your turnover and cash flow.

Keep track of losses so you can claim a deduction for it later

It has been an extra challenging year and many businesses may find themselves making a loss for the first time. If your business makes a loss, you can generally carry forward that loss and claim a deduction for your business in a future year. How you can claim a tax loss depends on your business structure. Visit ato.gov.au/businesslosses for more information.

Know what to do if you take money out of your company or use its assets

If you take money out of, or use your company assets for private purposes, you need to report these transactions appropriately and keep proper records. There are different reporting and record-keeping requirements depending on how you have done it (for example, through your salary, a fringe benefit or a loan from the company). Find out more at ato.gov.au/Division7A

How to report JobKeeper in your business tax return

JobKeeper payments are taxable and need to be included in tax returns. If you’re a sole trader who has received JobKeeper payments, you need to include the payments as business income in your individual tax return. If your business is a partnership, trust or company, and you received JobKeeper payments, you don’t need to include it as assessable income in your individual tax return – but you need to report it as part of your business income.

Your workers who have received JobKeeper payments won’t need to do anything different as the payments will be included in their regular income statement that you provide as an employer.

How to report Cash Flow Boost in your business tax return

You don’t pay tax on the Cash Flow Boost credits as they are non-assessable non-exempt income, but you may need to report the amount for the purpose of other income tests. This is different depending on your business structure so talk with your tax agent for more detail.

Check that your records are complete and accurate

It’s important that you understand what records you need to keep, and they are complete and accurate. You need to keep most records for five years, store them in a safe place, and they must be in English (or easily converted to English). Check out ato.gov.au/recordkeeping.  You can also use our record keeping evaluation tool at ato.gov.au/ recordkeepingevaluation to help you check how well you’re keeping your business records so you can make improvements in the future.

Get expert help if you’re having trouble with cash flow

Good cash flow means having enough cash at the right time to pay bills and meet your tax, super and employer obligations. You can prepare a cash flow projection (find out how at ato.gov.au/managecashflow) to help you see your likely cash position at any time. You can also talk to a registered tax professional about managing your cash flow and they can help you work through our cash flow coaching kit.

Look after your mental health

In tough times like these, it’s more important than ever to look after yourself and the ones you love. We have information available at ato.gov.au/smallbizmentalhealth. You can also check out the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s My Business Health web portal at www.asbfeo.gov.au/my-business-health for practical tips.

If you are having difficulty meeting your tax and super obligations, we can work with you to develop tailored payment plans and defer lodgments and payments.

Ask for help if you need it

We want to work with you to solve problems before they escalate; it’s never too late to speak with us. If you've been affected by COVID-19, or a disaster such as bushfire or drought, and need some help with reconstructing records, we have information available at ato.gov.au/reconstructing-your-tax-records.

If you need some extra help with your tax and super affairs, you can contact us or your registered tax professional. We’re here to help.

Visit ato.gov.au/SBsupport our one-stop shop for tools and services to help make it easier for you to get your tax and super right.

Andrew Watson is an Assistant Commissioner in the Small Business area of the ATO. His role involves engaging and supporting small businesses so it’s easier for them to meet their tax and super obligations, and they get the help and support they need. He is also focused on driving the ATO’s digital services and helping small businesses manage their cash flow.