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Government Covid support measures and other important changes

Date: 27/10/2021
  1. Qld Government Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Grants

Many businesses, particularly in the hospitality and tourism sectors, have endured two difficult years operating well below peak output.  The Queensland Government is providing further support to this sector with a new Hardship Grant released on 19 October 2021.

Businesses that have been severely impacted during the period from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021 may be eligible for the additional grant assistance.

Eligible small tourism and hospitality businesses with an annual payroll of less than $1.3 million may receive $30,000 in funding over two instalments.

Applications are open for businesses who can satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be operating in Queensland in the tourism and hospitality sector
  • Have an annual turnover of over $75,000 and employ at least 1 employee in their Queensland operations
  • Have experienced at least a 70 per cent decline in turnover for their Queensland operations over a 7-day consecutive period between 1 July 2021 and 30 September 2021 compared to the same period in either 2018-2019, 2019-2020 or 2020-2021
  • Have experienced significant impacts in relation to COVID-19 travel restrictions and interstate lockdowns to their Queensland operations.

For further information, please visit the following website.

Applications are now open through the QRIDA portal and will close on Monday 22 November 2021.

  1. Federal Government SME Recovery Loan Scheme

Previously, the Federal Government announced the SME Recovery Loan Scheme.  Unfortunately, due to the complexity of the scheme there were only limited SMEs who were able to take advantage of the scheme.

After another review, the Federal Government has now expanded the scheme and encouraged more banks and businesses to utilise the scheme.

The scheme has now been expanded to include the following:

Who can apply?

  • Small and medium businesses who are carrying on a business and have an ABN
  • Businesses with an annual business turnover less than $250 million
  • Businesses who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 OR have been economically affected in the Local Government flood affected areas

Details of the support

  • Maximum lending of $5m for each ABN holder to secure variable business term loans where the Government will guarantee up to 80% of the loan for a maximum term of 10 years
  • Lenders will be offered a repayment holiday of up to 24 months
  • Interest rates will be determined by lenders, but will be capped at around 7.5 per cent
  • Includes commercial property
  • Can be utilised to support investment and growth or refinancing existing debt

What are the timeframes?

The scheme has a limited timeframe for application.  The extension to the scheme opening came into effect on 1 October 2021 and will close on 31 December 2021.

Excluded use of funds?

Loans issued under the scheme cannot be used for the following purposes:

  • Purchase of residential property
  • Purchase of financial products
  • Lending to an associated entity or
  • Lease, rent, hire or hire purchase of existing assets that are more than half-way into their effective life.

We note that there are restrictions in relation to the entity that receives the SME Recovery Loan.  In relation to purchasing of assets, we recommend that you seek advice in relation to satisfying the criteria as the loan funding can only be provided to the business entity.

  1. Director Identification Number (DIN)

The Federal Government previously announced the introduction of the Director Identification Number as part of the drive for Modernising Business Registers program.  Under this new program, every director of an Australian company, registered foreign company, registered Australian body or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation will be required to verify their identity as part of the new director ID requirement.

A director will only be required to apply once and will keep their unique identifier forever.

Key dates are:

  • Applications for the director ID open from November 2021 and existing directors must obtain their Director ID (DIN) before 30 November 2022.
  • Under the 12-month transitional period, newly appointed directors will have 28 days to apply for a DIN.
  • After the 12 months, a person will not be able to become a director until they have obtained a DIN.

There are three steps required to apply for your DIN:

Step 1 – Set up myGovID

You will need a standard or strong identity strength myGovID to apply for your director ID online.

If you:

  • don’t have a myGovID, you can find information on how to download the app at How to set up myGovIDExternal link
  • have a myGovID, you don’t need to do anything until November when you can apply for your director ID.

myGovID is different from myGov

  • myGovID is an app you download to your smart device. It lets you prove who you are and log in to a range of government online services, including myGov.
  • myGov is an account that lets you link to, and access online services provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Centrelink, Medicare and more.

Step 2 – Gather your documents

You will need to have some information when you apply for your director ID:

  • your tax file number (TFN)
  • your residential address as held by the ATO
  • information from two documents to verify your identity.

Examples of the documents you can use to verify your identity include:

  • bank account details
  • an ATO notice of assessment
  • super account details
  • a dividend statement
  • a Centrelink payment summary
  • PAYG payment summary.

Step 3 – Complete your application

Once you have a standard or strong identity strength myGovID, and your documents, from November 2021 you can log in and apply for your director ID. The application process should take less than 5 minutes.

  1. Your Future, Your Super – Employer Obligations

From 1 November 2021, employers have new obligations where a new employee does not actively choose a super fund.

Under the changes, an employer may need to request stapled super fund details when:

  • Your new employee starts on or after 1 November 2021
  • You need to make super guarantee payments to that employee
  • Your employee is eligible to choose a super fund, but doesn’t.

The employer is not required to offer a choice of super fund to some employees, but you may still need to request their stapled super fund details.

A large majority of current employees have an existing super fund and would prefer to utilise that super fund for future superannuation guarantee payments.

Where an employee doesn’t choose a super fund, the employer can log into the ATO online service to request their stapled super fund details.  A stapled super fund is an existing super account linked or “stapled” to an individual, so it follows the individual as they change jobs.  The new regulation is aimed at reducing the number of superannuation funds established for the same individual.

This request can be lodged after the new employee has submitted a tax file number declaration or had a Single Touch Payroll event.

To request a stapled super fund, you, or your authorised representative, need to:

  1. log into ATO online services.
  2. enter your employee’s details, including their:
    • TFN – an exemption code can be entered where an employee can’t provide their TFN, but this could result in processing delays
    • full name – including ‘other given name’ if known
    • date of birth
    • address (residential or postal), if TFN not given.
  3. The online system will use rules based on the regulations to work out and return a stapled super fund in response to a request.

Given there are a range of initiatives being announced, please contact a member of the Adrians team should you require further information regarding the changes – we are always here to help.

Kind regards,

Kimberley Middlemis, Managing Partner