Influencing public policy during COVID-19

We have been proactively engaging with government and other stakeholders to support our members and the broader public interest on matters relating to COVID-19.

We have published our submissions to government, our media engagement and analysis of government updates and stimulus packages below.

Submissions to government

Accountants and accounting practices play an essential role in supporting businesses and the community as they respond to the unprecedented economic impact of COVID-19.

We are proactively advocating on behalf of our members during the pandemic.

The Victorian Government’s decision to extend Stage 4 restrictions under a conditional timeline has placed further pressure on businesses, many of which have already faced at least six months of trading restrictions. This submission from CPA Australia to the state’s Premier provides recommendations for additional support for businesses whose operations have been significantly impacted by restrictions, and demands a clear plan for economic and business recovery to accompany the ‘roadmap to reopening’ period and beyond.

We have written to the Treasurer The Hon. Josh Frydenberg with recommendations for additional support for businesses significantly impacted by further restrictions on their operations.

We have written to the Victorian Premier The Hon. Daniel Andrews with recommendations for additional support for businesses significantly impacted by further restrictions on their operations.

CPA Australia has made a submission to the Northern Territory Reconstruction Commission.

The Tax Practitioners Stewardship group has written to the Victorian Premier regarding authorisation for tax practitioners to continue operating the event of a Stage 4 lockdown in Victoria.

This submission to the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 discusses the COVID-19 stimulus measures implementation and the impact on the tax profession.

The joint tax and accounting bodies have written to the Assistant Secretary, JobKeeper Division – Fiscal Group, Treasury, regarding the review of the JobKeeper Program.

The joint bodies have written to the Assistant Secretary, JobKeeper Division – Fiscal Group, Treasury regarding the review of the JobKeeper Program and the ongoing engagement with the National Tax Liaison Group.

The joint bodies have written to the Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology in relation to Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The joint bodies have written to the Treasurer regarding certainty for the R&D Tax Incentive.

CPA Australia has written to the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 to commend the government for its responsiveness, encourage them to reflect on what lessons can be learnt from the last few months, and set out a number of principles we believe should be considered when developing policy responses to support business recovery and economic growth.

The joint bodies have written to the Assistant Treasurer in relation to current uncertainty surrounding Division 7A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth).

The joint bodies have written to the Commissioner of Taxation to consider extending the lodgement deferral period to 30 June.

CPA Australia’s Public Practice Advisory Committee (PPAC) has written to the Commissioner of Taxation to request an extension to lodgement deferrals.

This submission provides recommendations and suggestions for digitising business in Australia using data from CPA Australia’s 11th Annual Asia Pacific Small Business Survey.

The joint bodies have written to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) to provide input and recommendations to the FRC COVID-19 working group.

Media

Dr Gary Pflugrath, CPA Australia’s Executive General Manager of Policy and Advocacy, explains that while the government’s support spending has allowed Australia to escape the worst of the economic impacts of COVID-19, the negative consequences on jobs and business are likely to be felt for many years.

CPA Australia welcomes the Morrison Government’s announcement to extend and taper the JobKeeper scheme until March 2021. This comes in response to feedback from us and will ensure the profession has sufficient notice to understand changes and advise their business clients appropriately

Joint bodies have published guidance on the disclosure and reporting of COVID-19 impacts on entities. The guide recognises the unique set of challenges posed when describing the impact of COVID-19 in annual reports for the upcoming reporting season.

Australia’s major professional accounting bodies have called for the government to give businesses better access to the advice they need to recover from the impact of COVID-19 through a voucher system.

As Australia emerges from the COVID-19 economic hibernation, CPA Australia calls on the Federal Government to shift its policy focus to supporting business recovery and reinvention, with the goals of achieving strong productivity, employment and GDP growth without compromising long-term environmental or economic sustainability.

Paul Drum, CPA Australia’s General Manager External Affairs, writes about how the world has changed and SMEs need to change with it. Published in the NZ Herald.

Paul Drum, CPA Australia’s General Manager External Affairs, writes about how many not-for-profits face extinction from the loss of revenue during COVID-19.

Paul Drum, CPA Australia’s General Manager External Affairs, writes about the new measures and announcements in New Zealand that will put cash in the hands of many business owners. Published in the NZ Herald.

The joint bodies have lobbied to ensure Australians can get the advice they need to understand the Federal Government’s COVID-19 economic packages, including early access to their superannuation. It will be easier for Australians to get assistance from professional accountants and financial planners in making decisions about their financial position in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government’s JobKeeper bills are now law. They will enable the delivery of critical financial relief to many and will help speed up the nation’s economic recovery.

The Australian Government’s third tranche of stimulus and safety net measures will go a very long way to ameliorate the dramatic impact that the COVID-19 crisis is having on businesses, workers and their families, and the economy. Paul Drum highlights the benefits of the new JobKeeper scheme.

The second tranche of the Australian Government’s stimulus and safety net measures are important next steps in what is now a national health, social and economic emergency of a type most people have never experienced before. CPA Australia’s spokesperson, Paul Drum, says that the community is now more aware of the significant threat that COVID-19 poses to human health, businesses both large and small, jobs and savings.

The Australia Government’s economic response to COVID-19, announced on 12 March 2020 should provide a strong boost to many households and businesses as they face an uncertain period. Read CPA Australia’s take on this.

Government stimulus summaries

In addition to the JobKeeper Scheme and the cash flow boost, the Victorian government has announced a range of grants and other measures to support businesses

CPA Australia’s infographic summarising the SARs Chief Executive policy address handed down on 25 November.

Australian state and territory governments have announced a range of measures to assist small to medium-sized businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Find out what each state and territory is working on, in order to support businesses.

The Hong Kong SAR Government has announced a range of measures to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19.

With previous budget measures coming to an end, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister have announced enhancements to the government’s economic response to COVID-19. Here is a summary of how the S$8 billion package will be used to continue to support jobs and create new ones, and provide further support for sectors hit the hardest.

The Australian Government and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have announced a range of measures to support the economy, business and employment during the COVID-19 crisis. The measures include support for businesses (for example, cash flow boost for employers, temporary relief for financially distressed businesses, and support from the RBA to encourage more lending by banks), support for individuals (for example, temporary early access to superannuation and reduction to minimum drawdown requirements), and ATO support.

The Malaysian Government has announced a range of measures in collaboration with the central bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia, government linked companies and private corporations to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. The measures taken to support businesses include small to medium enterprises and micro-entrepreneurs, and encourage human capital development and private investments. Individuals are supported by enhancing the daily income and a reduced cost of living.

See an overview and comparison of the payroll tax changes, including waivers to assist business impacted by COVID-19.