Can the JobMaker Hiring Credit help your business?

Posted on 4 January 2021
Can the JobMaker Hiring Credit help your business?


The JobMaker Hiring Credit could mean that your business will receive payments for new positions you create.

Eligible employers will receive payments of up to:

  • $200 a week for each eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years old
  • $100 a week for each eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years old.

To be eligible, your business must meet criteria including:

  • holding an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • being registered for pay as you go (PAYG) withholding
  • reporting through Single Touch Payroll
  • being up to date with income tax and GST lodgment obligations
  • not falling into any of the exclusion categories.

The new positions must increase both your employee headcount and payroll.

  • The total employee headcount must increase by a minimum of one additional employee from the date of 30 September 2020.
  • The payroll for the reporting period must increase compared to the three months to 6 October 2020.

There are specific dates relevant to both eligibility and payment. Check our website for more details.

You can register for the JobMaker Hiring Credit using ATO online services or the Business portal at any time until the program closes. Your registered tax or BAS agent can help you with your application.

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Posted in: News  

Scammers set to exploit coronavirus fears

Posted on 31 December 2020
Scammers set to exploit coronavirus fears

Marty Silk
(Australian Associated Press)

Scammers are set to take advantage of Australian fears of coronavirus and public efforts to contain the disease in the coming year.

Australia and New Zealand's national identity and cyber support service ID Care warns COVID-19 and deepfakes will be used in scams in 2021.

ID Care analysts say cybercriminals will likely target the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the first half of the year.

Pharamceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna are already working with America's Homeland Security department to prepare for vaccine scams.

ID Care expects scammers to pose as health officials or government agencies to harvest personal data and use vaccine conspiracy theories in phishing scams.

"This is likely to lead to an increase in phishing scams, with the intent of scaring people into clicking on harmful links," the service said in a report.

ID Care said the solution is not to open links in emails or reply to texts you don't recognise and be careful about cold-callers asking for personal information.

Cybercriminals could also take advantage of public efforts to contain the virus through check-ins with QR codes.

Scanning the codes at restaurants and venues has become common practice, but ID Care warns there are few legal rules for the technology or use of personal user data in Australia.

"And when you think of the information stored on there your name, address and phone number this information could be a honeypot for cyber criminals," the service said.

"Then there is the additional risk those scammers are plotting new measures to implant malicious QR codes in businesses which will harvest the data entered."

Unfortunately, there is little users can do to protect themselves and there are few warning signs for people who have been targeted.

ID Care said Australians will also need to be vigilant about deepfakes endorsing products or services in 2021.

Deepfakes are realistic videos or audio recordings of politicians or celebrities that are actually computer generated.

They have been used to sow confusion in the US and ID Care believes they could be used to trick Australians.

The service warned deepfakes will get even more convincing in 2021, so people should always get professional advice before acting upon online videos of famous people.

"And don't believe every video clip you see of a famous person, whether it be a celebrity endorsing cryptocurrency or a President giving a "speech" via YouTube," ID care said.

Meanwhile, established scams such as ransomware have morphed into more sophisticated and elaborate operations.

Before this year ransomware attacks involved cybercriminals infiltrating networks of businesses, encrypting data and offering a decryption key for a sum of several hundred dollars.

However, during 2020 scammers started targeting multinational firms, and rather than locking up data they threatened to publicly release it via the dark web.

ID Care said it was a double extortion technique forcing businesses to negotiate or suffer the cost of data leaks and reputation damage.

The service said many Australian firms have already been affected by this new style of ransomware attack and that will continue in 2021.

"It's the combination of making a big financial reward and relating low risk that has led to ransomware becoming a booming and viable business model for cybercriminals," ID Care wrote.

It advised firms to train their staff in cybersecurity so they avoid downloading malicious links from phishing emails.

Posted in: News  

Economy recovers faster than expected from the coronavirus recession

Posted on 14 December 2020
Economy recovers faster than expected from the coronavirus recession

Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics and Business Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)

The federal government is being urged to place stricter controls on stimulus programs as the economy recovers faster than expected from the coronavirus recession.

The economy expanded at its strongest rate in more than 40 years during the September quarter and data suggests the strong rebound should continue into 2021.

Commercial credit bureau CreditorWatch has found debtors are taking an average of 33 days to pay bills, compared with a peak of 47 days in June and during the depths of recession.

"The recovery in payments data is a clear indication the economy is on the way back, supported by better-than-expected GDP numbers for the September quarter," CreditorWatch chief executive Patrick Coghlan said.

"There's potential for the federal government to consider introducing further means tests for economic stimulus programs such as JobKeeper, to reduce pressure on the public purse and allow economic conditions to normalise."

The JobKeeper wage subsidy is not due to end until March next year.

Mr Coghlan also believes the temporary moratorium on trading while insolvent should end at the end of this month.

"Extending this provision risks causing damage to the economy as solvent firms could be extending credit to insolvent firms, potentially creating a domino effect down the track if insolvent firms are allowed to continue to operate," he said.

More than 3000 Australian companies have avoided going into external administration since April, compared to figures from 2019.

Meanwhile, the release of the monthly consumer sentiment survey will add to a spread of confidence gauges pointing to Australia accelerating out of the pandemic.

In November, sentiment soared to a seven-year high, an encouraging sign for retailers during their peak Christmas period.

The consumer confidence index also rose by a further 1.7 per cent in the past week to its highest level for 2020.

It was the second consecutive week confidence rose and means it has increased 13 times in the past 14 weeks.

The monthly National Australia Bank's business survey also showed confidence rising for a fourth straight month in November and to its highest level in two-and-a-half years.

Business and consumer measures provide crucial pointers for future household spending, investment and employment.


Posted in: News  

Current COVID-19 (coronavirus) scams: The latest examples here:

Posted on 10 December 2020
Current COVID-19 (coronavirus) scams: The latest examples here:


Scammers are using the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to take advantage of people across Australia.

About COVID-19 scams

Scamwatch has received over 5170 scam reports mentioning the coronavirus with over $6 280 000 in reported losses since the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Common scams include phishing for personal information, online shopping, and superannuation scams.

If you have been scammed or have seen a scam, you can make a report on the Scamwatch website, and find more information about where to get help.

Scamwatch urges everyone to be cautious and remain alert to coronavirus-related scams. Scammers are hoping that you have let your guard down. Do not provide your personal, banking or superannuation details to strangers who have approached you.

Scammers may pretend to have a connection with you. So it's important to stop and check, even when you are approached by what you think is a trusted organisation.

Visit the Scamwatch news webpage for general warnings and media releases on COVID-19 scams.

Below are some examples of what to look out for.

These are a few examples, but there are many more.  If your experience does not match any of the examples provided, it could still be a scam. If you have any doubts at all, don't proceed.

Phishing Government impersonation scams

Scammers are pretending to be government agencies providing information on COVID-19 through text messages and emails 'phishing' for your information. These contain malicious links and attachments designed to steal your personal and financial information.

In the examples below the text messages appear to come from 'GOV' and 'myGov', with a malicious link to more information on COVID-19.

Examples of phishing scams impersonating government agencies

Department of Health impersonation email


Fake myGov texts


Scammers are also pretending to be Government agencies and other entities offering to help you with applications for financial assistance or payments for staying home.

Examples of payment or financial assistance scams

Fake government subsidy phishing scam

Fake ATO tax credit scam

Fake economic support payment text

Tips to protect yourself from these types of scams:

  • Don't click on hyperlinks in text/social media messages or emails, even if it appears to come from a trusted source.
  • Go directly to the website through your browser. For example, to reach the MyGov website type '' into your browser yourself.
  • Never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for personal or financial details, even if they claim to be a from a reputable organisation or government authority just press delete or hang up.

Phishing Other impersonation scams

Scammers are pretending to be from real and well known businesses such as banks, travel agents, insurance providers and telco companies, and using various excuses around COVID-19 to:

  • ask for your personal and financial information
  • lure you into opening malicious links or attachments
  • gain remote access to your computer
  • seek payment for a fake service or something you did not purchase.

Examples of other phishing scams

Fake bank phishing text

Fake insurance phishing text

Fake voucher phishing text

Tips to protect yourself from these types of scams:

  • Don't click on hyperlinks in text/social media messages or emails, even if they appear to come from a trusted source.
  • Never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for personal or financial details just press delete or hang up.
  • Never provide a stranger remote access to your computer, even if they claim to be from a telco company such as Telstra or the NBN Co.
  • To verify the legitimacy of a contact, find them through an independent source such as a phone book, past bill or online search.

Superannuation scams

Scammers are taking advantage of people in financial hardship due to COVID-19 by attempting to steal their superannuation or by offering unnecessary services and charging a fee.

The majority of these scams start with an unexpected call claiming to be from a superannuation or financial service.

The scammers use a variety of excuses to request information about your superannuation accounts, including:

  • offering to help you access the money in your superannuation
  • ensuring you're not locked out of your account under new rules.
  • checking whether your superannuation account is eligible for various benefits or deals.

Example of a superannuation scam

A scammer will call pretending to be from a superannuation or financial service. They may refer to the government's superannuation early release measures, and ask questions such as:

  • Have you worked full time for the last 5 years?
  • Are you going to apply for the $10 000 superannuation package?

Or falsely claim:

  • Inactive super accounts will be locked if not merged immediately.

Superannuation early-access scams

Many Australians are facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 22 March, the Australian Government announced eligible individuals would be allowed early access to their superannuation. Scammers are taking advantage of the government's early-release measures in a variety of phishing scams designed to steal your superannuation.

For more information, see our Superannuation early-access scams fact sheet.

Tips to protect yourself from these types of scams:

  • Never give any information about your superannuation to someone who has contacted you this includes offers to help you access your superannuation early under the government's new arrangements.
  • Hang up and verify their identity by calling the relevant organisation directly find them through an independent source such as a phone book, past bill or online search.
  • See our Scamwatch media release warning about superannuation scams.
  • For more information on superannuation scams visit ASIC's MoneySmart website.

Online shopping scams

Scammers have created fake online stores claiming to sell products that don't exist such as cures or vaccinations for COVID-19, and products such as face masks.

Tips to protect yourself from these types of scams:

The best way to detect a fake trader or social media shopping scam is to search for reviews before purchasing. No vaccine or cure presently exists for the coronavirus.

Be wary of sellers requesting unusual payment methods such as upfront payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, preloaded card or electronic currency, like Bitcoin.

More information is available at: Online shopping scams.

Scams targeting businesses

Scammers are using COVID-19 in business email compromise scams by pretending to be a supplier or business you usually deal with.

Scammers are using COVID-19 as an excuse to divert your usual account payments to a different bank account. Your payment goes to the scammer instead of the real business.

Example of a business email compromise scam

Tips to protect yourself from these types of scams:

  • Verify any request to change bank details by contacting the supplier directly using trusted contact details you have previously used.
  • Consider a multi-person approval process for transactions over a certain dollar amount, with processes in place to ensure the business billing you is the one you normally deal with.
  • Keep the security on your network and devices up-to-date, and have a good firewall to protect your data.

Businesses can also sign up to the ACCC's Small Business Information Network to receive emails about new or updated resources, enforcement action, changes to Australia's competition and consumer laws, events, surveys and scams relevant to the small business sector.

How scammers contact you

During a crisis like COVID-19, you may be isolated and using online services more than ever, so it is important to think about who might be really contacting you. They may find you by:

  • calling you or coming to your door
  • contacting you via social media, email or text message
  • setting up websites that look real, and impersonating government, business or even your friends
  • collecting information about you so that when they make contact they are more convincing.

How you can help others

You can help others by talking and sharing information about scams when connecting with your friends, family and colleagues.

Ask the businesses you connect with regularly about scams they see, how they can protect you and how you can protect yourself.

If you use social media or particular applications learn how to report scams to them and choose services that will identify and remove scammers from their platform or website.

Ask your bank or financial institution about how to protect your financial information and how they will help you if you get scammed.

Government, law enforcement, individuals and businesses all play an important role in helping to protect the community from scams.

More information

ACCC advice to consumers on COVID-19 (coronavirus)

ACCC advice to small business on COVID-19 coronavirus

Australian Government Business ( Coronavirus information and support for business

Posted in: News  

Australian recovery sustainable: Moody's

Posted on 26 November 2020
Australian recovery sustainable: Moody's

Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics and Business Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)

Australia is unlikely to suffer a lasting drop in economic growth, despite being hit by its largest economic contraction on record due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global rating agency Moody's Investors Service says.

Next week's national accounts are expected to show the economy grew in the September quarter after being whacked by a seven per cent contraction three months earlier, which marked the first recession in nearly 30 years.

Moody's, which rates Australia triple-A with a stable outlook, does not expect a weakening in the nation's budget position over the longer-term either.

"The broad diversification of Australian industry, and the flexibility and competitiveness of the economy will support a sustainable recovery over the next few years, with limited likelihood of severe financial stress destabilising the economy," Moody's senior credit officer Martin Petch says.

However, a major driver of Australia's potential growth rate will be the extent to which productivity growth picks up from the relatively weak levels experienced before the pandemic.

Mr Petch says the government's substantial stimulus package highlights Australia's flexibility and capacity to use fiscal policy to support its credit profile in a difficult global economic environment.

"Fiscal metrics will weaken but remain in line with rating peers," he says.

He said Australia also had a strong track record of fiscal consolidation following periods of expansionary policy.

While the debt burdens of states will climb in the fiscal year ending June 2021, Moody's does not foresee a material weakening in the sovereign credit profile as a result.

"Rather, Moody's expects state governments will remain their resolve to implement additional budgetary discipline once the pandemic has passed," the rating agency said on Wednesday.

Posted in: News  
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