(Australian Associated Press)

New rules are now in place allowing early access to superannuation as thousands of Australians lose their jobs and livelihoods due to the economic impact of the coronavirus.

The Australian Taxation Office has updated its website with a ‘one-stop shop’ for advice on COVID-19 stimulus measures, after the passage of the federal government’s economic support package through parliament this week.

Individuals affected by COVID-19 will be allowed to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019/20 and a further $10,000 in 2020/21.

“Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments,” the ATO confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.

From mid-April, eligible persons will be able to apply online through the myGov website to access their superannuation before July 1, 2020.

They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 between July 1, 2020, and September 24, 2020.

ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan acknowledged many people are being financially impacted by the challenging economic conditions created by the spread of COVID-19.

“Each of the measures have different timings, eligibility, and processes. Some will be applied automatically and others will require an application, so I recommend heading to ato.gov.au/coronavirus to understand what is possible,” he said.

The new ATO measures include:
  • giving individuals early access to their superannuation.
  • providing cash flow assistance for employers.
  • increasing the instant asset write-off for businesses.
  • accelerating depreciation deductions for businesses.