ATO Issues Further Guidance on JobKeeper 17.04.2020

The ATO have released further guidance for JobKeeper eligibility in a couple of tranches this week for the Government’s $130 billion JobKeeper Payment scheme to support businesses significantly affected by the coronavirus to help keep more Australians in jobs. The JobKeeper payment is open to eligible employers to enable them to pay their eligible employee’s salary or wages of at least $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight. Eligible employers will be reimbursed a fixed amount of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee.

Here is a summary of the key points for employers and employees:

  • It is the CHOICE of the employer to participate
  • Eligible employees must be currently employed for the fortnight being claimed for
  • You need to be able to confirm a 30% fall in turnover, with the calculation based on GST turnover
    • You only need to satisfy the requirement ONCE
    • Confirm business in a relevant period has had/likely to have a 30% fall in turnover
    • For the 1st fortnight starting 30 March 2020 GST turnover calculations are needed for:
      • March 2020 vs March 2019; or
      • Projected GST turnover for April 2020 vs April 2019; or
      • Projected GST turnover for June 2020 Qtr vs June 2019 Qtr
  • Employers need to nominate eligible employees. We are still waiting for clarification on whether this is an all in approach or if you can just nominate specific employees
    • You must notify intention to employees
    • Employees MUST agree to be nominated by completing JobKeeper Employee nomination notice (no need to provide to ATO but need to keep signed form as record). The employee has the option of opting out and if they do the employer won’t get the payment for them.
    • If you intend to claim for April – the form MUST be returned by the end of April
    • Only for APRIL – the first 2 fortnights can be paid late (i.e. paid by end of April) to be eligible to be reimbursed by ATO in early May
  • Tax consequence – The JobKeeper payment is assessable income to the employer (same principle as Parental Payments) and you will receive a deduction for payments made to your employees as normal.

More information can be found here

Sole traders and other entities such as trusts, partnerships and companies will be eligible if:

  • They carried on a business in Australia on 1 March 2020
  • Satisfied the fall in turnover test
  • Had an ABN on 12 March 2020
  • Lodged on or before 12 March 2020 either a 2018-19 income tax return, an activity statement or GST return for any period that started after 1 July 2018 and ended before 12 March 2020

These entities will then need to nominate an eligible business participant, who must not be employed by the entity or any other entity (other than as a casual employee); be actively engaged in the business; and be either a sole trader, a partner in a partnership, an adult beneficiary of the trust, or a shareholder or director in the company.

A limit applies of one $1,500 JobKeeper payment per fortnight for one eligible business entity.  If your entity also has employees, you may also be able to claim additional JobKeeper payments of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee.

Importantly, the ATO notes that it is the entity, not the eligible business participant, that will receive the JobKeeper payment. The exception is a sole trader, who is both the business entity and the eligible business participant and so receives the payment themselves.

More information can be found here

Important dates and steps

  • 20th April 2020 – businesses can enrol (must do by end of April to be eligible for April payment)
  • 4th May 2020 – business can confirm eligible employees – must be updated monthly
  • Enrol here
  • Can be done via the Business portal (by you) or via us (Rose Partners)

Should you have any questions or need any help ensuring you receive all available assistance, please reach out to our team and we will endeavour to do our best to assist.

Stay Safe.

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