JobKeeper Update: Eligibility and Employment

Whilst the JobKeeper payment had been announced recently there has been a lack of detail as to the process and clarity around the rules. We have had a large volume of calls asking how the fall in turnover test operates and we now have further details as set out below.

The procedure to claim the JobKeeper is set out on the ATO website at https://www.ato.gov.au/general/jobkeeper-payment/employers/enrol-and-apply-for-the-jobkeeper-payment/ and is outlined below. Please contact us if we can assist you in anyway.

JobKeeper Update: How to calculate a fall in turnover for the first fortnight starting 30 March, 2020

To work out your fall in turnover, you can compare either:

  • GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019.
  • Projected GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019.
  • Projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter starting April, 2019.

How you choose to project your fall in turnover is not dependent on whether you report a quarterly or monthly BAS, although you can do that if it is easier. The turnover calculation is based on GST turnover, but there are some modifications including disregarding GST grouping (where two or more associated business entities operate as a single GST group).

If you qualify for the JobKeeper payments for the first fortnight because your turnover has declined by the relevant amount, you remain eligible and do not need to keep testing turnover in following months. However, you will have ongoing monthly reporting requirements.

The Commissioner of Taxation also has the discretion to set out alternative tests that can establish your eligibility when turnover periods are not appropriately comparable (for example: if your business has been in operation less than a year).

Enrol for the JobKeeper payment (from 20 April onwards)

You or a registered tax professional can enrol for the JobKeeper payment:

  • Step 1 – Register your interest and subscribe for JobKeeper payment updates.
  • Step 2 – Check you and your employees meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Step 3 – Continue to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight (the first JobKeeper fortnight is the period from 30 March to 12 April).
  • Step 4 – Notify your eligible employees that you are intending to claim the JobKeeper payment on their behalf and check they aren’t claiming JobKeeper payment through another employer or have nominated through another business.
  • Step 5 – Send the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to your nominated employees to complete and return to you by the end of April if you plan to claim JobKeeper payment for April. Keep it on file and provide a copy to your registered tax agent if you are using one.
  • Step 6 – From 20 April 2020, you can enrol with us for the JobKeeper payment using the Business Portal and authenticate with myGovID. You must do this by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for April.
  • Step 7 – In the online form, provide your bank details and indicate if you are claiming an entitlement based on business participation, for example if you are a sole trader.
  • Step 8 – Specify the estimated number of employees who will be eligible for the first JobKeeper fortnight (30 March – 12 April) and the second JobKeeper fortnight (13 April – 26 April).

Confirmation of eligible employees you will claim JobKeeper Payment for (available from 4 May 2020 onwards)

You or a registered tax agent can apply for the JobKeeper payment for your eligible employees:

  • Step 1 – Apply to claim the JobKeeper payment by logging in to the ATO Business Portal External Link.
  • Step 2 – Ensure you have paid each eligible employee a minimum of $1,500 per JobKeeper fortnight before tax.
  • Step 3 – Identify your eligible employees in the application form by:
    • selecting employee details that are pre-filled from your STP pay reports if you report payroll information through an STP enabled payroll solution, or
    • manually entering employee details in ATO online services or the Business Portal if you do not use an STP enabled payroll solution, or
    • using a registered tax agent who will submit a report on your behalf through Online services for agents.
  • Step 4 – Submit the confirmation of your eligible employees online and wait for your confirmation email or SMS showing it has been received.
  • Step 5 – Notify your eligible employees you have nominated them.
  • Step 6 – We will pay you the JobKeeper payment for all eligible employees after receiving your application.
  • Step 7 – Each month, you will need to reconfirm that your reported eligible employees have not changed through ATO online services, the Business Portal or via your registered tax agent. This will ensure you will continue to receive the JobKeeper payments from us. You do not need to retest your reported fall in turnover, but you will need to provide some information as to your current and projected turnover. This will be done in your monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.
  • Step 8 – If your eligible employees change or leave your employment, you will need to notify us through your monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.

If you use the ATO Business Portal, you will need a myGovID linked to your ABN in Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). You can find out how to set this up at ato.gov.au/mygovid.

What do you need to do for your employees:

You need to identify which employees you intend to claim the JobKeeper payment for and tell them you intend to claim the JobKeeper payment for them.

You need to provide these employees with the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and ask them to return it to you by the end of April if you want to claim JobKeeper payment for April.

If your employees have multiple employers, they can usually choose which employer they want to nominate through. However, if your employees are long-term casuals and have other permanent employment, they cannot nominate you. They cannot receive the JobKeeper payment from more than one employer.

If an employee is currently receiving an income support payment, they must notify Services Australia of their new income to avoid incurring a debt that they will have to repay.

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