Jobkeeper Update – Action Now Needed

Jobkeeper Update - Action Now NeededWe understand these are challenging times and it is difficult to keep abreast of all the changes and information being provided around the Government COVID-19 stimulus packages.

We have attempted to summarise below important items that you need to be aware of right now that need your attention for registration and becoming entitled to the JobKeeper Payment. Should this be all too much, please reach out to our team to help you through the registration and payment process and help determining your eligibility.

Explanatory Statement

Treasury has released an Explanatory Statement regarding the new JobKeeper payment for entities that have been significantly affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus. 

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L00419/Explanatory%20Statement/Text

ATO JobKeeper Payment Website

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has also updated details on their website regarding registering for the JobKeeper payment, enrolling for the JobKeeper payment, reporting requirements and paying employees. 

From 20 April 2020, you can enrol for the JobKeeper payment with the ATO.

However, to begin receiving JobKeeper payments from 30 March 2020, you need to have paid or have back-paid all eligible employees for the two fortnights in April (a minimum of $3,000 Gross) per employee prior to 30 April 2020, and have sent employees and received back a ‘JobKeeper employee nomination notice.

Employers can choose to participate in the scheme and then nominate all eligible employees they are entitled to claim for.  An employee must agree to be nominated by you by completing

the ‘JobKeeper employee nomination notice’. An employer can choose not to participate in the JobKeeper payment.

From 4 May 2020, you can apply to claim the JobKeeper payment by logging into the ATO Business Portal.  Please ensure you have established a myGovID prior to this date and it is linked to the relevant entity you will be claiming for.

Recent changes to the JobKeeper payment now allow eligible entities who do not have employees but want to nominate an individual for their ‘business participation’ (such as a director who provides labour and receives dividends or a trust beneficiary who receives trust distributions or a sole trader), will also be able to nominate one person per entity to receive the JobKeeper payment.

For full details, please refer to the ATO JobKeeper Payment site, Treasury Explanatory Statement or Treasury Support for Businesses Fact Sheets.

https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/Employers/Enrol-and-apply-for-the-JobKeeper-payment/

Eligibility – 30% Decline in Turnover

Please ensure before applying for the JobKeeper Payment you can confidently predict that your turnover will have decreased by 30% as compared to a prior period 12 months ago.  The comparable period can be one month or one quarter from the months of March 2020 to September 2020. 

A prediction based on turnover must be based on a reasonable expectation on the balance of probabilities, that it can be predicted that the supply will have the relevant decline considering the context of the facts and circumstances of a particular business.  Once an entity satisfies the test it does not need to retest its turnover in later months.

Businesses, individuals and entities that deliberately enter into contrived arrangements with the sole or dominant purpose of reducing their turnover in order to gain access to JobKeeper payments or increase the amount of JobKeeper payments they receive will not be entitled to the payment and general interest charges will apply on the overpayment under section 19 of the Act. In addition, significant administrative as well as criminal penalties are also likely to apply to the parties involved in such schemes.

Paying your Employees

The ATO has also provided further details on paying your eligible employees including: –

  • How to pay
  • When to pay
  • How much to pay
  • Tax consequences
  • Superannuation guarantee
  • What you can’t do
  • Examples

Please ensure your payroll records have been correctly setup to separately identify the JobKeeper payment if necessary, superannuation guarantee is correctly being accrued or not accrued and employee entitlements are correctly accruing including those entitlements that still accrue while an employee is on stand down orders.  QBO, MYOB and Xero will all be releasing information on how to process the JobKeeper payments in their relevant payroll software.

https://www.ato.gov.au/general/jobkeeper-payment/employers/paying-your-eligible-employees/

Please continue to be mindful of the JobKeeper changes to the Fair Work Act when making modifications to employee’s working arrangements.

https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/flexibility-in-workplace-laws-during-coronavirus/jobkeeper-changes-to-the-fair-work-act

For further assistance please contact our office on 03 9579 3377 or accountant@nulldouglasharrison.com.au.

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