COVID-19: JOBKEEPER PAYMENT UPDATE PART 3
April 21, 2020
The ATO have released more information about the JobKeeper Payment, including how the program will be administered. To ensure all of our clients are up to date with the latest developments, we have summarised some key information below.
When will registration begin and how will businesses register?
Businesses will be able to register for the JobKeeper Payment from 20 April 2020. The program, including registrations, will be managed through the ATO Business Portal. Employers can also elect their tax agent to enrol on their behalf.
When will the first payment be made?
The first payment to employers will be made in early May 2020. Payments will cover eligible employees, paid the minimum $1,500 per fortnight, for the first two eligible payment periods (30 March to 12 April and 13 April to 26 April).
Am I able to backpay employees so I qualify for JobKeeper?
For the first two fortnight periods (30 March to 12 April and 13 April to 26 April), payments made up to 30 April can be allocated to these pay periods to ensure employees have received the required minimum $1,500 gross wage payment. Going forward all payments to employees need to be made on time.
How do I demonstrate a 30% turnover reduction?
For businesses who are still trading, they will need to forecast their future turnover to assess if this has reduced by at least 30%, compared with the same period from last year. Businesses with special circumstances (e.g. start-ups, businesses that have grown rapidly or recovering from natural disasters) will need apply to the ATO to use a different turnover comparison period.
The forecast for the coming month and the actual turnover for the prior month will need to be reported to the ATO monthly. Some turnover (e.g. asset sales) can be excluded. The 30% reduction can either be shown in the individual month or over the quarter. Forecasts should be prepared on a cash or accruals basis in line with your GST registration.
As the forecast revenue will be the crucial trigger in determining eligibility for the program, it is important forecasts are prepared in a robust manner and businesses should seek professional assistance if they have any questions.
Can self-employed people receive the payment?
One active business participant (non-employee) can receive the JobKeeper Payment per entity. This includes sole traders, partners of a partnership, directors and shareholders. We are awaiting further guidance on this from the ATO.
Can I choose which employees are eligible?
The JobKeeper Payment needs to be made available to all eligible employees. Employees are able to opt in by completing the JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice. The form can be found through the following link:
Which program is best for employees - JobSeeker or JobKeeper?
For some employees, they will be financially better off on JobSeeker, particularly if they have been stood down. Each situation is different and you should seek professional advice on this.
Further information on the JobKeeper Payment is available on the ATO website https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/ and the Cairns COVID-19 Business Support website https://www.covid19businesssupport.com.au/ .
If you wish to discuss the JobKeeper Payment, or any of the other COVID-19 Stimulus Measures, please contact Darren, Shaun or one of our team.