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Update Tuesday 28 April


Update to JobKeeper rules

To ensure the integrity and the efficient operation of the JobKeeper Payment scheme, the Government is clarifying the operation of some rules:

  • Employees employed through a special purpose entity, rather than an operating entity

  • Charities and the treatment of government revenue

  • Religious practitioners

  • 'One in, all in' principles

  • Full-time students aged 16 and 17 years old

  • International aid organisations

  • Universities

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are developing information and guidance and will update their website as soon as possible. For more information, see the media release issued by the Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, on 24 April 2020.

Extension of time to enrol for the JobKeeper scheme

The Australian Commissioner of Taxation has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.

If you enrol by 31 May you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.

For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), the ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by you by the end of April.

You can enrol and claim for JobKeeper earlier if you choose. For example, you can enrol by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for the two fortnights in April.

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.

Employers will need to pay eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment. This will be paid to the employer in arrears each month by the ATO. The first payments to eligible employers will commence in the first week of May 2020. JobKeeper payments can be made for the period beginning 30 March 2020.

If employers do not continue to pay their employees for each pay period, they will cease to qualify for the JobKeeper payment.

To be eligible for the JobKeeper payment, employers and their employees must meet a range of criteria.

The JobKeeper Payment available to sole traders and other entities

Eligible employers

Employers will be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all of the following apply:

  • On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia or were a not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia.

  • You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.

  • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).

  • Your business has;

  • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)

  • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or

  • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools)

  • Your business is not in one of the ineligible categories

Calculating turnover

The turnover calculation is based on GST turnover. This applies even if an entity is not registered for GST. There are some modifications, including disregarding GST grouping where two or more associated business entities operate as a single GST group.

You can apply the basic test even if you are not registered for GST.

Aggregated turnover

Your aggregated turnover broadly includes your annual turnover, plus the annual turnover of all the entities that are connected or affiliated with you, subject to specific adjustments (for example, for transactions between you and those other entities). These connected entities or affiliates may be based in Australia or overseas.

Learn more about eligible employers for the JobKeeper Payment

Eligible employees

Your employee is eligible under the JobKeeper Payment scheme if they:

  • are employed by you (including those stood down or re-hired)

  • were either

  1. permanent full-time or part-time employee at 1 March 2020

  2. long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 March 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer

  • were at least 16 years of age on 1 March 2020

  • were an Australian resident as at 1 March 2020 within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991, which requires that they reside in Australia, and are one of an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Protected Special Category Visa Holder. More information about these requirements can be found from the Services Australia website under residence descriptions. Your employee can also be an Australian tax resident who is a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder. Employees who are not permanent residents of Australia must notify you of their visa status to allow you to determine if they are eligible.

  • were not in receipt of any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight

  1. government parental leave or Dad and partner pay

  2. a payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work

You cannot claim for any employees who:

  • were first employed by you after 1 March 2020

  • left your employment before 1 March 2020

  • have been, or have agreed to be, nominated by another employer

Casual employees are not eligible unless they were employed by you on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months as at 1 March 2020.

If you decide to participate in the JobKeeper Payment scheme, you must nominate all your eligible employees. You cannot choose to nominate only some employees. However, individual eligible employees can choose not to participate.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 must choose the permanent employer and cannot nominate you. They cannot receive the JobKeeper payment from more than one employer.

Learn more about your eligible employees

If you're an employee, learn more about the JobKeeper Payment

Payment process

Eligible employers will be reimbursed a fixed amount of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee.

Employers need to pay all eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment. This will be paid to the employer in arrears each month by the ATO.

Learn more about paying your eligible employees, tax conseqences, superannuation guarantee and what you can't do

Timing

The subsidy will start on 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by employers in the first week of May.

The Australian Commissioner of Taxation has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.

If you enrol by 31 May you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.

How to apply

From 20 April 2020, you can enrol in the JobKeeper scheme on the ATO website using an online form. After you enrol, you will later identify your specific eligible employees and submit the information to the ATO. Click the link below to enrol.

Read examples of how the JobKeeper Payment can help you.

Source and credit: Business.gov.au & ATO

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