JobKeeper ATO Update 2

Posted 28 Apr '20

JobKeeper ATO Update 2

The following information has been released since our last blog post “JobKeeper ATO Update”.

Date changes

The Commissioner 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 8 May 2020. If you do not pay your staff by this date, you will not be able to claim JobKeeper for the first two fortnights.

You can enrol now and can claim the first two fortnights in April from the 4th of May onwards.

The alternative decline in turnover test rules are now available:

There are alternative rules applicable for the following scenarios:

  • The entity commenced business before 1 March 2020 but after the relevant comparison period.
  • There was an acquisition or disposal of part of the business after the relevant comparison period and before the applicable turnover test period.
  • There was a restructure of the business, or part thereof, after the relevant comparison period and before the applicable turnover test period.
  • There has been a substantial increase in turnover, meaning:
    • 50% or more in the 12 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period.
    • 25% or more in the 6 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period.
    • 12.5% or more in the 3 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period.
  • Businesses affected by drought or natural disaster.
  • Businesses who have irregular turnover, meaning:
    • for the quarters ending in the 12 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period, the entity’s lowest turnover quarter is no more than 50% of the highest turnover quarter, and
    • the entity’s turnover is not cyclical.
  • Sole trader or small partnership with sickness, injury or leave.

For more detail, see:

Rule changes

To ensure the integrity and the efficient operation of the JobKeeper payment the Government is clarifying the operation of the rules:

  • ‘One in, all in’ principle: Once an employer decides to participate in the JobKeeper scheme and their eligible employees have agreed to be nominated by the employer, the employer must ensure that all of these eligible employees are covered by their participation in the scheme. This includes all eligible employees who are undertaking work for the employer or have been stood down. The employer cannot select which eligible employees will participate in the scheme. 
  • Full time students aged 16 and 17 years old: The benefit of the JobKeeper payment to workers over the age of 16 is justified for those who are financially independent and who require the security provided by participation in the JobKeeper scheme and the maintenance of the working relationship that it affords. The rules will provide that full time students who are 17 years old and younger, and who are not financially independent, are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. This clarification will apply prospectively, which would mean an eligible employer that has already met the wage condition of paying such an employee $1,500 for a fortnight could be entitled to a JobKeeper Payment in arrears for that fortnight.
  • Employees employed through a special purpose entity, rather than an operating entity: Changes will address the circumstances where business structures use a special purpose entity to employ staff rather than staff being directly employed by an operating entity. 
  • Charities and the treatment of Government revenue: Changes will allow charities (other than schools and universities) to elect to exclude Government revenue from the JobKeeper turnover test. This will allow employing charities receiving revenue from Government to use either their total turnover, or their turnover excluding Government revenue, for the purposes of assessing eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment. 
  • Religious practitioners: Changes will allow JobKeeper Payments to be made to religious institutions in respect of religious practitioners (with the exception of those that are students only), recognising that many religious practitioners are not ‘employees’ of their religious institutions.
  • International Aid Organisations: Changes will allow entities that are endorsed under the Overseas Aid Gift Deductibility Scheme or for developed country relief to meet the requirement that not-for-profits pursue their objectives principally in Australia. The current requirement that employees must be Australian residents to be eligible under the JobKeeper program would remain in place.
  • Universities: Changes will clarify that the core Commonwealth Government financial assistance provided to universities will be included in the JobKeeper turnover tests. 

We will keep you updated as further information is released, in the meantime contact your WDF team member if you have any questions – we are here to help.

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