1. Deadlines Extended
The Australian taxation Office (ATO) has extended the registration deadline for April and May JobKeeper payments to 31 May, while the first payments deadline has been extended to 8 May.
To be eligible for April JobKeeper payments, you need to ensure that staff have been paid at least $1,500 for the first two JobKeeper fortnights (30 March – 12 April and 13 April – 26 April). These payments must be paid by 8 May. You can make two fortnightly payments of at least $1,500 per fortnight, or a combined payment of at least $3,000.
Unless the situation is clear cut, you should be careful about making top up payments to staff until you have assessed their eligibility and received their JobKeeper nomination forms back. Otherwise, you risk not being reimbursed for ineligible top-up payments.
Remember, although the registration deadline has been extended, the sooner you pay your staff for April and enrol, the sooner the ATO can reimburse you the JobKeeper payments!
2. New Guides Released
The ATO has now released three separate guides, clarifying the JobKeeper scheme for sole traders,
employers who report through Single Touch Payroll (STP) and employers who do not report through STP.
You can access the new JobKeeper guides here:
- JobKeeper guide – sole traders
- JobKeeper guide – employers reporting through STP
- JobKeeper guide – employers not reporting through STP
3. Alternative Test for Service Entities
An alternative decline in turnover test will apply to special purpose employment entities such as service entities. In circumstances where an employment entity is utilised within a group of companies, and that employment entity is unable to demonstrate a sufficient decline in its own turnover, the employment entity will be able to refer to the decline in turnover of the operating entities it services. This should allow some special purpose service entities that provide employee labour to group members to access the JobKeeper scheme, although we are still waiting to see the detail of these new rules. See Treasury fact sheet.
The alternative test will refer to the combined GST turnovers of the related group members using the services of the employer entity. Integrity provisions will allow the Commissioner to prevent access to JobKeeper where there are “material compliance or integrity concerns with an entity’s use of the test.”
4. Eligibility Changes for 16 & 17 Year Old’s
Full-time students who are 17 years or younger and not financially independent have been excluded from receiving JobKeeper payments. This change will apply prospectively, so employers who have already paid employees will not be out of pocket. You should take this change into account before making further payments to these employees.
5. Changes for Charities & Religious Institutions
To meet the decline in turnover test, eligible charities will be able to choose to use either their total turnover or turnover excluding government revenue to assess their eligibility for JobKeeper.
Eligible religious institutions will be able to receive JobKeeper payments for each eligible religious practitioner (ministers of religion or a full-time member of a religious order) for which they are responsible under the tax law.
Changes will be made to enable entities 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”. Employee eligibility remains subject to the residency requirements.
The full details of these changes are not yet available, but we will bring these to you as soon as they are released.
For further details about how to assess your eligibility, apply for and claim your JobKeeper payments, click here. Please note that as the JobKeeper rules are constantly changing, we recommend you email us or call the office on 9887 8751 for any specific queries.