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COVID-19 Stimulus & Support Measures: JobKeeper Program
The JobKeeper Program is a major element of the Australian Government's recently announced economic stimulus package. The scheme provides payments of $1500 per fortnight per eligible employee to keep staff employed in the workplace. JobKeeper has now been passed as legislation and, as always with these schemes, the 'devil is in the details'. This summary provides a detailed overview and following are key points.
30 March 2020 – first day of the first JobKeeper fortnight.
20 April 2020 – online applications are open.
26 April 2020 – deadline for completing the ATO online application to receive reimbursements in May for the April wage payments.
30 April 2020 – deadline for making 'top up' payments for employees paid less than $1500 per fortnight in the April payment periods.
30 April 2020 – deadline to ensure all eligible employees have been provided with and returned a JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice, or business participants have lodged online application.
4 May 2020 – Able to apply for first JobKeeper payment through the ATO portal.
27 September 2020 – Last day of final JobKeeper fortnight.
- Employer eligibility – for most small businesses, must show at least a 30% decline in GST turnover relative to a comparable period, or 15% decline for charities. In some cases, this will require estimating projected income for April and beyond to make comparisons with a relevant prior period.
- Employee eligibility – full-time, part-time and long term (>12 months) casual, and must have been employed before 1 March 2020. All eligible employees must be given opportunity to nominate via the JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice. Employees must have been paid at least $1500 per fortnight in the relevant period. For the first application, if employees have been paid less than $1500 per fortnight, employers must 'top up' the difference before end of April for those employees to be eligible. Subsequent payments must be made in the correct period.
- Self-employed Business Owner Eligibility – a self-employed sole trader, partner of a partnership, company director, or trust beneficiary may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper if the business meets the decline in turnover test, and the business participant passes eligibility. This is limited to one business participant per business. Nomination is via an online application form.
Ongoing reporting and Penalty Provisions
Eligible employers are required to report monthly on employee payments, actual turnover and projected turnover for the following month. It is important that accurate and complete records are kept, as the payments are potentially subject to audit, and repayment requirements and penalty provisions apply in event of false claims or over-payments.
Employers are able to apply online themselves - please see the ATO's step by step instructions on how to register and apply for the JobKeeper program.
You will need access to the ATO's Business Portal to apply for the JobKeeper program and submit ongoing reporting - Instructions on how to set up your new access to the ATO Business Portal
However if you require assistance or have any concerns over eligibility, we recommend you contact us or your tax professional.
COVID-19 Stimulus & Support Measures: A Guide to what you can access and how .
NTAA JobKeeper Program Summary April 2020
Please reach out for help.
Please keep in contact with us via the telephone, email, or our Facebook page for more updates.
We have created a new page on our website to make it easier to find the info we have put out - Walsh Accounting COVID-19 page. We will regularly update this as new info becomes available.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at any time.