On 8 April 2020, the Australian Federal Government released and passed legislation relating to the JobKeeper payments, which will be available to businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19. As a result, there is now further clarity on the application process and operation of the JobKeeper package. Below we provide some of the key updates for employers:
Employer eligibility recap
- Eligible employers include companies, partnerships, trusts, sole traders and not for profit entities including charities;
- Businesses with a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover has fallen by more than 30 per cent (of at least a month);
- Businesses with a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover has fallen by more than 50 per cent (of at least a month);
- The reduction in revenue will be tested over a minimum one month period post 1 March 2020 and will be relative to a comparative period a year ago. Monthly updates will be required to be provided to the ATO;
- The business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.
Satisfying the fall in turnover?
The ATO has provided clarity in how the fall in turnover is calculated for businesses that have a comparative period in the prior year.
To work out your fall in turnover for the first fortnight starting 30 March 2020, you can compare either:
- GST turnover* for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019;
- projected GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019;
- projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2019.
*Revenue sourced from overseas subsidiaries, inter-company revenue, and input taxed sales are excluded from GST turnover
How you choose to project your fall in turnover is not dependent on whether you report a quarterly or monthly BAS. Furthermore, once you have qualified for the JobKeeper payments you remain eligible for the remainder of the program, and do not need to re-test in the following months.
If the impact of COVID-19 is not yet evident in your actual or projected turnover, you can still apply for the program at a later time should things change, but will only have access to payments for the remainder of the package, which expires on 27th September.
Details are still emerging on alternative tests for businesses that can establish your eligibility when turnover periods are not appropriately comparable (start-ups for example), and we will provide further information once this is available.
Stay tuned, we will be providing a further update this week detailing the step-by-step process of applying for and implementing the job-keeper program.
Want to know more? Get in touch with one the team for a comprehensive overview of what you’re entitled to.