If your business has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus shutdowns you will be able to access a wages subsidy to continue paying your employees and to set businesses up for a speedy recovery after the crisis has been resolved.
Businesses and NFP’s with Employees
To be eligible, employers must meet the following criteria:
- Turnover is less than $1 billion and turnover has fallen by more than 30 per cent (of at least a month); or
- Turnover is more than $1 billion and their turnover has fallen by more than 50 per cent (of at least a month); and
- The business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.
Businesses Without Employees (Self-Employed Individuals)
Self-employed individuals that meet the turnover tests that apply for businesses are eligible to apply for JobKeeper Payments. They will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number and provide a declaration as to recent business activity. People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments.
How is a Fall in Turnover Established?
Businesses are expected to show that their turnover has fallen relative to their turnover a year earlier, in the relevant month or three months (depending on the natural activity statement reporting period of that business).
The Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information for businesses that were not in operation a year earlier, or where their turnover a year earlier was not representative of their usual or average turnover. There will be some tolerance where employers, in good faith, estimate a greater than 30 (or 50) per cent fall in turnover but actually experience a slightly smaller fall.
Which Employees are Eligible?
The employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees (including currently stood down or re-hired) as at 1 March 2020 and confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged in order to receive JobKeeper Payments.
Eligible employees are those who:
- are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020);
- are at least 16 years of age;
- are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
- are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
If your employees receive the JobKeeper Payment, this may affect their eligibility for payments from Services Australia as they must report their JobKeeper Payment as income.
- Under the JobKeeper program, you will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of six months.
- Employers should now register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au.
- Subsequently, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application.
- The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.
- Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide monthly updates to the ATO.
- Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
- It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.
- Refer to page 3 of this Fact Sheet for Employers for examples of how the payments will be applied to individuals with different salaries.
Here to Support Our Clients
Once again we’d like to reassure our clients that we are here to support you and your business through this uncertain time. Our team is working efficiently and cooperatively as usual. We are just a phone call away. If you would like to discuss any matters please do not hesitate to make contact with us by phone on (02) 9908 9888 or by email.