16 Apr JobKeeper Payments. Your most asked questions.
JobKeeper Payments. Your most asked questions.
We’ve been inundated recently with questions in regards to JobKeeper Payments, which we’ve compiled together to help you navigate around your eligibility and claims processing. Whether you are a business or an individual. Read through our support guide and contact us with any further queries you may have.
The JobKeeper Payment is a payment made to eligible businesses affected by the Coronavirus to support them in retaining employees.
Eligible businesses that elect to participate will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee to support the people they employed as at 1 March 2020 who are retained in employment.
Businesses must have paid their employees before they are entitled to receive the JobKeeper payment. Where an employee’s total remuneration is less than $1,500 per fortnight (before tax), or has been stood down, the employer must provide the employee at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). Where an employee earns more than $1,500 per fortnight, employers can use the payment to subsidise the employee’s wages.
Self-employed individuals will also be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment.
Registration for the payment is scheduled to start from 20th April and can be done here.
IS MY BUSINESS ELIGIBLE?
Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if their turnover has fallen or will likely fall by 30 per cent or more.
WHAT TYPE OF ENTITIES ARE ELIGIBLE?
All business types, including Companies, Partnerships, Trusts and Sole traders
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IF I WANT TO PARTICIPATE?
Eligible employers need to determine if they want to participate in this program by electing into it.
The JobKeeper Payment will be administered by the ATO.
If you want to participate, you can register your interest here!
If you register you will receive updates and information from the ATO about how and when to claim the JobKeeper payment.
HOW DO I WORK OUT WHICH OF MY EMPLOYEES ARE ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES?
You will only be able to claim the JobKeeper payment for eligible employees that were in your employment on or before 1 March 2020, and continue to be employed while you are claiming the JobKeeper payment. An eligible employee is an employee who:
- is currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
- is a full-time or part-time employee, or a casual employed on a regular and systematic basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020;
- was aged 16 years or older at 1 March 2020;
- was an Australian Citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder at 1 March 2020;
- was a resident for Australian tax purposes on 1 March 2020; and
- is not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE THE FIRST PAYMENT?
The first payments by the ATO will be received by employers in the first week of May.
HOW OFTEN WILL THESE PAYMENTS BE MADE?
The payments will be made by the ATO monthly in arrears.
IF I HAVE STOOD DOWN MY EMPLOYEES AFTER 1 MARCH 2020, AND ARE NO LONGER PAYING THEM, DO I NEED TO PAY THEM, FOR WHAT PERIOD AND BY WHEN?
Yes. You can claim JobKeeper for employees that were stood down after 1 March 2020. To be eligible in relation to these employees, you will need to pay them a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight (before tax) for the payment periods of the JobKeeper Scheme.
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF TURNOVER?
Turnover will be defined according to the current calculation for GST purposes and is reported on Business Activity Statements. It includes all taxable supplies and all GST free supplies but not input taxed supplies. There are some modifications for businesses that are part of a GST group. Further information on GST turnover, and how to calculate it, is available at ato.gov.au.
MY BUSINESS HAS ONLY JUST STARTED OR MY BUSINESS HAS “LUMPY” INCOME. HOW CAN I SELF-ASSESS THAT MY TURNOVER HAS FALLEN 30 PER CENT?
To establish that a business has faced or is likely to face a 30 per cent or more fall in turnover, most businesses would be expected to establish that their turnover has fallen in the relevant month or quarter (depending on the Business Activity Statement reporting period of that business) relative to their turnover in a corresponding period a year earlier.
Where a business was not in operation a year earlier, or where their turnover a year earlier was not representative of their usual or average turnover, (e.g. because there was a large interim acquisition, they were newly established, were scaling up, or their turnover is typically highly variable), the Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information that the business can provide to establish that they have been adversely affected by the impacts of the Coronavirus.
The Tax Commissioner will also have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances (e.g. eligibility may be established as soon as a business ceases or significantly curtails its operations). There will be some tolerance where employers, in good faith, estimate a 30 per cent or more fall in turnover but actually experience a slightly smaller fall.
IT IS UNLIKELY THAT MY TURNOVER WILL DECREASE BY 30 PER CENT IN THE COMING MONTH, BUT CAN I APPLY LATER IF MY TURNOVER DECREASES IN ONE OF THE SUBSEQUENT MONTHS?
If a business does not meet the turnover test at the start of the JobKeeper scheme on 30 March 2020, the business can start receiving the JobKeeper Payment at a later time once the turnover test has been met. In this case, the JobKeeper Payment is not backdated to the commencement of the scheme. Businesses can receive JobKeeper Payments up to 27 September 2020.
WHAT IF I PAY MY EMPLOYEES LESS THAN $1,500 PER FORTNIGHT BEFORE TAX?
To be able to claim the JobKeeper payment for an eligible employee, that employee must be paid a minimum of $1,500 income per fortnight, before tax is withheld.
If you want to claim the subsidy for an eligible employee and they have not been paid $1,500 per fortnight since 30 March 2020, employers must pay a ‘top-up’ payment to employees so that they are eligible. The ATO will provide further guidance on how this will work.
The employer will be reimbursed $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee.
Employers cannot pay their employees less than $1,500 per fortnight and be entitled to a payment for that employee.
WHAT IF I PAY MY EMPLOYEES MORE THAN $1,500 PER FORTNIGHT BEFORE TAX?
If the eligible employee is paid more than $1,500 a fortnight before tax, the employer will only be reimbursed $1,500 per fortnight.
AM I REQUIRED TO PAY PAYGW AND SUPERANNUATION ON THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?
You must pay a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight to your eligible employees, withholding income tax as appropriate. The $1,500 per fortnight per employee is a before tax amount. Where an employee is paid more than $1,500 per fortnight, the employer’s superannuation obligations will not change. Where an employee is having their wages topped up to $1,500 per fortnight by the JobKeeper Payment, it will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wages paid by the JobKeeper Payment.
I HIRED AN EMPLOYEE AFTER 1 MARCH 2020. CAN I RECEIVE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT FOR THEM?
No. The employee must have been engaged as of 1 March 2020.
WILL THE ATO USE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENTS TO OFFSET A BAS DEBT?
The payment will generally be paid directly to the employer and not used to offset tax liabilities, as the intent is that it is a payment that facilitates employers to pay their employees.
CAN I RECEIVE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT FOR EMPLOYEES IN RECEIPT OF WORKCOVER?
No, Employees will not be eligible for the JobKeeper scheme if they are fully incapacitated, unable to work and being supported by a workers compensation scheme.
Self-employed and other eligible businesses
I AM SELF-EMPLOYED. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE PAYMENT?
Yes. People who are self-employed will be eligible for the payment provided, at the time of applying, they:
- estimate their turnover has or will fall by 30 per cent or more;
- had an ABN on or before 12 March 2020, and – either had an amount included in its assessable income for the 2018-19 year and it was included in their income tax return lodged on or before 12 March 2020 (or such later time as allowed by the Commissioner), or – made a supply during the period 1 July 2018 to 12 March 2020 and provided this information to the Commissioner on or before 12 March 2020 (or such later time as allowed by the Commissioner);
- were actively engaged in the business;
- are not entitled to another JobKeeper Payment
MY BUSINESS IS A PARTNERSHIP. CAN EACH PARTNER RECEIVE A JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?
No. Only one partner can be nominated to receive a JobKeeper Payment along with any eligible employees, noting a partner cannot be an employee.
CAN TRUSTS RECEIVE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?
Trusts can receive JobKeeper payments for any eligible employees. Where beneficiaries of a trust only receive distributions, rather than being paid salary and wages for work done, one individual beneficiary (that is, not a corporate beneficiary) can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment.
I AM A COMPANY DIRECTOR THAT RECEIVES DIRECTOR FEES. AM I ELIGIBLE?
An eligible business can nominate only one director to receive the payment, as well as any eligible employees. Only one person in a director capacity may receive the payment and that individual may not receive the payment as an employee.
I AM SELF-EMPLOYED. HOW CAN I APPLY FOR THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?
The ATO will administer the program with an online application process. You may be asked to provide your ABN and a single Tax File Number for the eligible recipient of the JobKeeper Payment, and a declaration of business activity.
I AM AN ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE IN AN ELIGIBLE BUSINESS. HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE?
Eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight before tax. You will receive a payment from your employer.
WILL MY EMPLOYER PAY SUPERANNUATION ON THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?
No superannuation guarantee payments are required to be paid on any additional payment made because of the JobKeeper Payment.
I STARTED WORK WITH MY CURRENT EMPLOYER AFTER 1 MARCH 2020. WILL I RECEIVE THIS PAYMENT FROM THAT EMPLOYER?
No. The JobKeeper Payment supports businesses to maintain eligible employees who were in their employ on 1 March 2020. You may be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment if you are currently stood down by your 1 March 2020 employer or if you are re-hired by that employer.
I AM A CASUAL WORKER. AM I ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE PAYMENT?
You are eligible for the payment if you have been with your employer for 12 months at 1 March 2020 on a regular and systematic basis. Apart from this, casual employees are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. If you are ineligible for the JobKeeper Payment, you may be able to apply for support through Services Australia depending on your personal circumstances.
I AM WORKING IN AUSTRALIA ON A TEMPORARY VISA. AM I ELIGIBLE?
To be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, an employee must be an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder at 1 March 2020.
I AM NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT. WHAT SUPPORT CAN I GET FROM THE GOVERNMENT?
If you are not an eligible employee, you may be able to access income support through Services Australia. More information is available on the Services Australia website at servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals.
WILL THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT BE INCLUDED IN MY CHILD SUPPORT ASSESSMENT?
The JobKeeper Payment is included in adjusted taxable income. Parents should continue to report any change to their income or wages as they normally would. A key principle of the child support scheme is that children are supported by their parents in accordance with their financial capacity to do so.