The JobKeeper payments wage subsidy scheme was introduced to ensure businesses struggling due to the health and economic challenges created
by the COVID-19 pandemic, are better equipped to retain employees if still operating, or to stay connected to employees if their business
On 8 April 2020, the Federal Government passed the Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus (Measures No 2) Bill 2020 (the Bill),
which will take effect on the day after the Bill receives Royal Assent.
Australian Taxation office has released some guidance on the JobKeeper payment and have advised there will be more information to
follow. Based on the information available, we have provided a guide based on our understanding as to how employers can apply for the
JobKeeper payment, showing the obligations that need to be met and what they can expect through this process.
1. Register interest
Employers are required to register interest in the JobKeeper payment on the ATO website.
Please register your interest through https://www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment/ to
obtain more information from tax office (also see item 5 for how to enrol for JobKeeper).
2. Check employer eligibility criteria
Employers (including not-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:
On 1 March 2020, the employer carried on a business in Australia or were a not-for-profit organisation that pursued their objectives
principally in Australia
- At least one eligible employee was employed on 1 March 2020
Eligible employees are currently employed by the business for the fortnights claimed for (including those who are stood down or re-hired)
- 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1billion or less)*
- 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1billion)*
- 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools)*
An employer is not eligible for the JobKeeper payment if:
- The Major Bank Levy was imposed on the entity or a member of its consolidated group for any quarter before 1 March 2020
- The entity is an Australian government agency (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997)
- The entity is a local governing body
- The entity is a sovereign entity
- The entity is a company in liquidation
- The entity is an individual who has entered bankruptcy
* Calculating Fall in Turnover
Employers can compare either of the following in order to calculate a fall in turnover:
- GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019
- Projected GST turnover for April 2020 with actual GST turnover for April 2019
- Projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with actual GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2019
Information on Calculating a Fall in Turnover:
- An employer’s monthly/quarterly BAS statements are the easiest ways to predict fallen turnovers.
In cases where previous year's turnover cannot be reliably used, the Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional
information that the business can provide
- e.g. Large interim acquisition/newly established business/turnovers can be highly variable.
The requirement for determining a fall in turnover only needs to be satisfied once, employers will not need to retest for a drop in turnover
each month and will stay eligible for the entirety of the scheme.
- The employer will be subject to ongoing monthly reporting requirements.
Calculating turnover is based on GST turnover with some adjustments
- disregarding GST grouping (two or more associated business entities operate as a single GST group).
3. Check employee eligibility
An eligible employee is an employee who meets all the following criteria:
A full time, part time or permanent casual (regular and systematic basis over a 12-month period) employed as at 1 March 2020, and remains
employed by an eligible employer
- Was aged 16 years or older as 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
- Is not in receipt of a JobKeeper payment from another employer
Eligible employees also include:
- Employees who are retained
- Employees stood down without pay after 1 March 2020 but remain employed
- Employees let go after 1 March 2020 and re-hired
An ineligible employee includes:
- An employee who receives parental leave pay under the Paid Parental Act 2010
- An employee who has no capacity for work and is receiving workers’ compensation payments
- A casual employee with less than 12 months continual service
After Ensuring Employee Eligibility
Employees can only choose one employer from whom to receive JobKeeper. If they are a long-term casual but also have a permanent employer,
the permanent employer must be chosen.
Employees must contact Services Australia if they are receiving, or in
the process of receiving an income support payment (e.g. JobSeeker payment).
The employee is obligated to let Services Australia know that their employer has applied for the JobKeeper payment on their behalf.
If the employee does not report the income or cancel their JobSeeker payment, they may incur a debt that they will be required to pay
4. Pay employees
Eligible Employers are required to pay $1,500 before tax each fortnight to each eligible employee (starting with the
fortnight 30 March – 12 April and ending with the fortnight 14 September - 27 September 2020) to claim the JobKeeper payment for that
The $1,500 payment amount can consist of the following:
- Salary, wages, commissions, bonuses, allowances paid in the fortnight
- Amounts withheld in respect of those payments made
- Salary sacrifice superannuation amounts
- Other amounts applied in fortnight by agreement (e.g. fringe benefits)
- An employer cannot pay their employees less than $1,500 per fortnight and be entitled to a payment for that employee.
- An employer who is paying an eligible employee in excess of $1,500 per fortnight, will only be reimbursed for $1,500 per fortnight.
- All JobKeeper payments will be classified as assessable income of the business that is eligible to receive the payments.
Normal deductibility rules will apply in respect of the amounts a business pays to its employees where those amounts are subsidised by the
- The JobKeeper payment is not subject to GST.
- Superannuation remains payable for wages paid with respect to hours worked or paid leave taken.
5. Notify employees
- Notify eligible employees that you are intending to claim the JobKeeper payment on their behalf.
- Ensure employee is not claiming JobKeeper payment from another employer.
Provide Jobkeeper Employee
for employees to complete.
This notice must be completed and returned to the employer before the end of April if the employer plans to claim JobKeeper payment for
- Keep notice on file and provide a copy to tax agent, normal rules apply and notice should be kept for a period of 5 years.
6. Registering the entity
Registering Entity in April (from 20 April 2020 onwards)
- Register your interest on the ATO website.
- Check employees meet eligibility requirements and notify of intention to claim JobKeeper payments.
- Send nomination notice to employees and receive back before end of month, keep notice on file and provide copy to tax agent.
- From 20 April 2020, enrol with the ATO using the Business Portal before the end of month.
- In the online form provided, complete details and provide bank details.
- Estimate the number of employees eligible for the first and second JobKeeper fortnight.
- Employers have until 30 April 2020 to pay employees for the first two fortnights.
Confirming Eligible Employees for April (from 4 May 2020 onwards)
- Log onto ATO portal and apply to claim JobKeeper payment
- Ensure wage payment conditions are met
- Identify eligible employees in the application form
- If using Single Touch Payroll (STP), use pay reports to provide details, or manually enter if not utilising STP.
- Submit the confirmation of eligible employees online.
- Notify employees you have nominated them for JobKeeper payments.
- The ATO will pay employers after the application is received.
- Reconfirm each month that the eligible employees have not changed.
- If eligible employees change or leave employment, you will need to notify the ATO through the monthly JobKeeper declaration report
Self-employed & other eligible businesses
Self-employed people will be eligible for the payment provided if they meet the employers eligibility criteria listed above
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 (either a nominated business participant of another business or as an eligible employee)
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.
Related integrity matters for other eligible businesses
Only one partner can be nominated to receive JobKeeper payment, along with any eligible employees
Partners cannot be employees
Receive JobKeeper payment for any eligible employees.
One adult individual beneficiary is eligible to receive JobKeeper payments if they normally receive distributions only
Company directors can nominate one adult director to receive payments, if normally they receive directors’ fees
Director cannot also receive payment as an employee
Businesses which pay individual shareholders that provide labour in the form of dividends will only be able to nominate one adult
shareholder to receive payment
Ashfords is here to help
The JobKeeper package provides a welcome benefit to Australian businesses and has been put in place to ensure as many businesses and their
employees will be able to ride out these difficult times.
These are unprecedented times for everyone and as more information is being introduced each day, we will endeavour to provide any updated
information as it becomes available.
Please contact Ashfords for help with determining your eligibility
for this subsidy and the application process.
For more information regarding JobKeeper, please visit https://www.ato.gov.au/general/JobKeeper-Payment/
Disclaimer: This article has been produced by Ashfords Accountants & Advisory Pty Ltd and has been prepared for informational and
discussion purposes only. The information provided in this document is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into
account your objectives, circumstances, financial situation. This article does not constitute personal advice. Information contained
within this article is based on the relevant law and its interpretations by relevant authorities as it stands at the time the information
is provided. Any changes or modifications to the law and/or its interpretations after this time could affect the information we have