The ATO is working around the clock to implement systems to accommodate the new JobKeeper Payment Scheme.  Here’s a summary of what we know so far:

    • Businesses will be eligible to participate in the JobKeeper scheme if their GST turnover declines by 30% or more (for most businesses) –  there are specific tests and time frames that need to be satisfied.
    • Employers cannot select which eligible employees will participate in the scheme – this is a “one in, all in” rule.
    • The JobKeeper payments will be made for up to 13 fortnights effective from 30 March 2020 to 27 September 2020.
    • Employers can enrol for the JobKeeper Payment Scheme with the ATO from 20 April 2020 onwards through ATO online services or their registered tax agent. You must do this by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for April 2020.
    • Employers must pay their employees at least $1,500 (before tax) each fortnight from 30 March 2020 onwards (N.B. As a transitional measure, the ATO will accept an Employer making catch up payments to employees for the first 2 fortnights only, provided they are paid prior to 30 April 2020).
    • To make the initial claim, employers must apply to the ATO from 4 May 2020 via ATO online services or via your registered tax agent (using pre-filled data from STP reporting).
    • Employers  must notify eligible employees within 7 days of this application being made. The ATO will provide confirmation once this information has been received.
    • Once a business is eligible for JobKeeper payments (i.e. the decline in turnover test is passed) there is no requirement to re-test in later months – this is a “once you’re in, you’re in” rule.
    • On a monthly basis, businesses will still need to provide relevant information to the ATO regarding their GST turnover (for information purposes only) and eligible employee information via a monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.  This report must be lodged with the ATO within 7 days of the end of the reporting month.
    • Where the JobKeeper payment is in excess of the regular salary and wages payments for each individual employee, the excess amount will not be subject to superannuation. Separate legislation is still to be enacted in this regard. Payroll setups will need to reflect the superannuation requirements.
    • A JobKeeper payment is also available to an owner of an entity (who is not an employee) that qualifies for the JobKeeper Payment Scheme e.g. sole trader, partnership, trust or company.  It is important to note that only one owner per each entity is eligible.

This information is of a general nature only and we recommend that you discuss your specific circumstances with your Cooper Reeves Advisor to determine eligibility.

More detailed information is available on the ATO website.