The authorities have declared $130 billion JobKeeper Payment to assist to keep the Australians to stay in their jobs and support the businesses that got affected by crucial economic influence caused due to COVID-19.

Almost six million of the employees will get a fortnight payment of $1,500 by their employer.

The Australian government launched a new JobKeeper Program for qualifying employers on 30 March 2020 to help them retain workers during the COVID19 crisis and rapidly recover afterward. Although companies are strongly encouraged to contact their accountants to clarify their qualifications, we know this so far.

WHICH SMALL BUSINESSES QUALIFY FOR JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

The Australian businesses which are categorized as partnerships, trusts, sole traders, companies, and non-profit charities are eligible if they meet the following structure:-

  • The revenue of businesses is less than $1 billion and will be deducted more than 30% compared to a period, a year ago and any Big Bank Levy does not apply to the organization.
  • The turnover is specified for GST purposes according to the current definition and is stated in Business Activity Statements(BAS).
  • If the business did not operate a year ago, or if the turnover a year earlier was not reflective of its normal or average turnover, the Tax Commissioner shall have the power to find additional information that establishes that the business was affected adversely.
  • As of March 1, 2020, qualified workers must have been hired by them and are currently engaged.

The employees who are eligible, must online register themselves with the ATO for JobKeeper Payment on the account of nominated employees and give monthly updates to ATO.

EMPLOYEES LIABLE TO GET THE PAYMENT

  • Workers should be an Australian citizen, permanent visa holder, a special category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category, Visa Holder who has been continuously lived in Australia for 10 or more years, or a Special Category Visa Holder.
  • The allowance is valid for full-time, part-time, or long-term casual workers who are 16 years of age or older(a casual working on a daily basis for more than one year as of March 1, 2020).
  • They cannot get a JobKeeper Payment from another employee.
  • It can influence their eligibility of other Services Australia Payments since the JobKeeper Payment will be considered as income.

The businesses will be entitled to demand the JobKeeper allowance for workers who stood down after March 1, 2020. It will be required to pay a minimum of $1500 per fortnight to these employees for the payment periods of JobKeeper Payment. The first payment date occurred between 30 March 2020 and 12 April 2020.

WHEN WILL THE PAYMENT BE RECEIVED AND HOW MUCH IT WILL BE?

For a maximum of six months, JobKeeper Payment is $1500 per fortnight per employee who is eligible. The first part of the payments is expected to be made in the first week of May backdated to March 30th. When an organization fails to reach the turnover requirement at the beginning of the JobKeeper program on March 30, 2020, they will then begin to earn the JobKeeper Payment after the turnover check has been completed. In this scenario, this is not backdated to the commencement of the scheme. The businesses may get JobKeeper Payment till September 27, 2020.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM SELF-EMPLOYED?

Single traders are eligible for the payment from JobKeeper but must meet other eligibility needs. Just one working owner, spouse, shareholder, or beneficiary and any qualified workers may be named by other qualified companies. The individuals who are self-employed will be required to update the ATO monthly to confirm their continued eligibility for payments. Charge to the individual’s bank account is made monthly.

SHALL I MAKE PAYMENT OF PAYG WITHHOLDING AND SUPERANNUATION ON JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

You will pay your qualifying workers a total of $1500 per fortnight, withholding income tax where applicable. If an employee is getting paid more than $1500 per fortnight, there will be an adjustment to your superannuation obligations. If an employee earns a bonus of up to $1500 a fortnight from JobKeeper Payment, it would be up to the employer to pay the superannuation for the extra salaries earned by the JobKeeper Payment. You cannot make use of $1500 per fortnight to add to the superannuation.

STEPS TO TAKE TO GET FIRST ROUND OF PAYMENTS

To get the first round of JobKeeper Payments(due in the first week of May) ATO has advised meeting the following criteria:

  • Have paid qualifying workers for the duration between March 30 and the end of April at least $1500 per fortnight; The first two quarterly payments must be made by the end of April to earn JobKeeper Payments in the first week of May. However, you cannot pay less than $1500 per fortnight to your workers and retain the difference.
  • Compliance with the eligibility criteria set out in ATO.
  • Enrolled in the JobKeeper program at the launch of enrolments on April 20, 2020

NOTE

The time to apply for the initial JobKeeper periods has been extended from April 30, 2020, to May 31, 2020, as of April 24. If you enroll by 31 May, you will still be eligible to claim in April and May for the fortnights provided that you fulfill all the eligibility criteria for every fortnight.

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