On 21 July 2020, The Government announced that it would extend its Jobkeeper Scheme for a further 6 months up until 28 March 2021. The extension is aimed at those businesses that have been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus and is broken down into 2 extension periods.
Who is eligible?
Businesses and not-for-profits that have experienced a decline in turnover of:
– 50% for those with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion;
– 30% for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less; or
– 15% for Australian Charities and not-for-profits commission registered charities (excluding schools and universities)
Do I need to retest my eligibility?
Yes. If you are currently claiming the Jobkeeper payments or if you are new to the program, you will need to retest your eligibility for both the September Quarter (extension period 1) and then again for the December 2020 Quarter (extension period 2).
How do I test my eligibility?
Extension Period 1 – this period applies to fortnights from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021. In order to satisfy this test, your Actual GST Turnover will need to have met the relevant decline percentage per above for the quarter ending 30 September 2020 relative to its September Quarter 2019.
Extension Period 2 – this period applies to fortnights from 4 January 2020 to 28 March 2021. In order to satisfy this test, your Actual GST Turnover will need to have met the relevant decline percentage per above for the quarter ending 31 December 2020 relative to its December Quarter 2019.
The additional tests must be satisfied separately for each period. These are separate tests and you are eligible for the 3 months if you pass either test or 6 months if you pass both. E.g., you may fail the September Quarter but then pass the December Quarter and still be eligible for the extension period 2 payments for 3 months.
What happens if I don’t have a relative reference period?
If you were not operating your business in the same quarter as last year or there was a significant change due to a change in business or one-off payments that are outside of your normal business operations, you may be able to apply an alternative test. We recommend speaking to your Accountant to assist with applying these tests if you think that you may be eligible.
Have the payment rates changed?
Yes, there are new rates depending on the extension period satisfied.
Extension Period 1 – the jobkeeper payment rates will be:
- $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who were working the business for 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and for eligible business participants who were actively working in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average; and
- $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants
Extension Period 2 – the jobkeeper payment rates will be:
- $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who were working the business for 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020 (reference periods), and for eligible business participants who were actively working in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average; and
- $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.
You will need to nominate the correct payment rate per eligible employee upon satisfying the test.
The commissioner has the discretion to apply an alternative reference period where the above reference periods are not a true representation of the employees work. E.g. the employee was on leave etc
Do I need to notify anyone of the rates my employees are claiming?
Yes, you will need to notify both the commissioner and your employees.
From 28 September 2020 you will need to notify the commissioner which rate you will be claiming for each eligible employee and business participant. You will only be required to do this once.
You will also need to notify your employees in writing within seven days of notifying the commissioner, which rate they will receive.
What should I do next?
- If you are currently claiming Jobkeeper payments, then you are already enrolled and you are not required to do anything until after 28 September 2020. Once the September 2020 Quarter has finished, you will be able to retest your eligibility, nominate the rate that your employees will claim and notify the commissioner and your employees of the rate.
- If Hinterland Accounting Services is currently lodging your monthly declarations then we will retest your eligibility after 30 September, when we lodge your September monthly declaration. We will then notify you of whether you satisfy the test and request further information if required.
- If you currently have not registered or claimed Jobkeeper payments and you think that your GST Turnover for the September Quarter will meet the relevant percentage decreases per above, then please email [email protected] with details of your ABN, eligible employees and estimated turnover for the quarter. We will then contact you to determine whether we require anything further to test your eligibility.