The JobKeeper Payment is a payment made to eligible businesses and not-for-profits affected by the Coronavirus to support them in retaining employees. What are these changes and how do they affect you as an employee?

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.

WHEN WILL THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT COMMENCE?

The JobKeeper Payment will be available from 30 March 2020.

HOW LONG WILL THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT LAST FOR?

The JobKeeper Payment will be available for the period until 27 September 2020.

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% 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 (either a nominated business participant of another business or as an eligible employee);
  • were aged at least 16 years of age as at 1 March 2020; and
  • were an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder (New Zealand citizen) at 1 March 2020.

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 PAID AS A SHAREHOLDER. AM I ELIGIBLE?

An eligible business that pays shareholders that provide labour in the form of dividends will only be able to nominate one shareholder to receive the JobKeeper Payment.

I RECEIVE RENTAL INCOME AS A LANDLORD BUT AM NOT REGISTERED AS A BUSINESS. AM I ELIGIBLE?

No. Only businesses with employees or self-employed people are eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

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 SELF-EMPLOYED AND ALSO HAVE A JOB. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

An individual can only receive JobKeeper Payments from one source. However, if you are eligible for a JobKeeper Payment, you can also receive income from other sources including another job.

OTHER PROGRAMS

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.

MY BUSINESS RECEIVED A WAGE SUBSIDY THROUGH AN EMPLOYMENT SERVICES PROVIDER. ARE WE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

There have been no changes to wage subsidies administered by employment services providers. The Government’s announcement of the JobKeeper Payment is intended to encourage employers, who might make staff redundant due to the Coronavirus outbreak, to retain or rehire their employees. This measure is a temporary measure, accessed through the Australian Taxation Office.

Where an employer received a wage subsidy when they engaged an employee, they can still access the JobKeeper Payment if all other eligibility criteria for this payment are met.

CAN EMPLOYERS RECEIVE BOTH THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT AND THE SUPPORTING APPRENTICES AND TRAINEES WAGE SUBSIDY?

Eligible small businesses can receive the 50% wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees in the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees measure from 1 January to 31 March 2020, and the JobKeeper Payment. Where small businesses receive the JobKeeper Payment, they are not eligible to receive the apprentice and trainee wage subsidy from 1 April 2020 onwards.

Further information on the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees measure is available on the Treasury website at treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses.

With the relief currently on offer to small businesses engineered on tax credits, provided directly by the ATO, employers should stay on top of their tax and payroll obligations in order to gain the maximum available entitlements. The accounting professionals at ITP are well versed with these changes to the tax system and will help you implement the actions needed to take advantages of these measures.

Our consultants are working hard to stay safe and keep our clients safe.  If you need to talk to your tax agent, need advice or are unsure of your next steps and are uncomfortable with a face-to-face meeting, your consultant is available over the phone or via email.

Call 1800 367 487, or book online at www.itp.com.au and your tax agent will be in touch to help.

*Source https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus