We have been receiving many queries regarding the extension to the Jobkeeper system and while, unfortunately, we still do not have all of the guidance needed from the ATO (for example, the specifics of the revamped alternative test are yet to be clarified) we would like to outline below what we do know, so far.
Whether you are a business owner, employer, employee or simply an interested observer please see below some preliminary information regarding JobKeeper 2.x (currently 2.1). Equally this applies whether you are currently enrolled in Jobkeeper or not.
Jobkeeper has been extended for two additional periods (at a reduced rate and also subject to a tier system based on the number of hours worked by the employee or business participant):
28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 and;
4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.
For now, we will only address the first extension period as its anyone’s guess as to what changes may be rolled out by the end of this calendar year.
Eligiblity – Basic Test
In simple terms, you need to compare your actual September quarter turnover (calculated using the same method as your BAS is prepared, cash or accruals) for the 2020 year to the same quarter in the 2019 year. If you are not a “large business or enterprise” and your turnover has declined by more than 30% (or 15% for eligible charities) then you are likely to qualify for Jobkeeper 2.x. This applies whether or not you are currently enrolled in the Jobkeeper system. If you are unsure of how this applies to you, please contact us.
As noted above, there will still be an alternative test, however we are awaiting further information regarding this from the ATO.
Key Dates (if eligible for JobKeeper 2.x)
Prior to 31/10/20, submit details of actual turnover for the September quarter to the ATO, confirming you have met the required decline %. This will notify the ATO of your intention to continue / commence Jobkeeper enrolment.
Prior to 31/10/20, ensure any Jobkeeper top up payments have been made for the fortnights commencing 28/9 and 12/10.
Between 1/11/20 and 14/11/20, submit the monthly declaration for October including details of which Tier is applicable to each employee / business participant (see below for further details of the 2 tiers)
Within 7 days of submitting the October declaration, notify each employee of which Tier they are eligible for.
NB: If you are a new participant in Jobkeeper, there are additional steps to be completed including assessing eligibility of all staff / business participants, completing nomination forms and requisite paperwork. Please contact us for more information regarding employee eligibility requirements or checkout the ATO guide to Employee Eligibility
Tier 1 or Tier 2 ?
Employees / Business Participants will be classified as Tier 1 or Tier 2 based on the hours worked in February 2020. If the hours worked in February were irregular, there are alternative calculation methods which we can discuss with you.
Tier 1: 40 hours or more per fortnight
Tier 2: less than 40 hours per fortnight
Jobkeeper 2.x Payment Amounts (extension 1 to 3 January 2021)
Tier 1: the payment rate will be $1,200 per fortnight
Tier 2: the payment rate will be $750 per fortnight
If you have any queries regarding Jobkeeper 2.x, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
You might also find the below schedules published by the Tax Institute of Australia helpful.