The JobKeeper Payment

The ATO has released their guidelines for the JobKeeper Payment, a wage subsidy where eligible businesses affected by COVID-19 will be able to claim a payment of $1,500 per fortnight, per eligible employee, and/or for one eligible business participant (ie. sole trader, partner in a partnership, company director or shareholder or trust beneficiary) from 30 March 2020 until 27 September 2020.

Please note that registrations open on Monday, 20 April 2020.

Tier One – Eligible Employers and Employees

These guidelines cover information for Employers and Employees, including how Employers can register.

The registration process is as follows:

Step 1 – Register your interest and subscribe for JobKeeper payment updates.

Step 2 – Check you meet the eligible employer requirements, and your employees meet the eligibility requirements.

Step 3 – Continue to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight (the first JobKeeper fortnight is the period from 30 March 2020 to 12 April 2020). Note “When to pay my Employees” below.

Step 4 – Notify your eligible employees that you are intending to claim the JobKeeper payment on their behalf, and check they aren’t claiming JobKeeper payment through another employer or have nominated through another business.

Step 5 – Send the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to your nominated employees to complete and return to you by the end of April if you plan to claim JobKeeper payment for April. Keep it on file and provide a copy to us.

Step 6 – From 20 April 2020, you can enrol with the ATO for the JobKeeper payment using the Business Portal and authenticate with myGovID, or obtain assistance from your tax agent. You must do this by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for April.

Step 7 – In the online form, provide your bank details and indicate if you are claiming an entitlement based on business participation, for example, if you are a sole trader.

Step 8 – Specify the estimated number of employees who will be eligible for the first JobKeeper fortnight (30 March – 12 April) and the second JobKeeper fortnight (13 April – 26 April).

When to pay my Employees

You need to re-start or continue to pay your eligible employees at least $1,500 a fortnight in line with your existing pay cycle through your existing payroll solution.

You should pay your employees for each JobKeeper fortnight you plan to claim for. The first fortnight is from 30 March – 12 April and each JobKeeper fortnight follows after that.

For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), the ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight that has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by you by the end of April. This means that you can make two fortnightly payments of at least $1,500 per fortnight before the end of April, or a combined payment of at least $3,000 before the end of April.

If you usually pay your employees less frequently than fortnightly, the payment can be allocated between fortnights in a reasonable manner. For example, if you pay your employees on a monthly pay cycle, your employees must have received the monthly equivalent of $1,500 per fortnight.

Click here for the ATO website guidelines for Employers.

Should you require assistance with the registration process please contact us.

Tier Two – Eligible Business Participants

These guidelines have also been released for one eligible business participant through sole trader, partnership, company or trust structures.

Sole traders and some other entities (such as partnerships, trusts or companies) may be entitled to the JobKeeper Payment scheme under the business participation entitlement.

Your entity may be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment scheme if you:

A limit applies of one $1,500 JobKeeper payment per fortnight for the eligible business participant. If your entity also has employees, you may also be able to claim additional JobKeeper payments of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee as above.

The entity, not the eligible business participant, receives the JobKeeper payment. The exception is a sole trader, who is both the business entity and an eligible business participant, and so receives the JobKeeper payment themselves.

Click here for the ATO Guidelines for Sole Traders and other entities.