Worried you’re missing part of your refund? Remember, the low and middle income tax offset isn’t a refund on its own – it’s used to offset (or reduce) the amount of tax you pay. The offset amount you may be entitled to is automatically applied and could range between $255-$1080, depending on things like your taxable income and how much tax you’ve paid.
Still not sure? Ask the Community

ATO Community

Job Keeper - Sole Trader - Response from ATO saying ineligible


Replies 0

Here’s hoping!


Replies 0

How could we provide the documents? Use the objection form? Thanks

Community Manager

Replies 7

Hi @vasi77, @lelelele99, @DeeDee13, @dgh and @Timeout 


Emails have been sent to employers or eligible business participants about their eligibility for Jobkeeper. The intent of these emails is to protect the integrity of the scheme and take action against those who are fraudulently taking advantage of the payment. If you’re doing the right thing and have applied for the payment after carefully assessing you’re eligibility we will work with you to ensure we have the right documentation to support your claim.


If you have received an email advising you that you aren’t eligible for the JobKeeper payment as you

  • didn’t register for an ABN on or before 12 March 2020, or
  • registered for an ABN on or before 12 March 2020 but applied a start date for your ABN after 12 March 2020

You need to contact us within 7 days to discuss your eligibility.


 @vasi77  As a sole trader who commenced business in January 2020 you may still be eligible provided you can demonstrate the decline in turnover as per the relevant Alternative test. Sole traders, like business, are eligible to use the alternative turnover test to determine their eligibility for the payment. If eligible, they’re also entitled to apply for the Commissioner’s discretion.


 @DeeDee13  you don’t need to be registered for GST to be eligible for Jobkeeper. As @dgh points out, this information is quite clear on the website. An email was recently sent to new businesses who registered between 1 July 2019 and 31 December 2019 and hadn’t registered for GST. If this was you, you need to contact us as per the instructions in the email to answer two questions about your business activities, so we can determine your eligibility for JobKeeper payments.


We apologise if you have been given incorrect information however, we can confirm that the information on the website is correct.

If you have provided all the relevant information and disagree with the outcome you can lodge an objection against the decision where you’ll be required to provide additional information. It’s important to note that if your review is not yet completed, you will need to wait for the outcome before you can appeal the decision.


Replies 0

So what do you now suggest I do? If the information given to me was incorrect, who do I need to speak to in regards to this...


Replies 0

thanks for your reply. The ATO staff said will review my application and asked me to wait the officer reply. So I don’t need to submit the objection form now. Is that right? How long should I wait for reply?


Replies 0



I'm on the same boat. I stopped using my ABN in June 2018 to work full-time until I re started my sole trader activity with the same ABN in January 2020. I applied the alternative test against my revenue during the first quater 2020 and dropped around 70% and 41% in April and May respectively. I received the same email like you all, I called the ATO and the person I spoke to told me not to send an objection as 'it would be seen as suspicius"! I have done everything right and I have nothing to hide but still don't find a solution.


Not sure what to do.



Replies 1

So an update from me.  I have been told the following:


- As I was not trading before Dec 31 2019 I do not qualify for the basic test - fair enough.

- I also do not qualify for the Alternative Test despite commencing operations in mid February (and can provide evidence in regards to the reduction in income) as I was not supplying monthly BAS statements (I am not registered for GST).




Replies 0


I read on the second one - we don't need to do monthly returns unless we have a turnover of over $20million annually. So possibly they are for large companies only.


Replies 0

Hi @NateATO 


I have provided all the information including invoices and bank statements and they have advised that since I began my business in January 2020, I am not eligible for the jobkeeper payment although there is a large decrease in my turnover, as I need to show my business activity for last year to prove.


Also, when asked about the alternative test- they advised that it applies only to other new businesses with employees and not sole traders who commenced in January 2020 with no employees. 


The information being provided is still vague.




Replies 0

Good to have a response NATE but when you say 

"You need to contact us within 7 days to discuss your eligibility" who and how do we contact you as the call centre staff cannot answer the question of eligibility and their only solution was to lodge an objection which (as above) may not get a resolution any time soon.


Putting the work back on us is not right when so many sale trader businesses that started in 2020 have clearly been incorrectly reviewed/assessed and then given the wrong information. Surely you can fix your own mess and just reverse the incorrect assessments ?!