Our ATO Community is here to help make tax and super easier. Ask questions, share your knowledge and discuss your experiences with us and our Community.
I am having trouble enrolling a sole trader in respect of the jobkeeper subsidy for one eligible employee, where the sole trader is not eligible as an eligible business participant due to being a permanent employee of another entity. After completing the eligibilty questions and number of eligible employees as 1, it then asks are you "Are you enrolling as a sole trader?". If you select "Yes", one of the criteria you must satisfy is "you are not an employee (other than a casual employee) of another entity". Given the sole trader is a permanent employee of another entity he must select "No" to the question "Do you meet all of the following". This then brings up "You are not eligible for JobKeeper", and you cannot proceed to register for jobkeeper for your employee. Alternatively if you select "No" to the question "Are you enrolling as a sole trader", it also says you are not eligible and you cannot enrol in respect of the employee.
Am I missing something, or is this an error with the enrolment system? Any help appreciated. Thanks.
Hi all, we have received some technical advice on this.
Yes, as long as the sole trader entity meets the employer eligibility criteria and turnover test, they can nominate their eligible employees. Currently the form doesn’t allow this however it is a known issue and we have extended the enrolment deadline to 31 May. Just ensure you have paid your eligible employees the minimum $1,500 per fortnight before tax, for the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by 8 May 2020.
Excellent question. We are still fine-tuning these processes, so things can get quite confusing.
With regards to the question "Are you enrolling as a sole trader?", if the applicant is a sole-trader but not eligible to receive payments personally for JobKeeper, they should say "No". Although they are technically a sole-trader, they aren't enrolling themselves for payments, but rather they are registering as an employer on behalf of the staff they listed in the previous steps.
A sole-trader can play two roles in the context of JobKeeper - an employer (payments for staff), and an eligible business participant (payments for them). This part of the process is to give sole-traders an opportunity to apply for themselves personally, as an eligible sole-trader.
More info can be found in these step-by-step guides
Hope this answers your question.
Hi @JoshH ,
Thankyou for your reply. If I enter 1 employee and then enter "no" to the question "Are you enrolling as a sole trader?", it tells me I am not eligible for jobkeeper, and then cannot proceed any further to enrol for jobkeeper on behalf of the staff only. There seems to be no way the system will let me enrol for the staff member without enrolling for the sole trader also.
I noticed another ATO Community member @gtho4 is having exactly the same issue in a post called "Jobkeeper for employee of sole trader".
Any help to resolve this issue is much appreciated.
Kind Regards, Mike.
I am also having this issue. It does not seem right that the employees miss out because the sole trader is not an eligible business participant due to another job. Is this just an issue that needs ironing out or are they all ineligible? ATO please help! We have to finalise payment to the employees before the end of the month and this does not leave much time....
I have reported the ATO answer as inappropriate, given it doesn't answer the question, provides instructions that don't work, and doesn't even acknowledge there is an issue with the system. Hopefully the will fix it very soon! Even acknowledgement that it is an issue they are working on would be nice. This would make a sole trader very anxious topping up the pay for an employee (trusting they will be reimbursed by the ATO) when they can't even enrol in the system. PLEASE HELP ATO!!!
I just got of ths phone with the ATO. She said that if you are not an eligible participant, then you are not an eligible employer. She said the enrolment form is not broken.
This is not good news for the employees.
I beleive the advice at the beginning of this feed is incorrect.
Hi @Lois ,
It sounds like the person you spoke to on the phone at the ATO didn't really know what they were talking about. There is nothing in the rules that says this. They are still an eligible employer if you looks at the rules for what an eligible employer is. See rules below:
Employers are eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all of the following apply:
There is absolutely nothing there that says if you operate as a sole trader and have a permenent job elsewhere, you are not an eligible employer.
So what the ATO person was saying is if I run a cafe as a sole trader with 10 employees, none of the 10 employees are eligible for jobkeeper just because I don't work in the cafe actively myself and have a part-time job elsewhere - this makes absolutely no sense!
On ATO website look up "Sole trader and other entities". Then scroll down to "eligibility". It clearly says you must be both an eligible employer and an eligible business partcipant".
I know this is not fair, but it does say it.
The way I read that section on the ATO website is that it clearly only relates to the sole trader's entitlement as an eligible business participant, not as an eligible employer.