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On 21 July the government announced proposed changes to the JobKeeper program. These changes don’t affect Jobkeeper payments until after 28 September 2020.

COVID-19 support – JobKeeper payment

Started ‎3 April 2020 by
Modified 2 weeks ago by

On 21 July the government announced proposed changes to the JobKeeper program. These proposed changes won’t impact Jobkeeper payments until after 28 September 2020.

 

The JobKeeper Payment scheme has been introduced to help keep people in jobs by providing wage subsidies to businesses that are significantly affected by COVID-19.

Our JobKeeper guides provide step-by-step information on how to enrol and meet your monthly reporting obligations.

If you have questions about workplace entitlements and obligations or if you’re concerned that someone is doing the wrong thing in relation to JobKeeper, visit Keeping JobKeeper payment fair.


Businesses/Employers

When will my business receive the payment?

On average most payments issue within five business days from when you submit your application form (when you identify and maintain your employees). However, it may take longer if there are additional checks required or any errors made on your form.

If you’re concerned about paying wages while you wait for JobKeeper, we recommend that you talk to your bank as soon as possible.

When is the monthly declaration due each month?

You’ll need to complete the declaration by the 14th of each month to get reimbursed for payments you made in the previous month.

Do I need to include JobKeeper payments in my GST turnover?

No. Payments for no supply (like JobKeeper payments) are specifically excluded from turnover calculations.

Do I include JobKeeper payments on my activity statement?

No. However, if you’re registered for PAYG Withholding then you would still report total salary/wages and withheld amounts as usual on your activity statement.

What if my turnover hasn't decreased yet but I think it will?

You will need to wait until you satisfy the fall in turnover test for the current month or quarter before you enrol. 

See this thread: JobKeeper enrolment cut off date

When and how much do I pay employees?

You need to pay your eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 (gross salary inclusive of PAYG withholding) before the end of each JobKeeper fortnight.

This is a before tax amount so you'll need to withhold tax along with any other payments each fortnight. You'll also need to continue paying super for the hours that your employees work.

See How much to pay if your eligible employee normally earns less or more than $1,500 a fortnight.

What if I pay my employees and find out they aren't eligible?

Eligibility for JobKeeper payments is a self-assessment process so it’s your responsibility to check with your employees that they meet the eligibility requirements before you pay them. If you pay them and we later determine that your entity wasn’t entitled to that payment, your entity will need to repay the overpaid amount. If you think you have incorrectly received a payment, you can phone us to check.

Is it compulsory to enrol for JobKeeper and can I choose which employees I nominate?

It’s not compulsory for employers to participate however if you decide to enrol, you need to nominate all eligible employees, you can’t pick and choose. See this thread: One in all in - can employers choose who they claim JobKeeper for?

Can an employee opt in and out of JobKeeper?

No. An eligible employee who has provided their employer with a valid nomination form cannot opt in and out of JobKeeper on a fortnightly basis.

See this thread: Employee refuses to sign JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice

Sole traders, partners, trust beneficiaries, shareholders and directors

What if I have another job?

As an eligible business participant, you can’t be an employee (other than a casual employee) of another entity.

If you’re an eligible sole trader and also a long-term casual employee of another business, you can choose to either let your employer claim the JobKeeper payments on your behalf, or you can claim as a sole trader, but not both.

See this thread if you have gotten another job after 1 March 2020: JobKeeper and a New Job 

See this thread if you’re a sole trader with permanent employment elsewhere but you still want to nominate your eligible employees: JobKeeper for employee of sole trader but not sole trader


How do I calculate turnover if I’m not registered for GST?

You don’t need to be registered for GST to be eligible for JobKeeper. However, you need to have had an ABN on 12 March 2020 and an amount of assessable income related to your business in your 2018–19 income tax return.

What if I haven’t lodged my 2018/2019 tax return by 12 March 2020?

We can give you further time to lodge if you:

  • did not have a requirement to lodge your 2018-2019 return until after 12 March 2020. For example, your business is part of a registered agent’s lodgement program.
  • have deferred your lodgment under an extension of lodgment date we initiated.

Do I need a myGovID to enrol?

No, sole traders can apply for JobKeeper payments through myGov.

How do I report JobKeeper on my business tax return?

Sole traders who received JobKeeper payments on behalf of their business will need to include the payments as assessable income for the business in their tax return.

Employees/individuals

How do I apply for JobKeeper?

If your employer chooses to apply for the JobKeeper payment, they need to notify each eligible employee that they intend to nominate.

If you meet the eligibility requirements and agree to be nominated, you need to complete a JobKeeper employee nomination notice and return it to your employer. Once you have done this, you cannot change the employer who is claiming JobKeeper payments for you.

You can also refuse to participate if you choose.

How will my tax and super be affected by JobKeeper?

The JobKeeper payments you receive through your employer are considered taxable income and will appear on your tax return as regular wages. Your employer will have already withheld tax before they paid you each fortnight.

Employers can choose whether they pay super on additional payments made to employees as a result of JobKeeper. See Superannuation guarantee

Can I still access my super early while receiving JobKeeper?

Yes. To check if you’re eligible, see early release of your super due to COVID-19.

What if I’m on paid or un-paid leave, am I still eligible for the payment?

Yes, unless you are in receipt of any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight:

  • government parental leave or Dad and partner pay
  • a payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work.

The JobKeeper payment is a wage subsidy for your employer so if your employer is paying you an annual leave payment, the $1,500 will subsidise part or all of this amount – it’s not an additional amount.

What if I have multiple jobs?

You can only receive the payment from one employer. Here are some different scenarios:

  1. Long-term casual and permanent job: In this situation, you can’t be nominated by your casual employer, you must choose your permanent employer. If you’re permanent employer isn’t eligible to claim the payment, you won’t be eligible either.
  2. Fixed-term contract and long-term casual: if you're a fixed term contractor at 1 March and also a long-term casual, you can only choose to nominate through your fixed-term contract employer, not your casual employer. If the fixed-term contract is renewed before 27 September 2020, you will continue to be eligible for JobKeeper Payment under that employer. If you fixed-term contract isn’t renewed before 27 September 2020, you will likely cease being eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.
  3. Two long-term casual jobs or two permanent jobs: If you receive nominations from both employers, you can choose the one you want to get the payment from.
  4. Long-term casual who gets an additional permanent part-time job after 1 March 2020: If you were a long-term casual on 1 March 2020 and you later get an additional permanent job, you can still claim JobKeeper through your casual employer. You’re allowed to earn additional income while you are on JobKeeper as long as you maintain your employment relationship with your JobKeeper-eligible employer.

You can earn additional income without your JobKeeper payments being affected as long as you maintain your employment (including being stood down) with your JobKeeper-eligible employer.

What if I have been made redundant by my employer?

If you were made redundant after 1 March 2020, your employer may choose to re-engage you and claim JobKeeper on your behalf if you both meet the eligibility criteria. You will only be paid JobKeeper payment from the fortnight you were re-engaged.

What if I signed my contract before 1 March but didn't start work until after 1 March?

When an employment relationship commences is a question of fact. The test is whether a person was an employee of the employer on 1 March 2020. If the employment contract contained a specific date that the employment was to commence, the Commissioner would accept that date.

See this thread: Evidence of 12 months casual employment 

I’ve applied for the JobSeeker Payment as well, can I claim both?

If you’re receiving or have applied for an income support payment like JobSeeker Payment and your employer starts paying you JobKeeper payment, you must report that income to Services Australia. If you don’t, they will pay you too much and you’ll have a debt to pay back. If you start to get JobKeeper payment you may need to cancel your JobSeeker Payment to avoid getting a debt.

Can't find the answer to your question here?

You can ask the Community or read more information at ato.gov.au/jobkeeper

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