The announced $130 billion JobKeeper program has left many small to medium businesses with questions regarding eligibility and how it will be implemented. Here’s what you need to know.
The JobKeeper payment is intended to provide wage subsidies to businesses that are significantly affected by COVID-19.
Am I eligible for the coronavirus wage subsidy?
Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:
- their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago;
- their business has a turnover greater than $1 billion and a turnover drop of 50 per cent or more;
- their business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy;
- the employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020;
- not-for-profit entities (including charities) and self-employed individuals that meet the turnover tests that apply for businesses are also eligible to apply.
What is an eligible employee?
Eligible employees are employees who:
- are currently employed by the eligible employer;
- were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
- are full-time, part-time or long-term casuals, a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020;
- are at least 16 years of age;
- are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder;
- are not in receipt of a JobKeeper payment from another employer.
What do I need to do to register?
- register an intention to apply on the ATO website;
- provide information to the ATO on eligible employees;
- provide monthly updates to the ATO;
- notify all eligible employees they will receive the payment.
What if I am a sole trader?
Sole traders need to:
- register their interest with the ATO;
- provide an ABN for their business;
- nominate an individual to receive the payment;
- provide the nominees’ Tax File Number;
- provide a declaration as to recent business activity;
- provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments.
How will the ATO check eligibility?
The ATO will use the Single Touch Payroll to administer the funds, requiring businesses to keep the employees employed in order to be eligible for the payment.
How will it be paid?
Eligible employers will be paid $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee.
Eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax, and employers are able to top up the payment.
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