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JobKeeper Payment Enrolment Extension & Latest Announcements

The ATO has now extended the time given to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from the original date of 30 April 2020, until 31 May 2020.

 

If eligible businesses enrol by 31 May 2020, they will still be able to claim for the four fortnights in April and May, provided the business meets all of the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights.  This includes having paid eligible employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.

 

For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), the ATO will accept that eligible businesses will now have until 8 May 2020 to pay the minimum payment of $3,000 gross wages.

 

However, eligible businesses can enrol and claim for JobKeeper earlier if they choose.


Latest Announcements and More to Come

The Government has identified a number of special circumstances where the JobKeeper Payment rules currently may not provide definitive guidance, and they announced that further guidance will be released on the following topics (hopefully shortly), including:

  • Service entity eligibility testing to be expanded:  A further "alternate decline in turnover test" will be released to assess whether special purpose service entities are eligible, as they currently may not meet the "basic decline in turnover test".  These service entities generally provide employee labour to other members of a corporate group.  This further test has not yet been drafted; however the initial Treasurer's announcement refers to assessment of the "combined GST turnovers of the related entities using the services of the employer entity".
  • Charities and the treatment of government revenue:  This further guidance is expected to allow charities (other than schools and universities) to elect to either include or exclude government revenue from the JobKeeper turnover test.
  • Religious practitioners:  Proposed changes may now deem religious practitioners (with the exception of those that are students only) to be "eligible employees" of the religious organisations to which they are affiliated. 
  • 'One in, all in' principle:  This concept has been reaffirmed and will likely be included in the proposed clarifications.  Simply, employers are not allowed to pick and choose who they nominate as eligible employees for JobKeeper purposes.
  • Full time students aged 16 and 17 years old:  The JobKeeper eligible employee criteria should now exclude full time students aged 16 or 17 (as at 1 March 2020) who are not financially independent. The rule should be applied prospectively to ensure businesses are not out of pocket for wages already paid to such employees in the first two JobKeeper fortnights.
  • Universities:  I twill be clarified that the core Federal Government financial assistance provided to universities should be included in the JobKeeper turnover tests.

Reminder of Previously Released JobKeeper Topics

Since 31 March 2020, we have released numerous Tax Alerts in relation to the regulations and guidance of the JobKeeper Payment scheme, and they can be found shortcuts below:


Please do not hesitate to contact your Lowe Lippmann Relationship Partner if you wish to discuss any of these matters further.