COVID-19 JobKeeper Payments – How to Enrol and Apply

From 20 April 2020, you can enrol with the ATO for the JobKeeper payment by a registered tax agent or by yourself using the Business Portal and authenticate with myGovID. You must do this by 30 April to claim the JobKeeper payments for April which covers the payroll periods from 30 March to 26 April 2020.

The steps below outline the process involved so that you do not miss out.

Step 1 – Register your interest

Register your interest and subscribe for JobKeeper updates by Register Your Interest

Step 2 – Register for Business Portal

Skip this step if you are going to use a tax agent for the application and lodgements.

If you decide to process it yourself and you have not already registered for the Business Portal, this will be required in order to lodge monthly reports for six months with the ATO and claim the JobKeeper payments. You will then need a myGovID linked to your ABN in relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). You may need to contact the ATO for assistance for setting it up. Please check the ATO link here.

Step 3 – Check if you are an Eligible Employer

Check that you meet the eligibility requirements for JobKeeper, essentially:

  • On 1 March, you carried on business in Australia;
  • Your business has faced a minimum 30% decline in turnover.

To work out your decline in turnover to be eligible for JobKeeper for the first fortnight starting 30 March 2020, you can compare either:

  • GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019;
  • projected GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019;
  • projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2019. 

If you work out that you qualify for the JobKeeper payments for the first fortnight because your turnover has declined by the relevant amount, you remain eligible and do not need to keep testing turnover for following months. A detail of records how you work out the decline in turnover will need to be kept in files.

Step 4 – Determine who your Eligible Employees are

Your employee is eligible if they are employed by you on 1 March 2020;

  • Were part-time, full-time or long-term casual on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months, including those stood down or re-hired.
  • Were at least 16 years of age
  • Were an Australian resident as at 1 March 2020 and are one of an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Protected Special Category Visa Holder (Subclass 444).
  • Were not in receipt of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight:
    • Parental leave or Dad and partner pay through Services Australia (Centrelink);
    • Payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work;
    • Are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
    • Agree to be nominated by you.

  Step 5 – Nominate your Eligible Employees

Before you enrol to receive JobKeeper payments, you need to notify each eligible employee that you intend to nominate them as eligible employees under the JobKeeper scheme.

You must tell those employees that you have nominated them as an eligible employee to claim the JobKeeper payment. They must agree to be nominated by you by completing the JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice and returning it to you for your records by the end of April.

The nomination form does not need to be provided to the ATO however employers are required to keep a copy of the completed form as part of their record keeping obligations under the law for five years.

If an employee is currently receiving an income support payment, they must notify Services Australia (Centrelink) of their new income to avoid incurring a debt they will have to repay.

Step 6 – Continue Paying Employees

You will not be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if you pay your nominated employee less than $1,500 per fortnight.
You should pay your employees for each JobKeeper fortnight you plan to claim for. The first fortnight is from 30 March – 12 April and each JobKeeper fortnight follows after that.

For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), the ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by you before the end of April. This means that you can make a combined payment of at least $3,000 per employee before the end of April.

If you are claiming JobKeeper under Business Participation, such as sole trader, please refer here for further information.

Step 7 – Lodge Application on the Business Portal or by your tax agent.

You will need to ensure you have completed the registration process between the 20th April and 30th April. You will need the employee details along with your bank account details. 

Once application is completed, you will need to reconfirm each month that your reported eligible employees have not changed through the Business Portal. This will ensure you will continue to receive the JobKeeper payments from the ATO. You do not need to retest your reported fall in turnover, but you will need to provide some information as to your current and projected turnover. This will be done in your monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.

More Information

Please check our blog COVID-19 JobKeeper Payment – Time to Act.

If your business is impacted by COVID-19, please contact us for assistance.  It only takes less than half an hour and could save you thousands.

Contact Beyond Taxation for some help today on 1300 552 993 or email Joy@joybeyondtaxation.com.au

General Advice Warning 

The information contained in this communication has been provided as general advice only and was prepared while the information was available at the time of writing. 

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