Below is an update on some recent changes to the JobKeeper rules.
 
Enrolment deadline extension
 
The ATO have extended the deadline to enrol for JobKeeper from 30 April 2020 to 31 May 2020. If you enrol by 31 May 2020 you will still be able to access JobKeeper for the fortnights in April and May provided you meet the eligibility criteria including the requirement to have paid eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight by the required dates. 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 even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by the end of April.
 
This extension may provide some benefit to sole traders and other entities without employees
 
Business should note that delaying enrolment will also delay receipt of payment from the ATO.
 
Alternative turnover tests
 
The ATO have now released the long awaited alternative decline in turnover tests that can be applied by businesses that do not meet the basic turnover decline tests (for most entities a 30% decline relative to same month or quarter in the prior year). The alternative tests can be applied in the following situations:
 
1.    New businesses
2.    Business acquisitions or disposals that have resulted in a change of turnover
3.    Business restructures that have resulted in a change of turnover
4.    Businesses that have had a substantial increase in turnover
5.    Businesses affected by drought or natural disaster
6.    Businesses with irregular turnover
7.    Sole traders or small partnerships with sickness, injury or leave
 
The legislative instrument for the alternative turnover decline tests can be found here. If you require assistance determining whether your business qualifies for JobKeeper based on the alternative tests please contact us. 
 
Full time students aged 16 and 17 years old
 
The Treasurer has announced that the JobKeeper rules will provide that full time students who are 17 years old and younger, and who are not financially independent, are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.  This clarification will apply prospectively, which means that an employer that has already met the wage condition of paying such an employee $1,500 for a fortnight could be entitled to a JobKeeper Payment in arrears for that fortnight but will not be eligible for future fortnights.
 
Service entities
 
Changes will address the circumstances where businesses use a separate entity to employ staff rather than staff being directly employed by the operating entity. The Government will provide an alternate decline in turnover test for the eligibility of service entities that provide employee labour that have not met the basic test for decline in turnover. This alternate test will apply where an entity provides the services of its employees to one or more related entities, where those related entities 
carry on a business deriving revenue from unrelated third parties. The alternate test will be by reference to the combined GST turnovers of the related entities using the services of the employer entity.
 
Single Touch Payroll
 
As outlined in previous communications, the preferred method for administering JobKeeper is via Single Touch Payroll (STP). We encourage all clients claiming JobKeeper to ensure that they setup their STP correctly as this will greatly assist with the monthly reporting obligations to the ATO.
 
If you have any questions regarding JobKeeper please feel free to contact us. If you'd like to receive all our latest updates you can subscribe to our news here or visit our COVID19 News Centre
 
Last updated 27/04/2020.