The Federal Government is providing up to $1,000 per eligible employee per fortnight to employers to keep employees connected to their businesses until 28 March 2021.
Payments will be received from the ATO monthly in arrears following the monthly declaration. You must have made payments to your employees (met the wage condition) to be reimbursed.
What is GST turnover?
GST turnover for the purposes of the JobKeeper payments is gross income, excluding:
Even if the organisation is not registered for GST, the GST turnover calculation still applies for the purpose of JobKeeper Payment eligibility assessment.
What is the consequence if I get the calculation of the current GST turnover amount wrong?
Entities should make a genuine effort to calculate and report current and projected GST turnover. If you later identify errors in the calculation, you will not be required to re-report to the ATO for JobKeeper, however BAS obligations are still required to be met.
Should we be calculating GST Turnover on a cash or accruals basis?
The ATO has advised that they expect Organisations to use the GST accounting method that is normally used when submitting the BAS. If you normally account for GST on an accruals basis, but seek to calculate on a cash basis (or vice versa), the ATO has advised that they may seek to understand the circumstances for using that basis.
Whichever basis you use must be used consistently in comparing the month or quarter in 2020 with the comparison period.
How do we determine if turnover has decreased by more than 15% or 30% and what is the turnover test period?
For the JobKeeper Extension period from 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021:
Unlike the first JobKeeper Payment decline in turnover test, you use current GST turnover rather than projected GST turnover.
To determine if turnover has decreased by more than 15% or 30% for the first JobKeeper Payment extension period, compare the actual GST turnover for the quarter ending 30 September 2020 to the actual GST turnover for the quarter ending 30 September 2019.
To determine if turnover has decreased by more than 15% or 30% for the second JobKeeper Payment extension period, compare the actual GST turnover for the quarter ending 31 December 2020 to the actual GST turnover for the quarter ending 31 December 2020.
What is the decline in turnover required to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment extension?
This has not changed from the first JobKeeper eligibility turnover test.
Actual GST turnover must have dropped by at least 30% for organisations with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less (15% for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and non-government schools who are subject to 30%) from a comparable period.
The only difference is that the turnover test will be comparing the actual GST turnover with a comparable period, rather than predicted GST turnover.
What test do I need to apply to determine eligibility?
This depends on which JobKeeper period you are applying the test in and whether you are a new or existing participant.
For the JobKeeper original period (30 March 2020 to 27 September 2020) – you must satisfy the original decline in turnover test only.
For the JobKeeper extension periods (28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021) – if you are an existing participant, you have already satisfied the original decline in turnover test and do not need to satisfy it again. However to continue to qualify for the JobKeeper payments during the extension periods, you must satisfy the actual decline in turnover test.
If you are a new participant you will need to satisfy the actual decline in turnover test. Although you also need to satisfy the original decline in turnover test, you will satisfy that test if you satisfy the actual decline in turnover test. You can enrol on that basis.
Are donations and bequests included in the GST turnover calculations?
Yes, donations and bequests that Charities and Deductible Gift Recipients receive or are likely to receive (including the value of non-monetary gifts) are also included in the calculation to work out the current turnover and projected turnover. This means that when Charities and Deductible Gift Recipients have a significant decline in donations they may qualify for the JobKeeper scheme.
Are government grants included in the GST turnover calculation?
Charities (other than schools and universities) are allowed to elect to exclude conditional government grants when calculating the GST turnover for JobKeeper. This will allow employing charities receiving revenue from the government to use either their total turnover, or their turnover excluding government grants, for the purposes of assessing eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment.
Government grants include consideration for supplies you make, received from:
An Australian government agency;
A local government body
The United Nations or its agency
An ACNC-registered charity cannot exclude payments received for providing National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services from its turnover.
The election to exclude conditional government grants applies to all decline in turnover tests and can only be made if, by applying the election, the original decline in turnover test and actual decline in turnover test for JobKeeper Extension 1 (September 2020 quarter) are still met. Once made, the election cannot be cancelled.
If you wish to elect to exclude government grants in the turnover test, complete and lodge an Election to exclude government grants from turnover for ACNC registered charities form.
If you are enrolling in the JobKeeper scheme for the first time, this form needs to be lodged within 7 days of enrolling.
If you are already enrolled in JobKeeper and you have not made an election, the form can be lodged within 7 days of confirming the actual decline in turnover test for the quarter ending 31 December 2020.
Our organisation is a charity and employees fully government funded employees. Are there impacts from excluding government grants from turnover?
Where a charity has elected to exclude government grants from its turnover, its fully government funded employees are not relevant employees. Therefore, the charity does not need to notify these employees of its election to participate in JobKeeper and the steps for nomination. However, the charity can choose to receive JobKeeper for these employees and must notify the employees and they must agree to be nominated by the charity.
Where a charity has not elected to exclude government grants from its turnover, all employees including fully government funded employees are relevant employees if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Our organisation is a registered religious institution, are we eligible for JobKeeper?
Yes, JobKeeper Payments are able to be made to religious institutions in respect of religious practitioners, excluding those who are students only.
Turnover hasn’t decreased more than 15% or 30% for JobKeeper Extension, what if it does in for the December quarter?
You can apply to start receiving the JobKeeper Payment for JobKeeper Extension 2 if you satisfy the actual decline in turnover test for the December quarter. It does not matter whether you satisfied the actual decline in turnover for the September quarter.
You must apply for the JobKeeper payment within 7 days of the end of a calendar month if you are entitled to a JobKeeper payment for a fortnight that ends in that month.
Our organisation is a University, are GST turnover calculations applied differently?
Yes, the ATO has provided a modified basic test which applies to Table A and Table B providers within the meaning of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.
Refer to the ATO’s Turnover test for universities here.
Our organisation is less than 12 months old at 1 March 2020. How do we determine if turnover has decreased?
Where there is no corresponding period in 2019, there are two alternative tests which can be applied to calculate the comparative period GST turnover. These are compared with the turnover test period discussed above.
Please refer to the Treasury legislation here for further information if you have been impacted by the Bushfires or received Drought Help concessions.
The organisation went through an acquisition/disposal/restructure which has changed turnover significantly. How do we determine if turnover has decreased?
The ATO has released an alternative test which can be applied to determine the GST turnover. Refer to the Legislative Instrument and Explanatory Statement for more information.
Over the last 12 months our organisation has substantially increased turnover immediately before the turnover test period. How do we determine if turnover has decreased?
An alternative test is available if the organisation has had an increase in turnover immediately before the September 2020 quarter (for JobKeeper Extension 1) or the December 2020 quarter (for JobKeeper Extension2) of:
For example, to test the % increase in turnover immediately before the December 2020 quarter:
For the 50% increase in turnover test (12 months) – test September 2019 turnover with September 2020 turnover
For the 25% increase in turnover test (6 months) – test March 2020 turnover with September 2020 turnover
For the 12.5% increase in turnover test (3 months) – test June 2020 turnover with September 2020 turnover
This is then compared with the turnover test period discussed above.
For example, for the December quarter actual decline in turnover test – compare current GST turnover for July to September 2020 with the current GST turnover for December 2020 quarter.
Our organisation has irregular turnover. How do we determine if turnover has decreased?
An alternative test is available if the organisation’s turnover is not cyclical and for the quarters ending in the 12 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period, the lowest turnover quarter is no more than 50% of the highest turnover quarter.
If you use a monthly comparison period, calculate the average monthly GST turnover for the 12 months leading up to the test period. If a quarter comparison period is used, multiply this by three.
This is then compared with the turnover test period discussed above.
Refer to the ATO’s example for irregular turnover here.
What records do I need to keep to show how I calculated my projected GST turnover for the 2020 turnover test period?
You will need to keep evidence and sufficient records to demonstrate how you calculated your projected GST turnover during the 2020 turnover test period and show how you took reasonable steps in making that calculation.
For purposes of determining projected GST turnover, the ATO will accept calculations based on a bona fide business plan, accounting budget or some other reasonable estimate based on the evidence about the projected facts and circumstances for the remainder of the turnover test period. Examples of evidence which would support projected sales include a decline in sales or being required to close/pause business as a result of government COVID-19 restrictions, evidence of reliance on tourism and economic forecasts.
What happens if we incorrectly self-assessed as eligible for the JobKeeper payment?
Eligibility for JobKeeper payments is a self-assessment process, however if a payment is made and the ATO later determines that the entity was not eligible, or was entitled to a lesser amount, you have received an overpayment.
More information regarding overpayments is provided by the ATO here.
I haven’t received all of the nomination forms back from my employees. Can I still complete Step 2 ‘Identify and maintain your eligible employees’ of the JobKeeper application now for the ones I have received?
Yes, you can. You can either:
If you lodge now, you can add further employees later by contacting the ATO. You should encourage your employees to return their nomination forms to you as soon as possible.
They need to complete and return the nomination form to you before you claim JobKeeper payments for them.
We have many employees, do I have to provide them with the ATO JobKeeper employee nomination notice?
No, you may choose to create your own employee nomination notice instead of using the JobKeeper employee nomination notice where it’s not practical to have each employee complete and return to the ATO, or where you prefer to use your own portal/communication channel to get this information.
Refer to the ATO guidance here for what information must be included in your version of a JobKeeper employee nomination notice.
What happens if an employee resigns?
If the employee is one which you’re receiving JobKeeper Payments for, you must notify the ATO and potentially refund some money to the ATO.
An employee who was previously nomintaed as an eligible employee by another employer for the original JobKeeper Payment Period no longer is an eligible employee with that employer at September. Can I nominate tghem?
Yes, provided they meet all of the following criteria:
Between 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020, your employee stopped being
An employee of their previous employer, or
Actively engaged as an eligible business participant
At the time they agree to be nominated by you, your employee has not
Been rehired by their previous employer, or
Restarted being actively engaged as an eligible business participant
The employee meets the other eligibility requirements for you for JobKeeper fortnights starting on or after 3 August 2020 (including the 1 July 2020 test).
Are Employment Termination Payments (ETPs) included as part of the minimum JobKeeper Payment rate amount to be paid?From JobKeeper fortnight 6 (8 June onwards) until the end of the scheme, ETPs cannot be included as part of the JobKeeper Payment rate. However if you claimed JobKeeper payments that included an ETP paid to a terminated employee in any of JobKeeper fortnights 1 to 5 (from 30 March to 7 June), the ATO will not recover an overpayment that has occurred as a result of these payments.
What is the JobKeeper Payment rate?
The JobKeeper Payment rate is the payment for fortnight per eligible employee received from the Federal Government.
For the extension period 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 this rate will be a maximum of $1,200 per eligible employee per fortnight.
For the extension period 4 January to 28 March 2021, this rate will be a maximum of $1,000 per eligible employee per fortnight.
From 28 September 2020 (the first extension period), lower payment rates will apply for employees that do not satisfy the 80-hour threshold.
What is the 80-hour threshold?
The 80-hour threshold determines the JobKeeper payment rate from 28 September 2020. Eligible employees, business participants or religious practitioners that satisfy the 80-hour threshold are entitled to the tier 1 rate of payment. If the threshold is not satisfied, they are entitled to the tier 2 rate of payment.
For eligible employees, the reference period is the 28 days finishing on the last day of the last pay period that ended before either:
1 March 2020
1 July 2020
The employee will satisfy the 80-hour threshold if, in their 28 day reference period, the total of the following is 80 hours or more:
Actual hours worked (including overtime)
Hours they were on paid leave (including personal/carer’s leave, annual leave, long service leave, employer-paid parental leave)
Hours they were paid for absence on a public holiday.
What is the 28-day reference period to test whether your employee satisfied the 80-hour threshold?
Your 28-day reference period is based on when your pay cycle ends. For example, the amount you pay an employee each Friday may be for the hours they worked in a week ended on the previous Wednesday. In this case your employee’s pay cycle is the week ended on Wednesday.
Your employee only needs to satisfy the 80-hour threshold in one of the 28-day reference periods. If they satisfy it in one reference period, you do not need to determine if they satisfy it in other reference periods.
An eligible employee does not satisfy the 80-hour threshold in the pre-March or pre-July reference period, however this is not representative of their standard working hours. What can we do?
Unpaid leave is not counted towards the 80-hour threshold. However you can use the less than 80 hours alternative reference period if your eligible employee’s:
The alternative reference period is the 28-day period:
An eligible only commenced employment part-way through the reference period, what period can we use?
If your eligible employee was not employed by you during all or part of the pre-March or pre-July reference period, the alternative reference period is the first 28-day period ending on or after 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020 that wholly occurs during:
What is included in the minimum JobKeeper Payment rate required to be paid to eligible employees?
The total includes:
The total does not include:
Some employees are on unpaid or paid leave, what do we do?
If these are eligible employees and you are an eligible employer, you will receive the JobKeeper Payment whether the employees are working, on leave or have been stood down.
Employees receiving Parental Leave Pay from Services Australia are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. However, employees on paid parental leave from their employee will be eligible.
Can employers select which of their eligible employees are covered by the JobKeeper scheme?
No, once an employer choses to participate in the JobKeeper scheme, all eligible employees (who have agreed to be nominated for the scheme) must participate, including employees who have been stood down.
An employee who was on government paid parental leave in the first few JobKeeper fortnights is now back from maternity leave. Can we claim JobKeeper payments for them?
Provided the employee isn’t receiving Government Parental Leave Payments in the applicable JobKeeper fortnight and meets the eligible employee requirements, you can claim the JobKeeper Payment for the employee for that fortnight. You can then continue claiming it for every JobKeeper fortnight thereafter.
To ensure that you are able to claim it for the employee in question, you will need to make sure that you include them when you identify and maintain your eligible employees.
How do I determine if a casual employee has been employed on a regular and systematic basis?
If there is a clear pattern or roster of hours, this is strong evidence of regular and systematic employment. If there is no clear pattern or roster, evidence can be established where the employer offered suitable work when it was available at times that the employee had generally made themselves available and work was offered and accepted regularly enough that it could no longer be regarded as occasional or irregular.
Am I required to pay PAYG on the JobKeeper Payment?You must pay the minimum JobKeeper Payment rate per fortnight to your eligible employees, withholding PAYG tax as appropriate. The minimum JobKeeper Payment Rate per fortnight per employee is a before tax amount and forms part of the employees’ taxable income.
Am I required to pay Payroll tax on the JobKeeper Payment?
Payroll tax is determined by each state and territory. Refer to our information on State Government Assistance.
Will the JobKeeper Payments impact payments from Services Australia for relevant employees?
Employees who are receiving payments from Services Australia (such as NewStart or JobSeeker) will need to notify Services Australia if they are receiving a JobKeeper Payment. The payment will form part of the employee’s notifiable income.
I pay my employees under an Award, how will the JobKeeper scheme impact on pay rates?
The rate of pay will be no less than the employee’s current rate or the relevant rate of pay in the employee’s award or agreement – whichever is greater. Refer to the worked examples below for further information.
Employers need to continue to comply with their obligations to employees under contracts, enterprise agreements, modern awards, etc., subject to the implementation of lawful measures such as stand down, etc.
My eligible employee’s contracted duties are no longer required, but I want to keep them on under the JobKeeper Scheme. What can I do?
An eligible employer who qualifies for the JobKeeper scheme may alter the employee’s duties and location of the employee’s work. These directions must be safe, reasonable, within the skills and competencies of the employee, and within the scope of the business’ operations.
An employer can also alter an employees’ hours of work by directing an employee to change either the days the employee works, the number of days the employee works or reduce the employees’ hours to zero (i.e. stand down). This only applies where the employee cannot usefully be employed at their normal days or hours because of changes attributable to COVID-19 pandemic; or government initiatives to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The following conditions also apply:
Refer to the Fair Work Act JobKeeper provisions for more information, including the accrual of leave entitlements whilst an employee is subject to a JobKeeper enabling stand down direction.
If employees have been stood down without pay since 1 March 2020, what happens if the employer is able to find a work opportunity where the employees may be able to work, say 3 days per week? Does the employer pay the difference between the earnings that week and the JobKeeper Payment rate?
The JobKeeper payment is not income-tested, so employees may earn additional income without their payments being affected, provided they maintain their employment (including being stood down) with their employer who is entitled to receive JobKeeper payments.
What are the requirements I need to meet as an eligible employer when paying eligible employees?
What happens if we pay employees monthly rather than fortnightly?
If your payroll period is less or more frequent than fortnightly, the payment can be allocated between fortnights in a reasonable manner. For example, if you pay every four weeks, it will be reasonable if the employee is paid at least $3,000 every four-week period, for the initial JobKeeper period.
What is reasonable will depend on your particular circumstances. Refer to the ATO’s information on how much to pay for further information.
What happens if our actual GST turnover for our turnover test period is greater than our projected GST turnover?
The ATO has advised that you will not lose access to the JobKeeper Scheme unless they have reason to believe that your calculation of your projected GST turnover was not reasonable.
However a significant variance between accrual and projected turnover may trigger an enquiry from the ATO.
If the ATO determines that a scheme has occurred with the sole purpose of obtaining a JobKeeper payment, or increased amount of JobKeeper payment, the Commissioner will be able to recover any overpayments and will have the power to impose penalties and interest.
For reporting months other than December, do I need to report my current and projected GST turnover to the ATO by the 14th day of the following month?
Yes, the extended due date only applies to the monthly reporting requirement for December. The ATO have advised that the sooner you make your monthly Business Declaration, the sooner you will receive your JobKeeper Payment.
As I won’t know if we meet the JobKeeper Payment extension eligibility requirements until after the quarter has finished, do I have to pay my eligible employees in advance of hoping to receive the JobKeeper payment in arrears?
Yes, as the deadline to lodge a BAS for the September quarter or month is in late October, and the December quarter (or month) BAS deadline is in late January for monthly lodgers or late February for quarterly lodgers, you will need to assess your eligibility for JobKeeper in advance of the BAS deadline in order to meet the wage condition.
However, the Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to extend the time an entity has to pay employees in order to meet the wage condition, so that entities have time to first confirm their eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment.
How do I stop receiving JobKeeper payments?
You can choose to stop receiving JobKeeper payments at any time.
If you want to stop receiving JobKeeper payments, you do not need to unenroll, however you:
You also do not need to notify the ATO if you do not satisfy the actual decline in turnover test for a JobKeeper extension period.
Claiming JobKeeper for the first time in January 2021
Jane’s Enterprises was largely unaffected by COVID-19 during the initial outbreak. As such it had not experienced or projected the relevant fall in turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.
In the event there were a further outbreak, say in November 2020, and numerous employees are infected with COVID-19, the turnover for the business may be significantly impacted. If the impact results in Jane’s Enterprises being able to meet the actual turnover decline for the December 2020 quarter, they would also be able to meet the original turnover test for either the month of November or December 2020.
As such, Jane’s Enterprises would be eligible for the JobKeeper payment for the fortnights from 4 January to 28 March 2021 for their eligible employees assuming all other eligibility criteria are also met.
Sourced from: treasury.gov.au
Melissa is a sole trader running a florist. She does not have employees. Melissa’s business has been in operation for several years. The Coronavirus has adversely affected Melissa’s business, and she expects that her business turnover will fall by more than 30 per cent compared to a typical month in 2019.
Melissa will be able to apply for the JobKeeper Payment and is able to receive $1,500 per fortnight before tax, paid on a monthly basis.
Sourced from: treasury.gov.au
Worker with multiple jobs
Michelle currently works two permanent part-time jobs, earning $1,000 a fortnight at an art gallery during weekdays, and $1,000 a fortnight at the local café on the weekend. The gallery has recently closed and Michelle has been stood down without pay under the Fair Work Act. Michelle continues to work at the café delivering take‐away orders.
Michelle can only receive the JobKeeper Payment from the employer she nominates as her primary employer. As Michelle only claims the tax free threshold from her job at the art gallery, this will be treated as her nomination of the art gallery as her primary employer.
The art gallery is eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. The art gallery will pass the JobKeeper Payment on to Michelle, so she will receive $1,500 per fortnight before tax. During the application process, the art gallery will notify the ATO that Michelle receives the payment from them. The art gallery is also required to advise Michelle that she has been nominated to the ATO as an eligible employee to receive the payment.
The café is not eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment for Michelle. The $1,000 a fortnight that Michelle receives from her job at the café does not change her entitlement to the JobKeeper Payment she receives from the art gallery.
Sourced from: treasury.gov.au
Employee made redundant after 1 July and later rehired by same business
Miles worked as a permanent part time personal trainer at a gym for six months earning $1,200 a fortnight and was made redundant on 20 July 2020.
In response to the announcement of the JobKeeper Payment, the gym re‐engages Miles so they are well placed to resume their operations once the Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
Under the JobKeeper Payment he will receive $1,500 a fortnight before tax. Miles will need to advise Services Australia of his income so that he does not incur a debt that he will then need to repay. He is no longer eligible for the JobSeeker Payment and the Coronavirus Supplement from Services Australia as a result of receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
Sourced from: treasury.gov.au
Employer with 5 employees who all currently get paid more than $1,500 per fortnight
Sara runs a landscaping company, and employs five full‐time gardeners. Sara is paying her employees $1,700 per fortnight before tax. She expects that her turnover will decline by more than 30 per cent over the coming months and that she will either need to lay staff off, or reduce their hours significantly.
As a result of the JobKeeper Payment, Sara is able to keep employing every gardener at $1,700 per fortnight, with the JobKeeper Payment subsidising these wage costs by $1,500 per fortnight.
Sourced from: treasury.gov.au
Retesting turnover under the JobKeeper extension
Carmen owns and runs the City Café. Carmen started claiming the JobKeeper Payment for her eligible staff and herself as a business participant when the JobKeeper Payment commenced on 30 March 2020. At the time, Carmen estimated that the projected GST turnover for City Café in April 2020 would be 70 per cent below its actual GST turnover in April 2019. To be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 30 March 2020 to 27 September 2020, Carmen needed to show the turnover for the City Café was estimated to decline by at least 30 per cent.
As a monthly BAS lodger, Carmen submitted her BAS for the City Café in April, May and June. For each of these, her actual turnover was as follows:
April – June 2020 quarter $170,000 April – June 2019 quarter $600,000
Therefore a decline for June quarter of 72% per cent
From July to September, actual turnover improved as follows:
July – September 2020 quarter $400,000 July – September 2019 quarter $600,000
Therefore a decline for September quarter of 33% per cent
The actual turnover decline for both the June and September 2020 quarters was still greater than 30 per cent, so City Café was eligible for the Jobkeeper Payment for the period of 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Business continued to improve for the City Café, and actual turnover for the December 2020 quarter was 20 per cent less than the December quarter 2019, so the City Cafe was no longer eligible to claim the JobKeeper for the second extension period starting from 4 January 2021
Working out the JobKeeper Payment rate to be claimed (continued scenario from above)
In the scenario above, Carmen also needs to calculate how much to claim for each of her staff, and for herself as a business participant.
As Carmen was working full-time at the café herself throughout February 2020, she is entitled to claim $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, as an eligible business participant.
She has three full-time employees who are also eligible to be paid $1,200 per fortnight because they each worked 20 hours or more per week throughout February 2020.
Carmen has an employee, Chris, who works part-time with different hours every other week: 14 hours one week; and 22 hours the next week. During the two pay fortnights prior to 1 March 2020, Chris was employed for 36 hours in each fortnight. On average, Chris worked less than 20 hours per week for City Café. Carmen is eligible to claim $750 per fortnight for Chris, from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Cathy is an eligible employee who worked on a long-term casual basis during February 2020. To determine what rate of JobKeeper Payment to claim for Cathy, Carmen looks at pay records for the two fortnightly pay periods before 1 March 2020. She sees that Cathy was employed on average less than 20 hours per week, so Carmen claims $750 per fortnight for Cathy, from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Carmen also started employing Charles from September 2020. Because Charles was not employed at City Café on 1 March 2020, Carmen cannot claim the JobKeeper Payment for Charles.
Sourced from: treasury.gov.au
Other Examples addressing the 80-hour threshold
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