As the Treasury and ATO continue to roll out the JobKeeper payment, confusion around the practical application of receiving it and passing it onto your staff follows close behind. Here is a quick guide on what you need to know if you will be applying for the JobKeeper payment
How to Apply
The ATO has provided a “Enrol and Apply” step by step process here https://www.ato.gov.au/general/jobkeeper-payment/employers/enrol-and-apply-for-the-jobkeeper-payment/
You will need to register your interest to subscribe to their JobKeeper updates. This will keep you informed as the ATO continues to provide guidance on this payment.
Enrolment for the JobKeeper payment will begin from 20 April 2020. Enrolment will need to be completed by you on either your Business Portal or we can complete enrolment on your behalf. If you require our office to enrol you for this payment, please ensure you contact our office as soon as possible to ensure we can provide you with assistance without delay.
What to keep in mind when applying
You should only apply for the JobKeeper payment if you are an eligible business with eligible employees. Read out blog post here for further details on eligibility requirements https://www.hodkinsonaccounting.com.au/further-detail-on-the-jobkeeper-payment/
If you do apply for the JobKeeper payment on behalf of your staff, you will need to notify those employees that are eligible. You will also need to provide them with a JobKeeper employee nomination notice. All eligible employees will need to complete this form and return to you by the end of April. You can find that form from the ATO here https://www.ato.gov.au/Forms/JobKeeper-payment—employee-nomination-notice/. Make sure you keep a copy for yourself and our office.
You will need to apply for all eligible employees of your business. You cannot pick and choose individual staff. If they meet the eligibility criteria and you continue to employ them during the JobKeeper payment period, they must be included in your enrolment. But it is important to confirm with each staff member that they have not applied for the JobKeeper payment through more than one employer. They can only be eligible for the JobKeeper payment through one employer.
It may seem obvious but make sure you have all of the correct information included on your enrolment application. This will include your bank details, employee details and your entitlement based on business participation. If you are unsure of a question on the enrolment form, please don’t hesitate to call us for clarification.
The dates surrounding the JobKeeper payment are incredibly important so please take note of the following:
- 30 March 2020
Register your interest in applying for the JobKeeper payment with the ATO from this date onwards
- 30 March 2020 to 12 April 2020
This is the first fortnight to account for wages for your employees that will be included in the JobKeeper payment
- 20 April 2020
Enrolment for JobKeeper payment from this date onwards. Enrolment is made either through your Business Portal or through our office on your behalf.
- 30 April 2020
Payments to employees that are eligible for the JobKeeper payment must be paid by this date. You can include wages for the fortnights dated 30 March 2020 to 12 April 2020 AND 13 April 2020 to 26 April 2020 in one payment (e.g. first payment of JobKeeper made to your staff is $3000).
- First week of May 2020
Payment of JobKeeper will be reimbursed by the ATO for the fortnights including 30 March 2020 to 12 April 2020 and 13 April 2020 to 26 April 2020.
- 4 May 2020
Log into the Business Portal to confirm the JobKeeper payment for all eligible employees and submit the confirmation of claim online.
If we have enrolled you for the JobKeeper payment on your behalf, we will also need to apply to claim on your behalf between 4 May 2020 and 31 May 2020. Please contact our office as soon as possible to ensure that we submit your wages records and assist you in claiming the JobKeeper payment on time.
- 14 September 2020 to 27 September 2020
This is the last fortnight to account for wages for your employees that will be included in the JobKeeper payment
The ATO will require that you reconfirm that your employees continue to remain eligible on a monthly basis. This will need to be completed via the business portal or through our office (if we are submitting on your behalf). However, you are not required to continue to retest the eligibility of your business. Once your business meets the 30% reduction in turnover test, you will remain eligible for the JobKeeper payment during the entire period. But the ATO may be requesting some information on your current and projected turnover monthly through a JobKeeper Declaration report.
You will need to continue to pay staff during the enrolment process. If you intend to enrol for the JobKeeper payment, you are still required to pay eligible staff $1500 per fortnight before tax. The first payment must be made by 30th April 2020 for you to remain eligible.
You must continue to pay your staff the equivalent of $1500 per fortnight during the JobKeeper payment fortnightly periods of 30 March 2020 to 27 September 2020. The frequency of how you do this is up to you – if you pay staff monthly you can continue to do so as long as they receive the equivalent of $1500 per fortnight before tax.
Remember, the ATO will be reimbursing you for the JobKeeper payments you have made on behalf of all employees. Meaning you will need to wait for the ATO to reimburse you on a monthly basis. For some businesses, the cashflow to continue paying your staff while waiting for the ATO to reimburse you may be incredibly limited. If this the case, we encourage you to contact us to discuss the circumstances of your business before you enrol for this payment.