JobKeeper Package - Time to Action

Further to our most recent update on 9 April 2020, Treasury has since finalised its Rules for the JobKeeper Payment Scheme and on the 14 April the ATO published its first tranche of Guidelines on how the scheme will be administered. 

Note: Not all matters have been finalised and clarified by the ATO and we note that there are additional ATO Guidelines still to be issued. 

Enrolments for the JobKeeper scheme will officially open from Monday 20 April 2020 for all employers that are eligible. The process requires two key phases: 

  1. An enrolment phase (opens 20 April 2020); and 
  2. Ongoing monthly application phase confirming the eligibility of monthly payments to your employee's (opens 4 May 2020).
Natalie Hewson, Lead Tax Partner at FMA Partners, will be hosting a JobKeeper Webinar on Thursday 23rd April 2020 at 11am. Please click here to register. 
This is what we recommend you DO NOW to get you ready for phase 1 – enrolments.
1. Determine your business’ eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment by reviewing whether the turnover test is met. 
FMA Partners are here to assist you in reviewing your eligibility under the turnover test.  We recommend that you begin collecting information on your actual turnover for March 2020, your forecasted turnover for the coming months and your actual turnover for the equivalent periods last year. Information such as monthly sales reports, interim accounts and prior year BAS’ should be gathered now. The ATO are still finalising some of the finer detail of the turnover calculation process and will be releasing updated guidelines shortly.  

Please note, there is a level of complexity surrounding this analysis and should be considered carefully with the assistance of FMA Partners. 
2. Start collecting information on your employees to determine if they are eligible and calculate the number of eligible employees. This includes whether they are Australian citizens, the type of working visa they hold, whether you are the primary employer, length of service for casuals and which employees were engaged as at 1 March 2020.

In this regard, you should send the ATO approved form to your employees for their acknowledgment and acceptance now, in order to receive your first JobKeeper payment. Click here to access the form. 

Please contact FMA Partners if you require assistance to complete the above analysis. 
3. Ensure the ATO or FMA Partners have your current bank account details so that you can receive the JobKeeper Payment. Your details may be out of date if you do not typically receive tax refunds. 
4. Engage FMA Partners to enrol on your behalf, OR apply online through the business portal with your MyGov ID linked to your ABN (If you have a current business portal account). In order to be eligible for a JobKeeper Payment from the 30 March 2020 until the fortnight ended 26 April 2020, employers must enrol by the end of April 2020 to be eligible for these payments.
5. The JobKeeper payment is a reimbursement of $1,500 per employee per fortnight paid monthly in arrears. The minimum payment must be made by the last day of the fortnight. However, for the first two fortnights in April only, employers must make the minimum payment to employees for the first two fortnights by the end of April 2020 to be eligible. That is, $3,000 per employee must have been paid to eligible employees in April to be eligible from the date of commencement of the Scheme. This is especially important if some of your eligible employees typically earn less than $1,500 per fortnight. 
6. The various software providers are working hard to ensure their systems are compliant with ATO reporting requirements for this package. We understand that XERO will be releasing updates early next week to facilitate the JobKeeper payments. Please reach out to us if you need assistance with processing the JobKeeper payments through your payroll system in accordance with the scheme.
7. Register for our JobKeeper Essentials webinar hosted by Natalie Hewson, Lead Taxation Partner at FMA Partners, on Thursday 23 April 2020 at 11am.  
We will discuss the key areas we believe you need to know including the eligibility requirements, employment law considerations and the ongoing administration process to ensure your business operates in accordance with the JobKeeper rules.

We have guest speaker Simon Bennett, Solicitor and Managing Director of Southern Waters Legal, to assist in understanding the critical employment law issues. 
Click Here to Register

Other Priority Considerations 

If you are not registered on the Single Touch Payroll (STP) system now, then consider registering, as the primary means to determine entitlement each month will be via the STP system. If you do not report through STP, you can still claim the JobKeeper Payment; however, there will be a manual claim process, which will be slower and more time consuming. 

Information on the JobKeeper Package is changing regularly as Treasury and the ATO continue to develop the guidelines and administrative processes. We will be updating our technical analysis and frequently asked questions in our COVID 19 Stimulus and Support Measures Guide for the JobKeeper Payment Scheme following the recent ATO guidance released this week. A separate email will be sent to you. Please ensure you download a copy of this and always refer to our latest edition.  
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