There is no doubt that the JobKeeper stimulus package has been a lifeline to many businesses during the roller-coaster year of 2020. But as the existing program winds up this week, businesses should be considering whether they are eligible for the payments from the extension program announced on 21st July 2020.
Whilst the ATO still needs to provide clarification on a few aspects of the program, most businesses should be able to anticipate whether they will be eligible for the JobKeeper 2.0 payments. Below outlines the extension program and what businesses have to do to ensure they receive the payments that they are entitled to.
When does it start and finish?
JobKeeper 2.0 starts is split into two periods;
- 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, and
- 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021.
Do I need to enrol?
If you were part of the existing JobKeeper program, you do no need to re-enrol, but you do need to re-test for eligibility.
If you weren’t eligible for the existing JobKeeper program but you believe you will be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0, then you will need to register with the ATO.
What are the eligibility requirements?
All businesses wanting to receive JobKeeper 2.0 will need to reassess their eligibility for each quarter regardless of whether they were enrolled in the existing JobKeeper program or not.
To be eligible for payments between 28 September 2020 and 3 January 2021 you will need to demonstrate that your actual GST turnover has fallen in the September 2020 quarter relative to a comparable period (generally the September 2019 quarter).
Similarly, to be eligible for payments between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021 you will need to demonstrate that your actual GST turnover has fallen in the December 2020 quarter relative to a comparable period (generally the December 2019 quarter).
The decline in turnover test remains the same as the existing rules, being:
- Entities with turnover greater than $1 billion – 50%.
- Entities with turnover less than $1 billion – 30%.
- ACNC registered charities (excluding schools and universities) – 15%.
As with the existing JobKeeper program, there are alternative tests for businesses where the turnover in the same quarter of the prior year does not represent a fair comparison. This could be applicable for new entities or those that have experienced significant growth.
How much will I get paid?
JobKeeper 2.0 has a two-tier payment rate which is based on the number of hours an employee worked during the reference period. The reference period is the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 June 2020. (Note payments for eligible business participants are calculated on hours worked in February only).
|TIER||28/9/2020 to 3/1/2021||4/1/2021 to 28/3/2021|
|TIER 1 (>=80HRS)||$1,200||$1,000|
|TIER 2 (<80HRS)||$750||$650|
If the hours in February and June are not representative of a typical 28 day period then the most recent representative 28 day period prior can be used.
NOTE: If you are enrolled in the existing JobKeeper program but think you may not be eligible for the JobKeeper 2.0 payments then you will have to consider whether you pay JobKeeper top up wages to your employees in the fortnight starting 28th October 2020.
What do I do now?
As the first eligibility test is performed on the turnover from July to September 2020, final figures cannot be obtained until the end of this quarter. However businesses can be proactive in getting all their accounts reconciled to date so that we can determine eligibility as soon a the month has ended.
All of our business clients will be contacted by the team at Care Accounting to discuss your eligibility in the program. However if you have any questions then feel free to contact the office on 02 9970 7186.