COVID-19 Jobkeeper payment -Wages subsidy
Federal Stimulus packages
The Australian Government announced various measures to support Australia and business through the unprecedented social and economic impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), including:
1. A $17.6 Billion Economic Stimulus Package-Announced on Thursday 12 March 2020;
2. A $66.0 Billion Economic Stimulus Package-Announced on Sunday 22 March 2020; and
3. A $130 Billion Economic Stimulus Package-Announced on Monday 30th of March 2020
Stimulus 1.0 – Provided Support to business taxpayers and employers which includes concessional deprecation rules, support payments for PAYGW & Support payment for trainees and apprenticeships
Stimulus 2.0 -Provides increased support payments for PAYGW, temporary relief under the Corporation Act for distress companies, & credit support measures to provide finance to small to medium size (SME) businesses.
Stimulus 3.0- Provides a subsidy program to support employees and businesses to help businesses effected by the coronavirus to cover costs of their employees’ wages, so that employees can retain their jobs
Economic Stimulus Package 3.0 Wage Subsidy payment
On the 30th of March 2020 the Government has announced a $130 billion package to support Businesses to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact caused by the Coronavirus.
Around 6 million workers will receive a fortnightly payment of $1,500 (before tax) through their employer.
The payment ensures eligible employers remain connected to their workforce and will help businesses restart quickly when the crisis is over.
If your business has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus you will be able to access a wages subsidy to continue paying your employees. Under the JobKeeper program, you will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of six months. This assistance will help you keep staff and will help you restart when the crisis is over.
Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:
their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.
To establish that a business has faced either a 30 (or 50) per cent fall in their turnover, most businesses would be expected to establish that their turnover has fallen in the relevant month or three months (depending on the natural activity statement reporting period of that business) relative to their turnover a year earlier. Where a business was not in operation a year earlier, or where their turnover a year earlier was not representative of their usual or average turnover, (e.g. because there was a large interim acquisition, they were newly established or their turnover is typically highly variable) the Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information that the business can provide to establish that they have been significantly affected by the impacts of the Coronavirus. The Tax Commissioner will also have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances (e.g. eligibility may be established as soon as a business has ceased or significantly curtailed its operations). There will be some tolerance where employers, in good faith, estimate a greater than 30 (or 50) per cent fall in turnover but actually experience a slightly smaller fall.
The employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020, and confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged in order to receive JobKeeper Payments. Not-for-profit entities (including charities) and self-employed individuals (businesses without employees) that meet the turnover tests that apply for businesses are eligible to apply for JobKeeper Payments.
Eligible employees are employees who:
are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020); Last updated: 30 March 2020
are at least 16 years of age;
are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
If your employees receive the JobKeeper Payment, this may affect their eligibility for payments from Services Australia as they must report their JobKeeper Payment as income
Businesses with employees
Initially, employers can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.
Subsequently, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application. The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.
Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide monthly updates to the ATO.
Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.
Businesses without employees
Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can register their interest in applying for JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.
Businesses without employees will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number and provide a declaration as to recent business activity.
People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.
Further details for the self-employed will be provided on ato.gov.au.
Also the below fact sheets from treasury.gov will be very useful to read to check your business and employees eligibility,
As always please contact us if we can be of any assistant to your business in these troubled times. firstname.lastname@example.org 0731808525
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to provide general summary only and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice.
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