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Australia’s JobKeeper Payments: FAQ’s

There’s no doubt the Australian Government JobKeeper Payments are a lifeline for many businesses across many industries, but navigating through the information that is relevant to your business can sometimes feel like you are going down a rabbit hole.

As payments from the government start to filter through to businesses, we’ve put together the most Frequently Asked Questions by Timelio Customers.

 Is it too late to apply?

31st May 2020 is your last day to complete steps 1 and 2 as outlined on the ATO website if you intend to claim wages paid in April and May. See key dates here.

What’s the difference between JobKeeper and JobSeeker?

The JobKeeper scheme supports businesses to retain their employees by contributing to their salary and wages and is administered by the ATO. Eligible businesses are required to register with the ATO to receive these payments for their eligible employees.

JobSeeker payments are a form of income support available to eligible individuals and are administered by Services Australia. These payments are paid directly to the individuals and not to their employers.

Why do I have to update my information monthly? Will I lose my payments if my financial SITUATION changes?

The ATO requires you to declare your information monthly. This is not a retest of your eligibility, but rather an indication of how your business is progressing under the JobKeeper Payment scheme.

How Does a business claim payment?

In order to claim the payment, businesses must notify the Commissioner (through the ATO) of their intent to claim the payment. Registration can be done through the ATO website. You must also provide the personal details of the employees for whom you intend to claim the payment to the ATO and seek permission from your employees to nominate them as eligible. This can be done through a ‘nomination notice’, for the purposes of the scheme.

What if an employee is no longer eligible while I am claiming JobKeeper payments?

You will need to notify the ATO when an employee is no longer eligible for Jobkeeper payments. You will need to verify the fortnight they stopped being eligible, using the ‘JobKeeper Finish Fortnight’ field description in your Single Touch Payroll (STP) Software.

Examples of why an employee may no longer be eligible include:

  • workers’ compensation absence
  • resigning
  • change of citizenship or visa status

Do I have to show that it is COVID-19 that caused the decline in the turnover of my business?

No, It does not matter whether it is COVID-19 or the subsequent effect on the economy that has caused your turnover decline, provided the turnover has fallen by the required percentage and you satisfy the other eligibility criteria.

Can I wait to receive the JobKeeper payments before paying my employees?

It’s important to note, businesses must pay employees first before receiving the JobKeeper payment sometime the following month. This represents a very serious cash flow hurdle to accessing the JobKeeper for many businesses. We highly recommend speaking to your accountant or one of our experts at Timelio for more information.

My revenue isn’t down 30% compared to last year, do I still qualify?

Potentially – some start ups that don’t satisfy the basic test for decline in turnover may still qualify based on projected revenue for a given period. They will need to qualify under the “alternative test” which is specifically relevant to fast growing start ups or businesses with large project based revenue.

See the ATO’s timeline of updates or click here for more information.

To understand how Timelio can assist your cash flow or for any Government COVID-19 announcement advice feel free to call us on 1300 38 63 63 or email us to chat to one of our experts.

 

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