‘Job Keeper’ payment makes up Government’s 3rd stimulus package
The Department of Treasury refines eligibility for COVID-19 JobKeeper Payment – 2 April 2020.
For businesses to qualify for the JobKeeper Payment, they must be able to demonstrate either the 30% or 50% fall in turnover as compared to the year before. This is based on turnover in a one-month or three-month period, depending on the usual activity statement reporting period of the business.
The Tax Commissioner will have the discretion to determine that a business qualifies for the payment, even if for some reason the business is unable to satisfy this criteria. The ATO can consider additional factors put forward to demonstrate a business has been impacted, eg where the business was not operating a year before, or if the previous year’s turnover was not representative of its usual turnover. Alternative tests to satisfy the criteria in certain circumstances may also be provided by the Tax Commissioner, eg if a business has ceased or its operations significantly reduced. As the applications will require employers to make an estimate about expected fall in turnover, there will be some tolerance if the actual fall is slightly smaller than estimated by the employer. See the updated factsheet for details.
The legislation for this measure is yet to be introduced, which could provide certainty on the exact criteria, including the relevant definition of turnover that will be used. It is expected that parliament will return next week to legislate these changes.