National News

Time for employers to get ready for the JobKeeper extension

The Australian Taxation Office continues to provide ongoing support to employers to assist them to prepare for the next phase of JobKeeper payments.

The JobKeeper Payment scheme has been extended from 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021.

“There are some key dates to keep in mind, and simple steps employers can take now, so they are ready for the changes, but please remember that not everything needs to be done from next week” said Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran.

“From Monday 28 September, employers will need to pay their eligible employees a different rate of JobKeeper, with the rate dependent on the number of hours they work. These rates will change again from Monday 4 January,” said Mr O’Halloran.

It is important for employers to let their eligible employees know now what rate of JobKeeper payment they will receive. This will then be the amount that the ATO pays to employers.

“Although you do not need to re-enrol in JobKeeper, you do need to notify us of your eligible employees and what rate you are paying them as part of your normal payday reporting in October. This can easily be done through Single Touch Payroll.

“Employers will also need to nominate any new employees if they are applying for a JobKeeper payment for them for the first time,” said Mr O’Halloran.

For the extension period commencing 28 September 2020, employers will need to show that their actual GST turnover has declined in the September 2020 quarter relative to a comparable period. This needs to be done before 31 October 2020. See the actual decline in turnover test for more information. Alternative tests for determining actual decline in turnover may be available in some circumstances and the ATO encourages businesses to seek guidance if necessary.

“We are here to support employers and we know how vital the JobKeeper payment is to the community,” said Mr O’Halloran.

“I encourage employers seeking advice on JobKeeper to contact their tax agent or call us on our dedicated help line 13 10 20.

“There is also a range of information, fact sheets and videos available from ato.gov.au to help and support you in this process. We’re also preparing translated information, which will be available in 16 languages,” said Mr O’Halloran.

Key dates to remember

  • Now: notify your employees about the JobKeeper payment they can expect to receive.
  • 28 September 2020: start paying your eligible employees Tier 1 and Tier 2 JobKeeper rates based on their hours worked.
  • From 28 September: if using Single Touch Payroll to notify us of your eligible employees, provide each eligible employee’s Tier as part of your normal payday reporting. Enrol for the JobKeeper payment if you’re doing so for the first time.
  • Between 1 – 14 October 2020: complete your October JobKeeper monthly business declarations to receive your reimbursement for the September fortnights.
  • Between 1 – 31 October 2020: prepare and submit your businesses actual decline in turnover to the ATO.
  • Before 31 October 2020: ensure you meet the wage condition for all eligible employees included in the JobKeeper scheme for the JobKeeper fortnights starting 28 September 2020 and 12 October 2020.
  • From 1 November 2020: complete your monthly business declaration and confirm what payment tier you are claiming for each employee.

Further information and support

More information on the rates of the JobKeeper payment is available from our website at ato.gov.au/JobkeeperExtension,

For information about current JobKeeper support and assistance available from the ATO and information about the JobKeeper extension go to ato.gov.au/JobKeeper.

If you are an individual, sole trader, small or medium business and you are having difficulty meeting your tax and super obligations because of COVID-19, contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 to discuss tailored support options.

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