The cut-off date for Job Keeper is fast approaching. It is now more important than ever to decide if you will register your business for JobKeeper.

For a business to be eligible to claim the JobKeeper Payments, it must tick one of the following self-assessed boxes.

  • The company must have suffered a 30% or more downturn in the previous month compared to the same month in 2019. (If the company turnover is less than $1 billion)
  • The company must have suffered a 50% or more downturn in the previous month compared to the same month in 2019. (If the company turnover is over $1 billion)
  • Does not otherwise fall under the Ineligible employers category described on the ATO website.
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My business has not reached the 30% deficit yet, but is predicted to do so later in the year. Do I still need to register now?

Yes. Even if you have not yet reached the required eligibility threshold for JobKeeper, you must still register your business before the cut-off date or you will not be considered for JobKeeper assistance later in the year. This means that if you anticipate your business may need the subsidy from June onwards, (July, August or September for example) you must still register before 31 May 2020.

 

My business is temporarily closed and my employees have been stood down, are we still eligible for JobKeeper subsidy?

If your business has been forced to close in order to adhere to lockdown requirements – for example, a pub, cinema or a gym– then proving that your turnover has dropped the 30% will be pretty straightforward. You are still eligible for any employee’s that remain on your books, even while your business remains closed.

It is important to note that: JobKeeper Payments effectively work on a cashback style system. The employer is expected to pay the amount in advance, which is then credited back to the business by the ATO.

 

How long will Job Keeper last?

JobKeeper had been estimated to last for 6 months starting from 30 March until the 27 September 2020 (13 fortnights).  However this can change at any time and the government may stop JobKeeper payments at their discretion. How long JobKeeper lasts will be highly dependent of the economic state of Australia during the coming months.

 

What if I only need JobKeeper assistance later in the year, but the Government no longer offers it?

The government is actively injecting money into the economy to keep it afloat in the form of support programs such as JobKeeper and JobSeeker. This is of course costing the Government billions. How long JobKeeper lasts is up to the discretion of the Government depending upon how well the economy is going. If you are projecting a downturn in business, it is always best to register for JobKeeper and have it available should you become eligible, rather than not being able to access it at all. This does mean that it is ‘possible’ for you to register for JobKeeper and never meet the eligibility criteria before it ends.

 

You can enrol in JobKeeper from the ATO website using an online form. For more information on how to prepare your application, get in touch with us or your bookkeeper. Alternatively, more information can be found here on the ATO website.