TOP 12 – JobKeeper FAQ
1. Question: I pay my employee $1,400 per fortnight before tax, plus I contribute $133 super per fortnight to meet super guarantee obligations. Does this qualify for the minimum $1,500 payment?
Answer: No. The minimum $1,500 per fortnight before tax must be paid each JobKeeper Fortnight. It does not include the amount you contribute as super to meet your super guarantee obligations. However, it does include super contributions made under a salary sacrifice arrangement.
2. Question: Do I have to qualify for the JobKeeper Payment each month?
Answer: No, once you qualify you are in and you remain eligible until the scheme is scheduled to end on 27 September 2020.
3. Question: Do I have to report to the ATO each month and will this impact my JobKeeper Payments?
Answer: Yes, you must make a Monthly Declaration and report to the ATO your Actual GST Turnover and the Budgeted GST Turnover for the following month. If you do not make a Monthly Declaration by the 14th day of the following month you may not receive your JobKeeper payment. The Monthly Declaration is just a reporting requirement and a necessary step to ensure you continue to receive the JobKeeper payment.
4. Question: Does an employer have to be assessed by the ATO as being eligible before any payments are made?
Answer: Eligibility for JobKeeper payments is a self-assessment process, with the ATO administering the payment. Once you are eligible you remain eligible for the life of the scheme. However, if a payment is made and the ATO determine that you were not entitled to that payment (or entitled to a lesser amount) the entity will be required to repay the overpaid amount.
5. Question: What if my pay cycles do not correspond with JobKeeper fortnights? Do I have to change my pay cycles?
Answer: You do not have to change your pay cycles to correspond with JobKeeper fortnights. It is however important that you physically pay your employees at some time during the JobKeeper fortnight to remain eligible.
However, if you usually pay your employees less frequently then the payment can be allocated between fortnights in a reasonable manner. For example where you , if you pay your employees on a monthly cycle, you will still be entitled to receive a JobKeeper payment if your employees received the monthly equivalent of at least $1,500 per fortnight.
If your employee usually earns $1,500 or less each fortnight and continues with their usual pattern of work throughout the month, you need to pay them at least $3,000 on your normal pay day for each month (except August which has three JobKeeper fortnights and requires a payment of $4,500).
However, if your employee earns more than $1,500 each fortnight, an allocation that takes into account the amount of wages or salary that the employee would have been paid under a fortnightly pay cycle would generally be considered reasonable.
6. Question: Why do I need to get my employees to fill out the JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice?
Answer: You employees can only nominate one employer for JobKeeper. So the employee must agree to be nominated by you for JobKeeper. Where the employee does not complete the nomination notice, you can’t claim JobKeeper for them.
7. Question: Can businesses qualify for JobKeeper payments after April, for example, if my business experiences a downturn in the future?
Answer: Yes. Where you do not satisfy the turnover test for one month or quarter, you can still assess your eligibility at a later date. To qualify later you can also consider the turnover for May, June, July, August or September 2020, provided the fortnight you are trying to qualifying for has ended in that month or an earlier month.
8. Question: Do I have to show that it is COVID-19 that caused the decline in the turnover of my business?
Answer: No. It doesn’t matter whether it is COVID-19 or the economy that has caused the drop in turnover, provided the turnover has fallen by the required percentage and you satisfy the other eligibility criteria.
9. Question: My business suffered a steep decline in turnover in March, but I’ve changed to a new business model and I may build the business up again soon. Does this mean I lose JobKeeper?
Answer: No. You only need to satisfy the decline in turnover test once to be entitled to JobKeeper. So if you satisfy the turnover decline for March 2020 (compared in March 2019) then even if your business recovers to previous levels after March you remain eligible.
There are Monthly reporting obligations for current and projected GST turnover, but even where these Monthly Declaration of show a recovery of turnover they don’t affect eligibility.
10. Question: What happens if my predicted fall in turnover happens to be incorrect, so that the fall ends up being less than the 30%?
Answer: This does not necessarily mean you are not eligible for JobKeeper.
Your projected GST turnover is tested at a point-in-time test and needs to be a reasonable assessment of what was likely at that time when you calculated the test. If later on it eventuates that your actual turnover for your test period is greater than your prediction of your projected turnover, you do not lose access to JobKeeper. The ATO advised they will still accept your assessment of these turnovers unless they find that your calculation of your projected GST turnover was not reasonable and contrived.
Where there is a significant difference between your projected turnover and what eventuates, we may need to assess whether your assessment was reasonable, so you need to keep good records of your calculations.
Integrity rules are in place to deny or reduce an entitlement to JobKeeper payments if schemes are contrived to ensure payment conditions are satisfied, such as temporarily reducing or deferring turnover. Exceeding your turnover predictions by itself does not trigger these integrity rules.
Our compliance focus will be particularly directed toward schemes where there has not been a genuine fall in turnover in substance, but arrangements are contrived to ensure the turnover test is satisfied.
11. Question: How do I calculate my monthly GST turnover amounts for reporting purposes?
Answer: You should use the same method to calculate the current and projected GST turnover that you used to determine your decline in turnover for eligibility purposes.
12. Question: What is the consequence if I get my calculation of the current GST turnover amount wrong?
Answer: We understand that the timeframe prescribed for calculating monthly GST turnover is significantly shorter than an entity would ordinarily have for GST reporting purposes and that the calculation method prescribed in the JobKeeper rules is also different.
Entities should make a genuine effort to calculate and report current and projected GST turnover. If you later identify errors in the calculation, you will not be required to re-report to the ATO.