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Home > Accounting Advice  > JobKeeper Payment Extension – Federal Government announces payment extension until March 2021.

The Federal Government has announced it is extending the JobKeeper Payment scheme until 28 March 2021. The proposed changes follow an extensive review of the JobKeeper Payment Scheme performed by Treasury. The extension will take effect from 28 September 2020 and aims at assisting businesses that continue to be significantly impacted by COVID-19.

JobKeeper Payment

  • The existing JobKeeper Payment will remain in place until 27 September 2020. The rules for accessing the payment under existing eligibility requirements remain unchanged for periods up until 27 September 2020.
  • From 28 September 2020, the new JobKeeper Payment rate will be stepped-down and two tiers of payment will be introduced.
  • Employers will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to actual turnover (rather than projected turnover). The extension will be available to qualifying businesses until 28 March 2021.
  • The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover requirements during the extension period.

Business Eligibility – Additional Turnover Tests

To be eligible for the JobKeeper extension businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate an actual decline in turnover, under the existing turnover test that applies to their particular circumstances, for each of the two periods of extension, as well as meeting the other existing eligibility requirements.

Phase 1: From 28 September 2020 – 3 January 2021

  • Businesses and not-for-profits will be required to demonstrate that they have satisfied the relevant decline in actual GST turnover in both June and September 2020 quarters relative to the corresponding quarters in 2019.

As the deadline to lodge the BAS for the September quarter or month is in late October, organisations will need to assess their eligibility in advance of the BAS deadline in order to meet the wage condition; which requires them to pay their eligible employees in advance of receiving the JobKeeper payment in arrears from the ATO).

Click here to view worked example.

Phase 2: From 4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021

  • Businesses and not-for-profits will be required to demonstrate that they have satisfied the relevant decline in actual GST turnover in all of the June, September and December 2020 quarters relative to the corresponding quarters in 2019.

As the deadline to lodge the BAS for the December quarter or month is in late January for monthly lodgers or late February for quarterly lodgers, organisations will need to assess their eligibility in advance of the BAS deadline in order to meet the wage condition, as mentioned above.

The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances where it is not appropriate to compare actual turnover in a quarter in 2020 with actual turnover in a quarter in 2019.

Click here to view worked example.

JobKeeper Payment Rate

Phase 1: From 28 September 2020 – 3 January 2021

  • Tier 1: $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who were working 20 hours or more on average per week during the four weeks before 1 March 2020; and for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in that period; and
  • Tier 2: $750 per fortnight for all other eligible employees and business participants.

Phase 2: From 4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021:

  • Tier 1: $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who were working 20 hours or more on average per week during the four weeks before 1 March 2020; and for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in that period; and
  • Tier 2: $650 per fortnight for all other eligible employees and business participants.

Businesses and not-for-profits will be required to nominate which payment rate they are claiming for each eligible employee.

The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests where the employee’s or business participant’s hours were not usual during the test period. They will also provide guidance where an employee was paid in non-weekly or non-fortnightly pay periods and in other circumstances the rules do not cover.

The rules and other guidance are summarised on the Treasury Website which can be accessed via the following link: Treasury Website: JobKeeper Extension

We will continue to keep you updated with further information as it becomes available. For further updates, visit TNR’s COVID-19 Resource Centre to help you and your business in this challenging time.

Please contact TNR if you have any queries related to the JobKeeper payment.

Important: The information contained in this post / article is not advice. Readers should not act solely on the basis of material contained in this post. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se. We recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting on anything contained in this post.