JobKeeper 2.0 Dates, Changes, News, Fortnights & Eligibility

As you have probably heard by now, the eligibility for JobKeeper is changing from the 28th September 2020. This will see many small businesses failing the eligibility requirements to continue under the JobKeeper 2.0 scheme.

What do you need to know?

The Australian Government has implemented two payment tiers for JobKeeper from the 28th September 2020.

To be eligible to receive the tier 1 payment rate, you need to satisfy the 80-hour threshold.

To determine if you satisfy the 80-hour threshold you need to assess based on the following:

Eligible employees will need to have worked a minimum of 80 hours in the 28 day pay period ending before either 1st March 2020 or the 1st July 2020. For employees who worked during both these periods, you will need to assess them over both periods.

Eligible business participants will need to show that they worked a minimum of 80 hours in the month of February 2020.

You will need to be able to provide records of hours worked to be eligible to claim a tier 1 payment rate. Records can include payroll data or timesheets.

You will still need to be able to show the same minimum decline in GST turnover (15%, 30% or 50%) for your business to be eligible. The only difference now is the way you calculate the decline. The ATO is looking for actual BAS data reported to be used to show the decline, and the decline must have occurred for the September 2020 quarter vs the September 2019 quarter.

Many Accounting packages, such as Xero, have incorporated a decline in turnover calculate to help business owners assess their eligibility.

Ensuring that you keep detailed records of how you have calculated your eligibility is going to be key in the event of an audit of your JobKeeper assessment. We have already seen the ATO auditing businesses and stopping their JobKeeper payments. There are severe penalties should you be found to have gotten this wrong. We highly recommend using a Tax Agent or BAS Agent with knowledge of the legislation to assist you in determining your eligibility.

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