JOBKEEPER PAYMENT — INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYERS

OBLIGATIONS ON EMPLOYERS

To receive the JobKeeper Payment, employers must:

  • Register an intention to apply on the ATO website and assess that they have or will experience the
    required turnover decline.
  • Provide information to the ATO on eligible employees. This includes information on the number of
    eligible employees engaged as at 1 March 2020 and those currently employed by the business
    (including those stood down or rehired). For most businesses, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll
    data to pre-populate the employee details for the business.
  • Ensure that each eligible employee receives at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). For
    employees that were already receiving this amount from the employer then their income will not
    change. For employees that have been receiving less than this amount, the employer will need to top
    up the payment to the employee up to $1,500, before tax. And for those employees earning more
    than this amount, the employer is able to provide them with a top-up.
  • Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
  • Continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible
    employees employed by the business.

BACKGROUND ON JOBKEEPER PAYMENT

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy
from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a
fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of
6 months.

ELIGIBLE EMPLOYERS

Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than
    30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
  • their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than
    50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

The employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020,
and confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged in order to receive JobKeeper Payments.

Not-for-profit entities (including charities) and self-employed individuals (businesses without employees)
that meet the turnover tests that apply for businesses are eligible to apply for JobKeeper Payments.

ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES

Eligible employees are employees who:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
  • were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
  • are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than
    12 months as at 1 March 2020);
  • are at least 16 years of age;
  • are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a
    non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10
    years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

If your employees receive the JobKeeper Payment, this may affect their eligibility for payments from
Services Australia as they must report their JobKeeper Payment as income.

APPLICATION PROCESS

BUSINESSES WITH EMPLOYEES

Initially, employers can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from
30 March 2020.

Subsequently, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application.
The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.

Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide
monthly updates to the ATO.

Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum,
$1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of
the JobKeeper Payment.

Further details for businesses for employees will be provided on ato.gov.au.

BUSINESSES WITHOUT EMPLOYEES

Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can register their interest in applying for
JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.

Businesses without employees will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to
receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number and provide a declaration as to recent
business activity.

People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued
eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.

Further details for the self-employed will be provided on ato.gov.au.

Employer with employees on different wages

Adam owns a real estate business with two employees. The business is still operating at this stage but
Adam expects that turnover will decline by more than 30 per cent in the coming months. The
employees are:

  •  Anne, who is a permanent full-time employee on a salary of $3,000 per fortnight before tax and
    who continues working for the business; and
  • Nick, who is a permanent part-time employee on a salary of $1,000 per fortnight before tax and
    who continues working for the business.

Adam is eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment for each employee, which would have the following
benefits for the business and its employees:

  • The business continues to pay Anne her full-time salary of $3,000 per fortnight before tax, and the
    business will receive $1,500 per fortnight from the JobKeeper Payment to subsidise the cost of
    Anne’s salary and will continue paying the superannuation guarantee on Anne’s income;
    Last updated: 30 March 2020 3
  • The business continues to pay Nick his $1,000 per fortnight before tax salary and an additional
    $500 per fortnight before tax, totalling $1,500 per fortnight before tax. The business receives
    $1,500 per fortnight before tax from the JobKeeper Payment which will subsidise the cost of Nick’s
    salary. The business must continue to pay the superannuation guarantee on the
    $1,000 per fortnight of wages that Nick is earning. The business has the option of choosing to pay
    superannuation on the additional $500 (before tax) paid to Nick under the JobKeeper Payment.


Adam can register his initial interest in the scheme from 30 March 2020, followed subsequently by an
application to ATO with details about his eligible employees. In addition, Adam is required to advise his
employees that he has nominated them as eligible employees to receive the payment. Adam will provide
information to the ATO on a monthly basis and receive the payment monthly in arrears.

Employer with employees who have been stood down without pay

Zahrah runs a beauty salon in Melbourne. Ordinarily, she employs three permanent part-time
beauticians, but the government directive that beauty salons can no longer operate has required her to
shut the business. As such she has been forced to stand down her three beauticians without pay.

Zahrah’s turnover will decline by more than 30 per cent, so she is eligible to apply for the JobKeeper
Payment for each employee, and pass on $1,500 per fortnight before tax to each of her three beauticians
for up to six months. Zahrah will maintain the connection to her employees, and be in a position to
quickly resume her operations.

Zahrah is required to advise her employees that she has nominated them as eligible employees to
receive the payment. It is up to Zahrah whether she wants to pay superannuation on the additional
income paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.

If Zahrah’s employees have already started receiving income support payments like the JobSeeker
Payment when they receive the JobKeeper Payment, they will need to advise Services Australia of their new income.

JobKeeper Payment – Information for employers

JOBKEEPER PAYMENT — INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYEES

EMPLOYEE OBLIGATIONS

Employees will receive a notification from their employer that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
The majority of employees will need to do nothing further.

Employees in the following circumstances will have additional obligations.

  • Employees that have multiple employers must notify the employer that is their primary employer.
  • Employees that are not Australian citizens must notify their employer of their visa status, to allow
    their employer to determine if they are an eligible employee.
  • Employees that are currently in receipt of an income support payment must notify Services Australia
    of their new income.

BACKGROUND ON JOBKEEPER PAYMENT FOR EMPLOYEES

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a wage
subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim
a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of 6 months.

Eligible employees will receive a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. It will be up to the employer
if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of JobKeeper Payments.

Eligible employees include Australian citizens, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category
Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for
10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.

Full time and part-time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible for the JobKeeper
Payment. Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they
will also be eligible for the Payment.

Employees will be able to receive this payment in a number of different ways.

  • If you ordinarily receive $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, you will continue to
    receive your regular income according to the prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper
    Payments will subsidise part or all of your income.
  • If you ordinarily receive less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, your employer must pay
    you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
  • If you have been stood down, your employer must pay you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
  • If you were employed on 1 March 2020, subsequently ceased employment and then were re-engaged
    by the same eligible employer, you will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

Your employer will notify you if they are claiming the JobKeeper Payment on your behalf.

Employee who has been stood down and applied for income support

Phoebe works in administration services of a large retail company as a permanent full-time employee,
but she has been stood down under the Fair Work Act without pay. Phoebe had registered an intent to
claim with Services Australia for access to the JobSeeker Payment and the Coronavirus Supplement.
Phoebe is single, with no children and in total, she would be eligible to receive $1,124.50 before tax
per fortnight from Services Australia.
Phoebe’s employer has decided to apply for the JobKeeper Payment for all its eligible employees for up
to six months. This would entitle Phoebe to $1,500 per fortnight before tax. Phoebe’s employer is
required to advise her that she has been nominated as an eligible employee to receive the payment.
If Phoebe elects to receive income support though Services Australia, she will need to report her income
from the JobKeeper Payment to Services Australia. Phoebe may no longer be eligible for income support
from Services Australia as a result of receiving the JobKeeper Payment.

JobKeeper Payment – Information for employees

How to Protect Your Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Protect Your Business During the Coronavirus OutbreakThe world continues to fight Coronavirus (Covid-19) and stop it from spreading four months since the first case was discovered in November. With over 700,000 cases recorded worldwide and approximately 3,900 cases in the country, SMEs and enterprises struggle to keep their businesses afloat.

Have you been affected by the Covid-19 Shutdown? Here are some tips to help you cope with our current situation.

Working From Home

If your business can continue its operations remotely, think about creating a set of work-from-home guidelines to support your team. This is especially important if it’s the first time that you will be implementing a work-from-home set-up.

Which positions or employees are eligible to work from home? Please keep in mind that not everyone is suited to work from home. For instance, if the job requires a high degree of supervision and you won’t be able to provide that, it might not be a good idea to have that position on a work-from-home set-up. Additionally, if the position requires equipment and resources that your employees don’t have at home, and you can’t offer, a work-from-home set-up might not be applicable.

To help your team transition to a work-from-home set-up, consider following the same schedule that you have in the office. If you have regular meetings at 10 am, think about doing virtual meetings at the same time. The key is to create a routine that is as close to what you have in your office as possible.

Other key considerations for working from home are as follows:

  • Work hours and breaks
  • Environment, such as noise, lighting, and home safety
  • Workstation set-up, including computers, printers, and a reliable Internet connection

Scaling Down Operations

Scaling down your operations could help limit your business expenses while still providing essential services to your clients. This way, you won’t have to shut down your operations entirely, and you’re still able to provide your employees with financial support.

Since the shutdown, many businesses have chosen to lessen their employee hours. Another thing you could do is to reduce supplementary labour. Whenever you can, delegate the crucial tasks you usually outsource to contractors or labour hire workers to your employees.

If your business is in the position to provide extended service leave at half-pay, it might be a great idea to do that to scale down your operations.

Getting Financial Support

The government is prepared to help SMEs during these trying times. Through the Economical Survival Packages, you could get financial support for business-related payments, wage subsidies, and short-term loans.

Do you need help managing your business and making sure things are in order? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You could send an email to enquiries@glanceconsultants.com.au or call us at 03 9885 9793.

 

Summary of the Government’s $84 billion coronavirus stimulus package

A. SME Tax & Cashflow measures

Cash flow assistance for businesses

  • Small and medium-sized business entities and not-for-profits with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million turnover that employs workers will be eligible for these tax-free payments. Payments will now be a minimum of $20,000 up to $100,000 and extended to eligible not-for-profits (including charities).
  • The enhanced scheme will be delivered in two phases: Firstly, with employers set to receive a first tax-free payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld, up to a maximum of $50,000, when businesses lodge their activity statements for the 28 April and 28 July quarterly due dates.
    Secondly, an additional payment equal to the first payment will be made after businesses lodge their BAS by the 28 July and 28 October quarterly due dates.
    Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $10,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax.
  • Monthly BAS lodgers will receive the first payment for the March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 lodgements, with a 300 per cent calculation in the March activity statement to provide the same treatment as quarterly lodgers.
  • The second payment for monthly BAS lodgers will be released once they lodge their June 2020, July 2020, August 2020 and September 2020 lodgements.

 

Tax Incentives

  • From Thursday 12 March 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million) to $150,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million) until 30 June 2020.
  • A time-limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) which will operate to accelerate certain depreciation deductions. 

This measure will also be available to businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million, which will be able to immediately deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.
As announced, this measure will only apply to new depreciating assets first used, or installed ready for use, by 30 June 2021.

  • Wage subsidies to support the retention of apprentices and trainees – Employers with less than 20 full-time employees may be entitled to apply for Government-funded wage subsidies amounting to 50% of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. 

The maximum subsidy for each apprentice/trainee is $21,000. Importantly, where an employer is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice. It is proposed that employers will be able to register for the subsidy from early-April 2020.

 

B. Access to superannuation

  • Employees who have been made redundant, or eligible to receive jobseeker payment, youth allowance parenting payments, special benefit or farm household allowance, or those who have their working hours reduced by 20 per cent or more, or sole traders whose businesses have been suspended or see a reduction in turnover by 20 per cent or more (where this has happened on or after 1 January 2020) will also now be allowed to access up to $20,000 of their superannuation.
  • Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020, and be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for approximately three months. The amounts released will not be taxable and will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
  • The government will also reduce the minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 income years.
  • Deeming rates for pensioners will be reduced by another 0.25 of a percentage point.

 

C. Support to workers and households

  • Temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight for the next 6 months. This applies to permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment, sole traders, the self-employed, casual workers and contract workers will be able to access the new coronavirus supplement under expanded access to the JobSeeker Payment, formerly known as Newstart. The payments are set to commence from 27 April 2020. 
  • Tax-free payments of $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders. It is estimated that around half of those who will benefit will be pensioners. These payments will commence being automatically made from 31 March 2020.
  • In addition to the previous $750 payment announced, there will be a further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders except for those who are receiving an income support payment that is eligible to receive the Coronavirus supplement. This second payment will be made automatically from 13 July 2020. 
  • The Government has set aside $1 billion to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID19, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.

 

D.ATO administrative relief

On 12 March 2020, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced a series of administrative concessions to assist businesses impacted by COVID19, which include:

  • deferring by up to 4 months the payment of tax amounts due through the BAS (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, FBT assessments and excise by affected businesses;
  • allowing affected businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting to get quicker access to any GST refunds;
  • allowing affected businesses to vary PAYG instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters;
  • remitting any interest and penalties, incurred by affected businesses on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities; and
  • allowing affected businesses to enter into low-interest payment plans for their existing and ongoing tax liabilities.

The ATO assistance is not automatic, taxpayers must first contact the ATO to request assistance, and if eligible, the ATO will ‘tailor the assistance package for the relevant taxpayer.

 

E. Payroll tax refund & Land Tax Deferral

  • Businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived. This will support 24,000 businesses and up to 400,000 workers.
  • The State Revenue Office will directly contact eligible businesses to reimburse them for payroll tax already paid in the financial year.
  • Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to make further payments for this financial year.
  • These businesses can also defer paying payroll tax for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year.
  • Landowners that have at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million have the option of deferring their 2020 land tax payment until after 31 December 2020.
  • The State Revenue Office will contact all taxpayers who are eligible for this deferral.

 

F. Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

  • Temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against an individual
  • Increasing the time companies and individuals have to respond to statutory demands they receive
  • Temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide targeted relief from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus health virus.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you wish to discuss how this could affect you.

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