How to Access the JobKeeper Program
The JobKeeper program will pay eligible businesses a wage subsidy of $1,500 per employee per fortnight to help keep Australians working during the COVID-19 emergency. The JobKeeper payments will be available from 4 May 2020, backdated to 30 March 2020.
The Government has also now released a guide for Sole Traders and other entities on accessing the JobKeeper program.
You may be eligible for the JobKeeper payment scheme if you:
- Have a non-employee individual who is actively engaged in the operation of the business (an eligible business participant)
- meet the other relevant eligibility requirements.
The latest provisions cover those entities that were left out of the original JobKeeper guidelines:
- Companies who paid Dividends and/or Directors Fees to working Directors/Shareholders
So now those entities are also included on the following basis:
Partnerships: Eligible Partnerships can nominate one Partner in a Partnership to receive the JobKeeper payment
Trusts: Where beneficiaries only receive distributions, rather than being paid salary or wages for work done, one individual beneficiary can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper payment
Companies (Directors Fees): Eligible Companies will be allowed to nominate one Director to receive the JobKeeper payment and that individual may not receive the payment as an employee
Companies (Dividends): Eligible Companies that pay shareholders that provide labour in the form of Dividends will be able to nominate one Shareholder to receive the JobKeeper payment
How to Apply for the JobKeeper Program
As your registered Tax Agent we are able to enroll your business in the JobKeeper program. You can also apply directly following these steps:
Step 1 – Check you and your employees meet the eligibility requirements.
Step 2 – From 20 April 2020, you can enrol with the ATO for the JobKeeper payment using your Accountant, or through the Business Portal and authenticate with myGovID. You must do this by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for April.
Step 3 – Continue to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight (the first JobKeeper fortnight is the period from 30 March to 12 April).
Step 4 – Notify your eligible employees that you are intending to claim the JobKeeper payment on their behalf and check they aren’t claiming JobKeeper payment through another employer or have nominated through another business.
Step 5 – Send the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to your nominated employees to complete and return to you by the end of April if you plan to claim JobKeeper payment for April. Keep it on file and provide a copy to our office.
Step 6 – In the online form, provide your bank details and indicate if you are claiming an entitlement based on business participation, for example if you are a sole trader.
Step 7 – Specify the estimated number of employees who will be eligible for the first JobKeeper fortnight (30 March – 12 April) and the second JobKeeper fortnight (13 April – 26 April).
How to Claim JobKeeper Payments
From 4 May 2020 onwards businesses (or your Accountant) will be able to apply for the JobKeeper payment for your eligible employees.
Step 1 – Apply to claim the JobKeeper payment by logging in to the ATO Business Portal, or contact your Accountant to apply on your behalf.
Step 2 – Ensure you have paid each eligible employee a minimum of $1,500 per JobKeeper fortnight before tax.
Step 3 – Identify your eligible employees in the application form by:
- selecting employee details that are prefilled from your STP pay reports if you report payroll information through an STP enabled payroll solution, or
- manually entering employee details in ATO online services or the Business Portal if you do not use an STP enabled payroll solution, or
- using MWL Financial Group who will submit a report on your behalf through Online services for Tax Agents.
Step 4 – Submit the confirmation of your eligible employees online and wait for the confirmation screen.
Step 5 – Notify your eligible employees you have nominated them.
Step 6 – The ATO will pay you the JobKeeper payment for all eligible employees after receiving your application.
Step 7 – Each month, you will need to reconfirm that your reported eligible employees have not changed through ATO online services, the Business Portal or via your Accountant. This will ensure you will continue to receive the JobKeeper payments. You do not need to retest your reported fall in turnover, but you will need to provide some information as to your current and projected turnover. This will be done in your monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.
Step 8 – If your eligible employees change or leave your employment, you will need to notify the ATO through your monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.
If you use the ATO Business Portal, you will need a myGovID linked to your ABN in Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). You can find out how to set this up at ato.gov.au/mygovid. If you require assistance with this process please don’t hesitate to contact us.
As always, we are here to assist you during this time, so please don’t hesitate to contact your Accountant directly. If you are unsure who you need to speak to please submit the contact form below and your call will be directed to the appropriate team member.