Following the publication of the rules governing the JobKeeper scheme, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has rolled out a guide — with dedicated sections for employers, employees and tax professionals — to ease access to the $1,500 fortnightly payment.
According to the employer-specific section, businesses can enrol for the JobKeeper from 20 April using the business portal.
Before commencing the process, businesses are being told to go through a five-step process, which first and foremost includes registering their interest and subscribing for JobKeeper payment updates.
Business owners are also told to check their eligibility, before continuing to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight.
The ATO explained that the first JobKeeper fortnight is the period from 30 March to 12 April.
Additionally, the tax authority has advised businesses to notify the employees they intend to claim on behalf, before asking them to fill out a JobKeeper employee nomination notice before the end of April.
Businesses can then claim the first two fortnightly payments by submitting a report through the business portal from 4 May.
Each month, employers will need to reconfirm that their reported eligible employees have not changed through the business portal or via their registered tax agent.
“This will ensure you will continue to receive the JobKeeper payments from us. 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,” the ATO explained.
In order to access the ATO business portal, employers will need a myGovID linked to their ABN in Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM).
While the JobKeeper payments technically began on 30 March, the ATO’s guidance comes a week after the legislation passed parliament.
The ATO has now stressed that employers will need to pay eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment. This will then be paid to the employer in arrears each month by the ATO.
The first payments to eligible employers will commence in the first week of May 2020.
Employers are also being warned that if they do not continue to pay their employees for each pay period, they will cease to qualify for the JobKeeper payment.
Guidance for employers can be found here.