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ATO releases JobKeeper guidance for sole traders, other entities

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
17 April 2020 1 minute readShare

Following its release of step-by-step instructions for business owners looking to apply for JobKeeper, the Tax Office has now published guidance for sole traders and businesses that operate in the form of a company, trust or partnership.

Sole traders and some other entities are being told they may be entitled for the JobKeeper payment if they meet certain criteria.

Namely, they must have carried on a business in Australia on 1 March 2020; satisfied the fall in turnover test; had an ABN on 12 March; and lodged on or before 12 March either a 2018–19 income tax return, or an activity statement or GST return for any period that started after 1 July 2018 and ended before 12 March this year.

If these requirements are met, sole traders and businesses that operate in the form of a company, trust or partnership need to nominate an eligible business participant.

This person must be a non-employee that is actively engaged in the business — either a sole trader, a partner in the partnership, an adult beneficiary of the trust, or a shareholder or director in the company.

The ATO explained that it is the entity, not the eligible business participant, that will receive the $1,500 fortnightly JobKeeper payment.

The exception is a sole trader, who is described by the ATO as being both the business entity and an eligible business participant, and so receives the JobKeeper payment themselves.

Next steps

“When you have worked out that your business is an eligible entity and your individual non-employee is an eligible business participant, you need to enrol,” the ATO’s guidance states.

Entities are invited to enrol for the business participation entitlement from 20 April 2020 using an online form, which will be available on the ATO’s website.

The entity needs to enrol by the end of April for payments in either the fortnights starting 30 March 2020 or 13 April 2020.

The ATO has also advised that a sole trader with more than one business cannot receive multiple JobKeeper payments. Additionally, more than one eligible business participant cannot be nominated by an entity.

More information on the eligibility of sole traders and other entities is available here.

ATO releases JobKeeper guidance for sole traders, other entities
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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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