Over 850,000 businesses have so registered their interest in the JobKeeper payments, which are expected to keep millions of Australians in jobs and businesses in business during the coronavirus crisis.
To ease enrolment, over the weekend the ATO published several guides that provide a high-level summary of the JobKeeper payment scheme for sole traders, employers reporting through STP, and employers not reporting through STP.
According to the ATO, businesses using STP enabled payroll software that has been updated with JobKeeper functionality will be able to identify their eligible employees and update the ATO directly through their software.
Those that use STP enabled software that has not been updated with JobKeeper will need to select their eligible employees from a list prefilled from their STP pay reports, or add up to 40 employees that are potentially eligible but no prefilled.
Those that do not use STP payroll software at all will need to, from 4 May, manually enter each eligible employee for each JobKeeper fortnight by entering their tax file number and date of birth.
You can access the ATO’s JobKeeper guides here.
Updated turnover test guidance
The ATO has also issued updated guidance on the basic decline in turnover test, based on GST turnover.
This test is satisfied where a business’ projected GST turnover for the turnover test period falls short of their current GST turnover for the relevant comparison period, by the specified percentage (generally 30 per cent).
According to the ATO, in order to satisfy the test businesses will need follow a five step process including identifying the turnover test period; identifying the relevant comparison period; working out the relevant GST turnover; determining which shortfall percentage applies; and determining if GST turnover has fallen by the specified shortfall percentage.
The Tax Office explained that while the turnover calculation is based on GST turnover, there are some modifications to the definitions of current and projected GST turnover, including disregarding GST grouping.
In order to satisfy the test, businesses with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less will need to determine a shortfall of 30 per cent or more in turnover, while those with a turnover of more than $1 billion will need to show a 50 per cent fall in turnover. ACNC registered charities need to demonstrate a shortfall of 15 per cent or more.
The ATO’s guidance on applying the turnover test is available here.