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Businesses told they must declare before payments can flow

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
28 May 2020 2 minute readShare
ATO Jobkeeper

The sooner businesses complete their monthly JobKeeper declarations, the sooner they will be reimbursed, the ATO has said, reminding businesses that while the deadline has been extended, there is incentive to report as soon as possible.

With 31 May just around the corner, businesses that are yet to enrol in JobKeeper have been told they can still claim the $1,500 fortnightly wage subsidy payment for April and May, provided they meet the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights.  

But for those who have enrolled successfully, the next stage of the process begins on Monday, when businesses will be required to make a business monthly declaration to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by 14 June.

The business declaration is crucial, because the ATO will only deposit the first JobKeeper payments after it has been lodged. But while businesses have been given two weeks to meet the requirements, they are being reminded that the sooner they do it, the better.

“The earlier this step is completed from the 1st of each month, the sooner businesses will be reimbursed for JobKeeper fortnights for that month,” the ATO said in its latest notice.

As part of this declaration, businesses need to ensure they’ve paid their eligible employees at least $1,500 (before tax) in each JobKeeper fortnight they’re claiming for; reconfirm their contact and financial details; reconfirm their eligible employee; and provide information on their current and projected GST turnover.  

The ATO has reiterated that the confirmation of turnover is not a retest of a business’s eligibility; instead it will indicate to the ATO how well the business is progressing.

“If your eligible employees change or leave your employment, you need to notify us through this monthly declaration so we can adjust your JobKeeper payments,” the ATO noted.

To lodge a monthly business declaration, businesses are asked to log in to their ATO business portal using myGovID or ATO Online services through myGov.

Businesses need to complete this step each month that they want to claim payments, until the end of the program.

Earlier this week, the Tax Office confirmed it has extended the JobKeeper monthly reporting deadline by seven days, giving businesses until 14 June to make their first declaration.

The Treasurer’s initial JobKeeper rules specified that an entity that has qualified for the JobKeeper scheme must report their current and projected turnover to the ATO commissioner within seven days of the end of a calendar month, if the entity is entitled to a payment for a fortnight that ends in that month.

“A monthly business declaration must be made by the 14th day of each month, starting in June, to receive reimbursements for payments made in the previous month,” the ATO’s updated guidance reads.

Earlier this month, Deborah Jenkins, Deputy Commissioner from the ATO, confirmed in a webcast hosted by MyBusiness that the purpose of the monthly declarations is not to ascertain a business’s eligibility.

“It is statistical information; we need to understand how this JobKeeper scheme is playing out and whether it is meeting what it was set out to do,” Ms Jenkins explained.

For more guidance on how to complete a business declaration, click here.

Businesses told they must declare before payments can flow
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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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